This is like trying to predict the Central Division football playoffs, where upsets aren’t really upsets, and anyone can be knocked off in any round. This is the toughest of all the divisions, but the fact is even if you’re a Glendora fan and want to pencil them through with your heart, it’s a the smart bet anyway because they have a great No. 1 in Adam Plutko with the staff support to go deep. It’s a challenge, but the Tartans have as good as shot as anyone. Damien could get No. 3 seed Redlands East Valley in the second round, but I’m not sure they have the pitching depth to win round-after-round like Glendora. Same goes for Diamond Bar, who have to win a wild-card game. So, here is how it will shake out.
Glendora vs. La Mirada
El Toro vs. Crespi
Glendora over Crespi
Beckman and Alhambra are the top two seeds, but South Hills is still the best in the division and will prove it again. Huskies pitcher Andrew Morales showed me a lot in his 4-3 loss to Bishop Amat. He wasn’t afraid of the pressure or the crowd, nearly out-pitching Amat’s Paul Paez. He’s a gamer plus they have a guy named Dakota Behr who can pitch too. Bonita has been such a surprise, but too bad they would have to play the Huskies in the quarters. If they didn’t do it last year, not sure how they can this year. Walnut will be my sleeper, getting an unproven team like No. 4 Hemet in the second round that they can handle, so here is how it shakes out.
Beckman vs. Walnut
South Hills vs. Alhambra
South Hills over Beckman
Look, if Bishop Amat doesn’t win it, it will be the biggest upset in any division by far. Hope that doesn’t add any pressure, it’s just the truth. They know it, you know it, we all know it. So who will be there with them? I absolutely loves Northview’s draw, especially if Eddie Pedroza is healthy. Oaks Christian could be dangerous if they meet in the quarters, but I like them to sneak though. St. Paul, Monrovia and Palm Desert are the best bets in the bottom half. Don’t sleep on St. Paul, they have a 1-2 punch on the mound better than anyone outside of Amat.
Bishop Amat vs. Northview
St. Paul vs. Palm Desert
Bishop Amat over St. Paul
This is actually a difficult division. Maranatha has a major league first-round draft choice pitching, Woodcrest Christian and Tahquitz ae for real, making it a real chore for Sierra Vista or La Puente to advance past the second round. I love Sierra Vista’s chance when Christian Huerta’s pitching, but that might not be enough, especially if they reach the quarters and face No. 1 Woodcrest Christian.
Woodcrest Christian vs. Montclair Prep
Maranatha vs. Tahquitz
Maranatha over Woodcrest Christian