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Baseball Playoff Seedings Have Tigers by the Tail PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Terry | Contributing Writer   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 20:58

Darryl Washburn

Roberto Ramos (left) drove in both runs and the Tigers' 2 -1 victory over Cleaveland at Dosger Stadium last year.

Defending Champions Have A Harder Path To Reach 2014 Title Game

Last year San Fernando rolled to its second City Section Division I baseball championship in three years as the top seed of the playoffs.

The road to the championship is tougher in 2014.

The Tigers, who played their toughest nonleague schedule ever and finished second in the Mission Valley League was seeded seventh the the selection committee during its seeding meeting at the section office on Saturday, May 17.

San Fernando (17-13-1) will host Granada Hills (11-18), the 10th seed, when first round games begin on May 28.

Tigers Coach Armando Gomez was less than thrilled with the committee’s decision.

“It is ridiculous,” Gomez said. “I’m 11-1 against West Valley the last three years. I thought we’d be a ‘five’ or a ‘six.’6. But they put Birmingham over us?

“We still have to win four games to win it all. We will use this as motivation like none other before. We won it as a No. 6 seed (in 2011) and we’ll have to win it as a seventh seed. But there is no team that scares me. I feel the playoffs are wide open.”

El Camino Real (21-9), cochampion of the West Valley League with Chatsworth, has the top seed. When the Conquistadors won the 2012 Division I title, they were also the top seed.

Gomez wasn’t the only Valley area coach less than pleased by the seeding albeit for different reasons.

There was an unexpected twist on Friday, May, 16, the regular season’s final day as LAUSD officials canceled many games because of poor air. Some charter schools not bound by the mandate, like Birmingham and Granada Hills, did play.

The decision benefited teams like El Camino Real. The Conquistadors had defeated rival Chatsworth on Wednesday, May 14, and were tied with the Chancellors atop the West Valley League. With cancellation of the Friday game, El Camino Real went into the seeding meeting as the West Valley’s top team because it won the only head-to-head meeting.

ECR awaits the winner of the wild card game between Verdugo Hills (22-11) and Roosevelt of Los Angeles (14-13).

Chatsworth (25-5- 1), which had been a dominant team most of the year, wound up seeded fifth. The Chancellors will host East Valley League champion North Hollywood (18-13), the 12th seed.

Chatsworth Coach Scott Curtis expressed disappointment that the final games could not be rescheduled.

“I’m new to the system, but I think…some things could have been pushed back, and we play this out of the regular season,” Curtis said. “Not just for me or Chatsworth, but all the teams that could have had their [final] seedings affected by winning or losing.

“But it is what it is. We’ll be ready to go. We’ll be just fine.”

Kennedy (23-7), which wrestled the Valley Mission League title away from San Fernando and Sylmar, received the third seed. The Golden Cougars play the winner of the wild card game between San Pedro (10- 19) and Hamilton of Los Angeles (20-8).

“It is well-deserved,” said Coach Andy Rodriguez after learning of the seed. “The kids fully understand the hard work it took. We are not just happy to be here. This is what they have talked about since day one.

“Having to wait 10 days to play is a concern. I don’t like it; I wish we’d play sooner. But everybody has to do this. We will used the first few days to go work on some basics and sharpen up things we haven’t practiced a lot. But we’ll also try to scale it down, give some guys who are hurt a chance to heal. We’ll try and keep them as sharp as best we can.”

Other top-tier seeded Valley teams in the Division I playoffs include Sylmar (22-9), seeded eighth and hosting Palisades of Pacific (16-12), the ninth seed, in the first round; and Birmingham (15-14), the sixth seed, hosting Marshall of Los Angeles (15-16) in the first round. Cleveland (15-14), last year’s Division I runner-up, and Poly (13-17-1) play a wild card game for the right to face Narbonne of Harbor City (25-5), the second seed. Taft (7-15) will travel to Garfield of Los Angeles (10-10) for a wild card game; the winner will take on Banning of Wilmington (18- 11-1), the fourth seed.

In Division II, defending champion Van Nuys (17-9-1) was the highest seeded Valley area team. The Wolves, seeded second, will host the winner of the wild card game between Crenshaw of Los Angeles (10-4) and Gardena (4-14).

Dorsey of Los Angeles (18-4) is the top seed. The Dons await the winner of the wild card game between Fairfax of Los Angeles (8-14) and Contreras of Los Angeles (8-12).

Grant (8-17) was seeded fifth and faces Sotomayor of Los Angeles (10-10), the 12th seed, in the first round. Chavez (13-12), which reached the Division title game last year in only its second year of varsity play, is seeded sixth and will host Lincoln of Los Angeles (8-6), the 11th seed, in the first round. Panorama (5- 14), seeded 10th, plays Eagle Rock (12-10), the seventh seed, in the first round.

The wild card games in Division’s I and II began Wednesday, May 21. The winners will move on to first round games, which begin May 28 at 3 p.m., at the home field or designated site of the higher seeded team. Quarterfinal games are May 30 at 3 p.m., at the home field or designated site of the higher seeded team. The semifinal games for Division II will be June 3 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at USC’s Dedeaux Field. The Division I semifinal games are June 4 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at USC’s Dedeaux Field.

Both Division I and II championship games will be at Dodger Stadium on June 7. The Division II game is at 10 a.m., with the Division I game following at 1 p.m.