Updated: NCS 3-A East Bay Baseball Bracketology

The king of the NCS classes _ 3-A East Bay baseball. The 16-team field will be selected on Sunday (the seeding meeting begins at 9 a.m. and will be blogged live right here at Prep Corner). But before we get to Sunday, I thought I would give everyone a little insight on what the brackets may look like. So, let’s get started.

In order to qualify for the playoffs you must meet one of the following: have over a .500 record in league or over a .500 record overall or over a .500 record against 3-A opponents.

Records are as of Sunday, May 11

Lock ‘Em: Livermore (20-2), Foothill (18-4-1), Newark Memorial (21-3),  Monte Vista (17-5),  De La Salle (14-8), Arroyo (18-4), Alameda (16-6), Freedom (16-6), Clayton Valley (15-7),  Berkeley (15-7), Bishop O’Dowd (17-5), Pinole Valley (15-6-1), Irvington (15-9).

Update: San Ramon Valley beat Monte Vista on Friday to qualify for the playoffs. That probably ends any of the drama for the final spot in the playoffs. Castro Valley, Washington and James Logan are probably done.

Bubble: James Logan (10-13-1),  Liberty (13-9), College Park (14-8), Washington (8-13), Castro Valley (10-12), San Ramon Valley

Updated: With San Ramon Valley qualifying with a win over Monte Vista, that pretty much cinches up the 16-team field in my eyes. I see 13 teams as a lock and out of the bubble teams I have listed I strongly think it will be Liberty, College Park and San Ramon Valley.

Note: Amador Valley did qualify for the playoffs but will not apply for an at-large berth. Thanks to Kyle Bonagura for that information.

My Final Field: Livermore, Foothill, Newark Memorial,  Monte Vista,  De La Salle, Arroyo, Alameda, Freedom, Clayton Valley,  Berkeley, Bishop O’Dowd, Pinole Valley, Irvington, College Park, San Ramon Valley, Liberty.

Seeds Updated: 1. Livermore; 2. Foothill; 3. Newark Memorial; 4.  Bishop O’Dowd; 5. Clayton Valley; 6. Monte Vista; 7. Alameda; 8. Arroyo; 9. Freedom; 10. De La Salle; 11. Berkeley; 12. Irvington; 13. Pinole Valley; 14. San Ramon Valley; 15. College Park; 16. Liberty.

There is my stab at it. Beside the No. 1 and No. 2 spots this field is tough to seed. I wouldn’t be surprised to be way off, but I don’t think the seeds are going to matter much this season. Everyone can beat everyone in this tournament. There isn’t one team that is just way better than the others. I expect a very entertaining tournament. I moved O’Dowd up because its losses against Cal, Granada and Liberty aren’t looking too bad since the Dragons finished strong. Teams like Monte Vista and Newark Memorial are heading into the playoffs on a bit of a stumble. De La Salle could be higher than the 10 seed, but I am not sold that they deserve it. We will see what happens.

Make sure to come back to Prep Corner for a live blog from the seeding meeting, beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. 


  • Jeff Wood

    Why would BOD be seeded BELOW Arroyo when they will be the league champs if they beat Moreau tomorrow?….they have wins against St. Marys (Stockton) who beat De La Salle, Berkeley as well as Arroyo….Give them the 5 seed

  • Michael Bower

    I can see O’Dowd above Arroyo, but to put them at the No. 5 seed would be very generous. You can’t play six degrees of seperation in baseball. Just doesn’t work. I expect Arroyo and O’Dowd to be ranked very closely. Just because O’Dowd will be recognized as the league champion doesn’t mean they will be ranked better than Arroyo, though. The Dons did split with O’Dowd. I can see it both ways. I just hope they don’t end up as No. 8 and No. 9.

  • Jeff Wood

    My real preference that teams not play teams from their own league in the first round (though that does assure that at least one of them will be in the 2nd round)…

  • Michael Bower

    I am with you on that thought, Jeff. I want both teams to have a chance to show what they can do outside of league play. And that goes for any two teams playing in the first round from the same league.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Foothill beat MV today 11-0 and completed the season sweep pretty much giving them the nod at No. 2.

    Amador and SRV are both in the same boat, needing to win Friday to qualify.

  • Michael Bower

    Thanks for the update, Kyle. That changes things a bit. Guess we have to wait until Friday then.

  • Michael Bower

    I got this feeling that O’Dowd will be No. 8 and Arroyo No. 9 somehow. It always seems to workout that way for the HAAL.

  • High School Sports Junkie

    Why doesn’t Newark deserve the #2 seed what have they won like 17 in a row

  • Michael Bower

    Simple. They play in the MVAL.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Or maybe because Foothill beat Newark 13-1.

  • Michael Bower

    Also, Should Logan not show at the seeding meeting then I would think Washington garners that No. 16 spot since it beat Castro Valley head-to-head.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Head-to-head is big, but Castro Valley did beat Livermore.

  • Michael Bower

    That is a better reason, foothill beating newark 13-1. And yes, Castro Valley has that big win over Livermore. Who knows what the committee will do.

  • ErnDog

    MaxPreps has Arroyo ranked #7 in the entire NCS section, regardless of classification (i.e. 2A, 3A, etc).

    Head to Head competition between Arroyo and O’dowd has each with one win a piece and Arroyo with 25 runs scored and O’Dowd with 15.

    From my viewpoint, Arroyo simply has the better team.

  • EBAL Fan

    Hey — can’t argue the rankings at all — one thing that bothers me a little bit is the one-and-done format. One stud pitcher on an otherwise middle-of-road team can really mess things up. Due the impact of individual pitchers, baseball should always be a best two-out-of-three. Your thoughts?

  • EBAL Fan


    While it certainly appears Arroyo is a very good team – congrats to the Dons and best of luck in NCS – using anything MaxPreps comes up with is a joke. This is the same organization which a year ago had a QB from SoCal throwing for 20,000 yards through the first six games.

    Simply put, they are not always in touch with reality.

  • Michael Bower

    Couldn’t agree more about the one-and-done format. I did an article on this a couple years ago.


    The reason why there isn’t a two-out-of-three or double-elimination format is because baseball is at the end of the year. There simply isn’t enough time to do it. That is also why there won’t be a state championship or anything past NCS. They really should start the season a few weeks earlier so baseball can have these kinds of things.

    On another note, yes, maxpreps is terrible. I wouldn’t count on their rankings for anything. Their stats are usually way off, too. Some of the coaches do a great job about entering in “real” stats that you can count on, but many of them _ sadly _ don’t know the difference between an earned and unearned run.

  • Another EBAL Fan

    Great article — so much for influencing the decision makers… So why can’t they start the season a little earlier? Central Coast Section teams start earlier. Speaking of which, why can CCS teams play 30-35 game seasons but NCS is limited to 24? Seems things could be adjusted to make the postseason format work right.

  • NeilPatrick

    There is no possible way that Odowd should seeded higher than Arroyo. Although they split during the season, Arroyo has a better overall record and also has defeated better and higher seeded teams than Odowd. Give Arroyo the higher seed. Odowd does not deserve it.

  • Tom Meyer

    thats a pretty rough comment on the MVAL Irvington has wins over Liberty, Alameda, Pinole Valley,Berkeley, Clayton Valley, Amador Valley and took Livermore extra innings before loosing by one in eight innings

  • EBAL Fan

    We will never see the double-elimination format. As Mike mentioned, it’s about the time of year. It’s the same reason we won’t see a state baseball/softball playoff. They can’t start any earlier, because of the length of the winter season. Basketball and wrestling are a big revenue generator for CIF, so they will always take top billing, pushing the spring sports back. Always remember, at the end of the day, it’s not about the kids with CIF, it’s about the money. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is kidding themselves. The only way I see a double elimination tournament and a 2 out of 3 baseball final, would be if they went to league champs only in the tournament, thus reducing the number of teams and allowing for more games to be played. That leaves the situation of is it fair to be excluded because you didn’t win league? That is the way it used to be for years and people were fine with it. But then, guess what, someone figured out there would be more MONEY to be made if they included more teams and presto – there it was.
    Cynical? No, just realistic and a vet of many of these wars.

  • ErnDog

    Michael, was interested in your comments regarding those “quality” losses that O’dowd had.

    The four losses that Arroyo had were:
    1. Alameda (lost by 2)
    2. Alhambra (lost by 1 in extra inninngs)
    3. O’Dowd (lost by 1 in extra innings)
    4. Foothill (lost 6-1 in their 3rd game of the season.

    Note that the Alhambra game would have been an Arroyo victory had not a ground ball going thru shortstop hit the 2nd base umpire and kept the ball on the infield.

    Also, I am very confident that all four of these teams will be in the NCS tourney.

    Bye all!!!

  • ErnDog

    EBAL fan, thanks for profs.

    By the way, I would be interested as to your feelings about the following.

    Arroyo and O’Dowd played two games this year. Arroyo won the 1st game, 13-2. O’Dowd won the second game in a 13-12 slugfest going 8 innings.

    HAAL rules state that when two teams tie for the league title, the share the championship BUT the team that won the SECOND game receives the automatic bid to the NCS.

    Any thought??? Answers from all appreciated…

  • ErnDog

    NeilPatrick…you are ON TARGET!!!!

  • Kyle Bonagura


    The MVAL comment was more about the depth of the league — there are a lot of gimmes, so the record is padded more than if Newark played in a league where it was challenged every game.

    No doubt Irvington is a good team this year, no one is saying otherwise.

  • Jeff Wood

    O’Dowd has wins over:

    Marin Catholic
    St. Mary’s (Stockton) (who beat DLS)
    Swept Castro Valley

    Losses to:
    Cal High
    Liberty (1-0 pitcher’s duel)
    Encinal (just one of those days)

    And their last loss was on March 26th…

    They have won 13 in a row, and their pitching staff has allowed 5 runs in the past 6 games….better to be hot late than hot early. Even though the rule is completely arbitrary, since they beat Arroyo in game 2, they are the automatic bid and should be higher seeded…not to take anything away from Arroyo, because they are also a great team….the real thing is that since the HAAL gets no respect, it is percieved that no way two teams can be good from that league…

    In reality, both teams are in the top 10 in runs scored in the NCS, and both teams have ERA’s under 3…and this after BOD had a woeful start pitching wise….once the pitcher’s settled down, the team got pretty tough…might be interesting to see just how many teams in the mix have won 13 in a row playing in ANY league…

  • Tom Meyer

    Irvington beat Newark today to win the league playoffs

  • ErnDog

    Jeff Wood, I appreciate your comments but consider this. I have already identified the four losses this year for Arroyo. Since we already know that both O’Dowd and Arroyo swept the league, lets look at the non-league games.

    Arroyo has a shutout victory over San Ramon Valley, a win over NCS 2-A contender Albany in a 8-0 shutout and over Pittsburg (another 8-0 shutout) and Pittsburg has wins over BOTH Clayton Valley and DeLa Salle.

    Given this overview, one must conclude that the stronger non-league wins were by Arroyo.

    But you know what??? This is just baseball…baseball pure and simple. BEST GAME EVER!!!

    GO DONS!!! and see you in the NCS!!!

  • EBAL Fan


    Most leagues give the tiebreak to the team which has the better second half of the season. EBAL is the same way. Hope that helps..

  • Hugo Norton

    Bottom line for me is that I don’t want to see BOD and Arroyo as 8 and 9 seeds (in whatever order) and have to play again…obviously that game is a tossup, but I feel it is difficult for HAAL to get any kind of respect if we have to knock each other out…seed both teams in the top 8, and I will be fine with that…BOD, as an automatic bid should get a home game to start the NCS tourney, and they should not have to play a team they have already played twice to advance….basically, the same thing for Arroyo….they should be able to advance without eliminating an HAAL opponent….I personally feel they both might do well in the NCS if allowed to advance against teams from other leagues…I mean, the initial premise of the article is the top three seeds were from the same league, thereby eliminating any chance those squads would play each other until the end…even though the HAAL gets no love (and I understand why)…that still does not change the fact that there are two stong teams in the league

  • ErnDog

    Tiebreaker to the team that wins the second of two meetings just isn’t right. Use cumulative run totals for the two games and whomever has the most…they win the league title.

    To determine who possibly gets a home game in the NCS playoffs simply due to the date the game was played on….is WRONG…

  • Michael Bower

    Believe me, when I did my predicted seedings I had a really tough time. Beside No. 1 and No. 2 I have no clue how this should shake out. I can see everyone’s point of view on Arroyo being ahead of O’Dowd. I can see a lot of things, though. We will have to see what the committee does. I don’t think the seeding will matter much. This should be a great tournament.

  • Hugo Norton

    Cumulative runs should NEVER be a deciding factor. That only encorages teams to run up the score when the opportunity presents, which is not in keeping with good sporting behavior. I agree the “second game” concept is deeply flawed, though it does sort of recognize the team that is playing better at the end. I actually would rather play it out on the field…if a winner needs to be decided, why not play a 3rd game between the squads?…Season is TOO SHORT anyway. In the end, I guess since both teams make the playoffs the stakes (seeding) are not high enough to matter too much….imagine though, if it was ONLY the winner that went to the NCS tourney….then the 2nd game winner concept would be a total travesty…

    Without any “unbeatable” team in the mix, this should be a good tourney regardless of where the seedings fall.

  • funny how we are #1 seed and at home and got blown out by juniorcollege notsoamusementpark

    and we’rent we bichampionslast yaer and now only lvm is on top! well goodluck to ebal schools we rooy for u