The San Diego Section baseball playoffs open this week and South County teams appear to have good reason to be optimistic in the new post-season draw based on competition level rather than enrollment level.
For instance, the Castle Park Trojans received the No. 1 seed in the Division IV bracket. Two more teams received byes to the double-elimination brackets.
Overall, 11 local teams qualified for this year’s five divisional draw.
South Bay League champion Montgomery received the Nol. 4 seed in Division I while Mesa League co-champion Hilltop received the No. 4 seed in Division II.
“The new playoff system is based on records of the last five years and we move up obviously because we’ve been successful,” Montgomery coach Manny Hermosillo said. “We see it as an honor but also as a challenge as we play against schools with enrollments of 3,000 students.”
Castle Park finished in a tie with San Ysidro in the South Bay League standings but received the No. 1 seed in Division IV while the Cougars were seeded 11th in Division III.
In the Mesa League, league co-champions Otay Ranch and Hilltop were seeded in different divisions with varying degrees of respect. Otay Ranch was seeded seventh in Division I while Hilltop was seeded fourth in Division II.
Of the Metro Conference’s 13 teams, five teams from the Mesa League and four teams from the South Bay League advanced to post-season play this season.
In single-elimination play-in games on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.):
•In Division I, seventh-seeded Otay Ranch (22-8) will host 10th-seeded Patrick Henry (19-12) while 11th-seeded Bonita Vista (17-12) will travel to sixth-seeded Valhalla (17-14). The Otay Ranch-Patrick Henry winner will play at second-seeded Grossmont (22-8) while the Bonita Vista-Valhalla winner will meet third-seeded St. Augustine (23-7).
•In Division II, eighth-seeded Eastlake (18-10) will host ninth-seeded Mission Hills (15-13). The winner plays at top-seeded La Jolla Country Day (23-5).
In Division III, eighth-seeded Chula Vista (16-13) will host ninth-seeded Christian (19-10) while 11th-seeded San Ysidro (13-15) will play at sixth-seeded Francis Parker (15-11). The Chula Vista-Christian winner will match up against top-seeded San Dieguito Academy (24-6) will the San Ysidro-Francis Parker winner will play second-seeded Westview (21-9).
In Division IV, seventh-seeded Olympian (10-19) travels to meet 10th-seeded High Tech San Diego (23-4). The winner plays at second-seeded Orange Glen (14-13).
In Division V (eight-team quarterfinal draw), eighth-seeded Chula Vista High Tech (9-14) plays at top-seeded Foothills Christian (15-9) while sixth-seeded Lutheran (10-10) will play at third-seeded Julian (15-4).
In first round double-elimination games on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.):
•In Division I, fourth-seeded Montgomery (23-6) will host the winner of Tuesday’s play-in game between fifth-seeded Cathedral Catholic (19-10) and El Capitan (11-16).
In Division II, fourth-seeded Hilltop (21-10) will host the winner of Tuesday’s play-in contest between fifth-seeded El Camino (14-14) or 12th-seeded Santana (15-13).
In Division IV, Castle Park (18-10) will host the winner of Tuesday’s play-in match-up between eighth-seeded Mt. Miguel (11-17) and ninth-seeded Escondido Charter (14-10).
In Division I-IV, second round double-elimination play continues Friday, followed by third round games on Saturday (all games 11 a.m.) and fourth round contests on May 28.
Championship games in Division III (3:30 p.m.), Division I (7 p.m.) are scheduled May 31 at the University of San Diego. USD will host the Division II title game at 3:30 p.m. on June 1, followed by the Open Division final at 7 p.m.
The Division IV championship game is scheduled May 31 at 3:30 p.m. at Cal State San Marcos.
In Division V, second round games are Thursday, followed by third round games on Saturday and fourth round games on May 27. The title game is May 30 at 3:30 p.m. at Cal State San Marcos.