HIBBING — If the Hibbing amateur baseball team wants a No. 1 or 2 seed for the playoffs, then this week will go along way in deciding the Miners’ fate.
Hibbing is 3-1 in the Eastern Minny North Division, trailing just Mora in the standings.
The Miners will get a chance to maybe pass the Blue Devils beginning today when they travel to Hinckley for two games, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
According to Hibbing manager Jamie Steinberg, these two games, plus two games on Sunday against Quamba, will determine whether or not the Miners will get one of those two seeds.
“We’re getting right in the middle of our league division north games, which is an important time for us to solidify a top spot in the league,” Steinberg said. “We’ve put ourselves into a good standing at this time, so today and Sunday are big days.
“Today can get us one step closer to where we want to be seed-wise heading into playoffs. These two games are vital, key games, a stepping stone for us.”
Steinberg said that Mora has a little better record right now, but if it comes down to a tiebreaker, there’s a possibility for Hibbing to take that top spot.
“Nothing is set in stone,” Steinberg said. “This is another stepping stone toward getting there. Sunday will be the final step in seeing where we’re at.”
As far as his team goes, Steinberg said they’re improving
“We’re in a good spot,” he said. “The two teams we’re playing, we can have a good showing against them and be successful against them. We can take all four games, but the key to that is we’re going to need our key guys to be there, especially our pitchers.
“All four games are out-of-town, so that might not be working in our favor, but as long as we get the right guys on the road trip, that’s all that matters in how successful we are.”
The Miners are playing a doubleheader against Hinckley because their previous game, which was scheduled for Hibbing, was postponed.
Steinberg doesn’t know much about Knights. The only scouting report he has is games against common opponents.
“They started out struggling, but they have a lot of young guys,” Steinberg said. “Some of their older guys needed time to season themselves, so they’ve been playing better ball as of late. We’re not taking them lightly, but we’re going in with the confidence that we can take both games.
“We’re going in to play our own game. We’ve scouted them by looking at who they’ve played in comparison to us. A lot of the teams we’ve handled and beaten, they’ve had a tough time with. That gives me confidence, but they’ve been competing against the higher-ended teams in our league. That tells me that we can’t take them lightly.”