It's been a long time since Elk Grove or Schaumburg has played in the Mid-Suburban League championship baseball game.
But neither team will be dazed or confused on what to expect from each other since the two teams met just four days ago.
Elk Grove, which has not been to the MSL title game since 2006, beat Schaumburg, which has not advanced to the championship since 2008, 6-2 last Monday.
The teams will square up again Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Schaumburg with the title at stake.
"Everyone is very excited," said Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna, whose club became only the third Grens team in 48 years to win a baseball title.
"To win your division in the MSL is a huge accomplishment. It is such a tough conference and everybody is beating up on each other."
Elk Grove just missed last year, finishing second to Rolling Meadows in the East and finishing with a 25-11 record along with a regional title.
That success gave the Grenadiers a springboard into this season.
Elk Grove (20-10), which won the East over Prospect and Hersey, placed four players on the all-conference team. Pitcher-third baseman Peter Arbov, who defeated Schaumburg on Monday, leads the way. Adam O'Malley (P-3B), Brandon Post (CF) and sophomore Christian Camacho (2B) also were selected.
The Grens will also look to Matt Wary, Johnny Assimakopoulos, Josh Bergbreiter, Daryl Rivera and Austin Shallcross to supply the offense.
Schaumburg coach Cal Seely, whose team was 8-16 last year and finished fourth in the MSL West, says that the lessons his team learned last season has paid dividends for the Saxons this year.
"It is an exciting time," Seeley said. "We were young last season and we grew up a lot. We are just trying to stay focused right now."
Schaumburg (16-7) returned eight of nine starters from that team including Michael Fan, who was all-area last year.
Fan, who plays first base, along with Bradley Schwind (P-CF), Alex Kiszkowski (2B), Brendan Beck (P) and Jack Holden (LF), were named all-conference this year.
Ryan Woloszyk, Ryan Schocker, Christian Spitelli, Connor Quinn and Joe Franz are also key contributors.
Schaumburg had a one-game lead in the West over Barrington with two games to play but the Saxons lost to both Hersey and Elk Grove.
They finished tied in the regular season for the West lead with Barrington, which lost its last game. The two teams are conference co-champions, but Schaumburg won both meetings against the Broncos to be able to advance to the title game.
"It wasn't the way we wanted it," Seely said. "But we still finished on top and that is all that matters."
The Saxons head into Friday's game with a modest three-game losing streak. But that streak doesn't concern Seely.
"Last time we had a losing streak like this, the kids bounced back to win five in a row," Seely said. "We have worked hard in practice the last couple of days to get ready for Friday."
Both coaches have their starting pitcher from Monday's game available to pitch on Friday. But neither expects them to start.
Schaumburg, which threw Schwind on Monday, will most likely look to Beck or sophomore Jack Bellinger, who defeated Barrington two weeks ago.
"This game is important to us," Seely said. "But the playoffs start next week and we want to be ready for them as well."
Arbov, who won on Monday, is also ready, as is O'Malley, who got the division-clinching win on Tuesday against Palatine, and Tyler Lawson, who pitched Wednesday in a nonconference game.
"It may be pitcher by committee," Beyna said. "We have been getting good pitching all season and we have plenty of guys we can go to."