Class 4A state semifinal
Grant Bulldogs (25-11) vs. Oak Park-River Forest Huskies (28-9-1)
When: 3 p.m. today
Where: Silver Cross Field, Joliet
Head coaches: Grant: Dave Behm (third year, 47-49); Oak Park-River Forest: Chris Ledbetter (13th year, 337-1271-1)
Grant's road to Joliet: def. McHenry, 5-3, and Cary-Grove, 4-2, in the McHenry regional; def. Crystal Lake South, 5-2, and South Elgin, 12-11, in the McHenry sectional; def. Schaumburg, 7-0, in the Rockford (RiverHawks Stadium) 2 supersectional
Oak Park-River Forest's road to Joliet: def. Chicago Schurz, 13-0, and Evanston, 2-1, in the Oak Park-River Forest regional; def. New Trier, 8-7, and Maine South, 10-8, in the Evanston sectional; def. Highland Park, 1-0, in the Rockford (RiverHawks Stadium) 1 supersectional
Probable starting pitchers: Grant senior RH Jared Helmich (11-1) vs. Oak Park-River Forest senior RH Joe McKune (6-2)
Oak Park-River Forest coach Chris Ledbetter: "I told them after we came back against New Trier from down 7-0 (to win 8-7 in sectional semis) that they didn't have anything to prove to me anymore. They proved how much they care, and I care about this group of kids and wanted that (state) feeling for them. We knew we had some talented kids."
Grant coach Dave Behm: "I think we're a pretty confident team. When we take care of things in our control -- our approach at the plate, being ready defensively -- we feel that we're a tough team to beat. I don't think we've done anything out of the ordinary. We've just put three phases of the game -- hitting, pitching and defense -- together at the right time."
Advancement: The winner plays in the state championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday against the winner of today's 5 p.m. semifinal between Lyons and Minooka. The loser plays in the third-place game at 3 p.m. Saturday.