By Ben Enos
Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 11:06 pm in Baseball.
Alrighty, I promised you some reaction to today’s NCS baseball seeding meeting, so here goes. I’m gonna do the top three divisions.
Top seeds: No. 1 San Ramon Valley, No. 2 James Logan, No. 3 California, No. 4 De La Salle
Sleepers: No. 8 Heritage, No. 12 College Park
What was the committee thinking?: I couldn’t begin to tell you what happened with Antioch’s initial inclusion into the bracket. Mix-ups happen, I can deal with that. But, I gotta say, whatever the issue, it would’ve been a whole lot easier to take had it happened out in the open rather than behind closed doors. It’s time for the Board of Managers to fix what it messed up. Closed door meetings leave us with questions like this one. … Also, can we not get league matchups in the first round when avoidable? Heritage can’t be happy tonight.
General thoughts: We all know that pitching solves all ills in baseball. So, who has the best pitching? I don’t see a ton of one-two punch teams like the top two seeds this year. Hochstatter and Slinger for SRV and the stable of arms at Logan really seem to be tough to beat. To me, the successful team in Division I this year will be the one that gets two big performances from a No. 2 starter. … Most intriguing first-round matchups to me are Granada-College Park and Cal-BOD. I like Granada a lot, I think the Mats are very, very scrappy. But, CP has a great record. Home field might mean something in that one. Home field won’t mean a ton in the Cal-BOD game, because if any team is going to go to Cal and be immune to the short fences, it’s BOD. I’m intrigued because it’s potentially a tremendous pitching matchup between Brisentine and Ross. Cal getting the 3 seed is fine by me, but the Grizzlies certainly didn’t get a reward in having to face a potential first-round draft pick. … Castro Valley is hot. Watch out for the Trojans and Matt Narahara. … No matter how De La Salle does in the first round, it’s already a heckuva turnaround season. This team went nowhere last year and now is a top four seed.
Top seeds: No. 1 Alameda, No. 2 Clayton Valley, No. 3 Petaluma, No. 4 Campolindo
Sleepers: No. 7 Rancho Cotate, No. 11 Cardinal Newman
What was the committee thinking: Don’t see a ton wrong with this bracket. Diverse matchups, records line up with seeds, etc.
General thoughts: With Campo getting the 4 seed, we could see a last year’s title game in this year’s semifinals. Online controversy aside, there’s a reason Alameda is No. 1 in the East Bay. The Hornets are fundamentally sound, they have the pitching and they’re clutch. Also, they’ve been there before. … I still like Campo a whole lot. Winning the DFAL this year was no small feat, and they’ll line up two good starters in James Marvel and Trent Shelton. They also have a very good No. 3 in Matt Bruzzone. … Arroyo-Las Lomas is an intriguing matchup to me. Michael Pope is a great pitcher, and it really seems like Lomas is believing in itself these days. The Knights aren’t just going away. … I’ve long believed the Clayton Valley coaching staff is good, but this year the Uglies are outdoing themselves. To lose Meadows and still keep winning is a pretty impressive feat. … Petaluma’s won five in a row, a couple by close scores. That’s a good lead-in to a playoff run.
Top seeds: No. 1 San Marin, No. 2 Miramonte, No. 3 Acalanes, No. 4 Sonoma Valley
Sleepers: No. 6 Drake, No. 7 Alhambra
What was the committee thinking: This is the bracket where I would’ve most loved to be a fly on the wall when it was created, because I think this is where computer ratings came into play the most. I dunno. For some of the seeds, I just don’t see it.
General thoughts: The decision to start a BSAL playoff threw a major monkey wrench in the proceedings. Albany won the regular season title by a full four games, won the Alhambra Easter Tournament and then lost in the BSAL playoffs. So now, Alhambra has to go to Encinal instead of hosting in Martinez. Stargell Field will help the Jets, for sure. … El Cerrito-Moreau is going to be a great first-round game. According to the ratings, Moreau got slighted a little. They get an EC team that scratched and clawed its way to the title game last year. … One player to watch in this bracket? Alhambra’s Robert Stephenson. Yes, he’s as good as advertised, and he’s extremely smart to boot. … Acalanes gets the good scheduling award. Beating Moreau last week had to help the Dons’ cause in the room. … The consensus from most coaches I’ve talked to is that San Marin is really that good this year. But, Drake managed to beat SM to end the regular season, and that gives hope to the field.
Alright everyone. Look out for our print breakdowns on Tuesday, and feel free to discuss here. I’ll try to tack on D-IV tomorrow as well. I know we’ve got some opinions out there. I’ll try to give you some thoughts after the first round is done.