Can Northview handle Oaks Christian’s 96 MPH Phil Bickford, a MLB first-round prospect?

Northview baseball will likely face Oaks Christian’s 6-foot-4 righthander Phil Bickford in Friday’s Division 4 quarterfinal at home. Bickford, a potential Major League Baseball first-round selection in this year’s draft, was clocked at 96 MPH during a 4-1 victory over Bonita for the Redondo tournament title. Bickford draws a lot of attention from scouts, so expect a big crowd tomorrow. Interestingly, Bickford, a starter all season, has not started in the playoffs, making relief appearances in both. Bickford took over in the fourth in the Lions’ 1-0 win over San Marino and didn’t enter until the sixth inning in the Lions’ 5-2 win over Savanna. “It’s a little unusual, I’m not sure if he’ll start or of this is their way of using him in every game,” said Vikings coach Darren Murphy, who expects to face him at some point. “He’s as good as advertised, that’s for sure. We don’t need five or six (runs), we need one or two and hopefully you do that by plugging away and hoping there’s a crack.”

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