Normal West junior quarterback Greg Hiltbrand prepares to throw the ball during Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, game against Eisenhower at West.(You Name It Sports/Brian Brakebill)
By Eric Stock
The St. Louis Cardinals begin defense of their 2011 World Series championship as the first National League team to qualify under baseball's new playoff format which allows for a second wildcard team.
The Cardinals are at Turner Field in Atlanta for a one-game wildcard playoff against the Braves, who the Cardinals eliminated on the last day of the regular season last year in route to an improbable World Series title.
The Cardinals will give the ball to Kyle Lohse (16-3) who could be making his final start as a Cardinal. He will become a free agent after the season and the Cards aren't expected to resign him.
The Braves counter with Kris Medlen (10-1), a late-season addition to the starting rotation who hasn't lost a start since 2010.
The winner will host the first two games of the National League Division Series on Sunday and Monday against the Washington Nationals.
Pregame on the Cardinals Radio Network will be at 3:12 p.m. on WJBC 1230 AM and 93.7 FM.
Extravaganza Week 7
Normal West and Bloomington will meet at Fred Carlton Field in our feature matchup of the Friday Night High School Football Extravaganza on WJBC 1230 AM, 93.7 FM and here on WJBC.com. Coverage begins after the Cardinals' game. You can get a full rundown here.
Illinois State plays at Wichita State. First serve is set for 7 p.m. here on WJBC.com.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.