With all the talk about Bishop Amat and Northview, the spoiler will be San Dimas.
Today’s wild-card resutls
Glendora 10, West Torrance 1
Damien 10, Miller 4
Chino Hills 5, Burroughs 2, 8 inn
El Rancho 6, Walnut 3
Laguna Hills 6, Wilson 1
Los Altos 3, Elsinore 3
Baldwin Park 6, Carpinteria 5
Cathedral 3, Arroyo 2
Citrus Hill 14, Azusa 3
Gladstone 9, Bosco Tech 2
Division II locals: Glendora (WC), Damien (WC), Chino Hills (WC), Chino.
Division II seeds: 1. El Toro, 2. Yucaipa, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Palos Verdes.
What should happen: The Sierra teams received tough draws, but it is what it is, making it extremely tough for the wild card teams to get out of week one. This isn’t like softball, pitching is a problem since teams will throw No. 1′s today and go with No. 2′s in the first-round on Thursday.
Prediction: Glendora and Damien will win wild card games at home. The Tartans would get another wild-card winner in round one, but then a huge second round game against top-seed El Toro ends their season, but will be fun to watch. Damien might want to throw their No. 2 today in hopes of having a chance on Thursday against No. 4 seed Palos Verdes. I know that’s not conventional wisdom, but why not take a shot. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Sierra team gets to the quarters, but getting two that far doesn’t appear realistic.
Division III locals: Charter Oak, South Hills, Nogales, Bonita, Walnut (WC), Wilson (WC), Los Altos (WC)
Division III seeds: 1. Beckman, 2. Bonita, 3. San Gorgonio, 4. Lancaster
What should happen: First, scratch all the wild cards, none of them will get to the first round. The top seeds are tough, but this could be a division full of surprises.
Prediction: For a No. 2 seed, Bonita could face a very tough game in the second round against Alhambra, but they should survive to face South Hills in the quarterfinals. In fact, I like Bonita’s chances of reaching the championship game. In fact, pencil it in. Nogales is my sleeper. They have a great No. 1 pitcher in Andrew Melchor, arguably as good as anyone in the division. Melchor could pitch games one and two, and two could be against Charter Oak in the second round. The quarterfinals could come against No. 1 Beckman, which likely ends Nogales’ season. But don’t count out the Nobles, I’ve seen teams ride No. 1 pitchers in the playoffs, and they’re riding this destiny thing. Does Bonita win it all? I’m not feeling it, but won’t be surprised if they do.
Division IV locals: Bishop Amat, Northview, San Dimas, Baldwin Park
Division IV seeds: 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Northview, 3. Torrance, 4. San Dimas.
What should happen: Bishop Amat and Northview meeting in the championship game, but hold that thought.
Prediction: I felt all along that Northview and Bishop Amat are good, just not as good as last year. But that doesn’t mean they’re not good enough to get back to the championship, I just won’t be surprised if they get knocked out along the way. Northview’s big hurdle could come in the second round against St. Paul, who has two solid pitchers to throw at them. Here’s how I will break this down, San Dimas will play Bishop Amat in the semifinals, and I’m predicting the big upset, Saints over the Lancers in a thriller. Northview will get past St. Paul and find its way to the championship, but San Dimas comes full circle and knocks off the Vikings in Anaheim. It’s about redemption, hunger, and a good story (haha). Bishop Amat-Northview seems to good to be true. This is the year of the spoiler, and who better to play the role than Mike Regan’s Saints.
Division V locals: Sierra Vista, South El Monte, La Puente, Arroyo (WC), Azusa (WC), Gladstone (WC).
What should happen: Quick early exit by local teams? Not so fast. There aren’t a bunch of world beaters in this division, and we have some teams that could make runs.
Predictions: I like Gladstone to win its wild card, but then it gets No. 2 Santa Ynez. Season over. Because Sierra Vista has one of the best pitchers in the division, I like their chances of reaching the quarterfinals, then it gets tougher against No. 1 San Jacinto. La Puente could win their first game, but Maranatha’s a tough second round game. All in all, I’m rooting for the Dons. Wouldn’t be shocked at all if they got to the semifinals, but history tells us otherwise.