NORTH COAST SECTION PLAYOFF PREVIEW
The North Coast Section Baseball and Softball playoffs will be announced on Sunday.
Here is a brief view of what to look for.
The top of this Division can go in many different directions.
Maria Carrillo will be the highest seeded local team and could be anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4. They have the numbers to be No. 1. They do well in the power rankings, not so well in the Writers Polls.
They are No. 2 in the power rankings, which is computer generated. In the writer rankings they don’t do so well. In both the Chronicle and Cal Hi Sports top ten they are behind both College Park and Clayton Valley. One of Maria Carrillo’s two losses was to Clayton Valley, so that won’t help either.
By a narrow margin College Park is No.1 in the Power Rankings. Clayton Valley is No. 4. Those two teams are in the same league and College Park won both games against them this season. That probably didn’t help Maria Carrillo. Maria Carrillo was ranked higher than College Park in everything until they beat Clayton Valley twice. In the writer rankings, not only did College Park jump ahead of Maria Carrillo, but Clayton Valley stayed ahead of Maria Carrillo.
Four time defending champion Campolindo is No. 3 in the power rankings and it is ranked higher than Maria Carrillo in the Chronicle, lower at Cal Hi Sports.
This could go several ways.
As for the rest, Montgomery should get a first round home game while Cardinal Newman is on the bubble for one. Casa Grande and Petaluma will be doing some traveling. Petaluma and Montgomery could be a first round game.
Analy is No. 3 in the power rankings and has a loss to No. 1 Drake. Drake has split with No. 2 Tamalpais. Analy also has a loss to No. 5 Acalanes, who is three time defending champion.
None of the Division 3 teams make the Chronicle. At Cal Hi Sports it is a mixed bag. Analy is ahead of any of the other teams in the Section State rankings, but isn’t mentioned in the Cal Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20, while Drake is a bubble team. It is hard to figure why Analy isn’t mentioned because Petaluma is on the bubble. That was before the Friday game but still Analy did win two of three against Petaluma and beat Petaluma out for the SCL championship.
Either way Analy will have at least one home game and probably two.
Sonoma Valley will be traveling and Piner is 7-7 against Division 3 teams. Not sure if .500 makes you eligible or you have to be over .500. Either way they might be on the wrong side of the bubble.
The NCL I will be well represented.
Clear Lake will be the highest seeded team from the area and will get a home game for at least the first round. Willits, Middletown and St. Helena should get in but will be traveling.
El Molino will also make it and is hoping for a home game.
St. Vincent is the only local team that is in and will probably have to go on the road, although they are NCL II champions so the right game could get them a home game.
Sonoma Academy does have a shot. If they get in they could be going to No. 1 seed and two time defending champion Head Royce.
While the other Division can have up to sixteen teams, the most Division 6 can have is eight.
Rincon Valley Christian and Point Arena are a tossup for the No. 2 seed behind St.Bernard’s of Eureka. The defending champion is Tomales and they are hoping for a No. 4 seed which would get them a first round home game. Ferndale and Archbishop Hanna also could be a No. 4.
Mendocino looks like they are in and will have to travel to one of the top two seeds.
There rating services aren’t as complete for Softball as they are for Baseball. You basically have to rely on the Power Rankings. The Chronicle and Cal Hi Sports do have rankings. No local team is mentioned in the Chronicle top ten. At Cal Hi Sports, the only local teams mentioned is Analy as a Division 3 State honorable mention and Petaluma and Santa Rosa as an honorable mention in the Bay Area Top Twenty.
It is a head scratcher that Analy would be considered in the State Division 3 rankings and not in the Bay Area Top Twenty. Also hard to figure how Santa Rosa can be an honorable mention and there is no mention of Maria Carrillo.
As in most other sports Santa Rosa is the only Division 1 team this side of the Richmond Bridge. They are on the bubble for a first round home game.
The power rankings are a little different than the YSN365.com rankings. Petaluma ended No. 1 in the YSN rankings. Both Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate are higher than them in the power rankings.
Petaluma is on the bubble for a first round home game. The undefeated SCL title might help them get that.
Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate should each get a first round home game. Maria Carrillo is hoping for a No. 4 so they would be in position for two home games.
Ukiah and Windsor are bubble teams. Not sure if they qualify for a spot.
Concord, who has won three of the last four NCS championships, will be traveling in the first round and may end up at Maria Carrillo.
Analy is on the bubble for a first round home game.
Sonoma Valley will have to go on the road.
Just like in baseball, this Division will have some NCL I representation.
Cloverdale, Clear Lake, Lower Lake and Middletown are in. Cloverdale and Clear Lake will have a home game. Lower Lake is on the bubble, while Middletown will have to go on the road.
Cardinal Newman is a bubble team for a home game. They would have to have an over .500 record against Division 4 schools to qualify. That same is true for El Molino, who is a bubble team period.
Defending champion St. Vincent is a bubble team for a first round home game. The guess is they will get one.
Calistoga will have to travel.
Not sure about this bracket. In the power rankings that I use, only four teams are listed of the seventeen schools in the Division. Rincon Valley Christian is one of those teams that should be playing.
One team not listed is two time defending champion Ferndale who moved up to Division 5
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