East County Sports

Southland regionals feature Eagles, Pats, Pack

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

ECS staff report

SACRAMENTO — Granite Hills High has been awarded the top seed in Division III, while Christian and West Hills received second seeds in their respective divisions, as the state office of the California Interscholastic Federation announced the pairings/brackets for this week’s Southern California regional.

Since not all CIF sections offer Open Division competition, the best teams from the San Diego Section will play in Division I, then bracket down by available schools. Not all ballclubs will be participating due to graduation, the late start to the COVD-19 delayed season, and many other factors.

First-round games will be held on Tuesday (June 22), all at 4 p.m. (unless noted). The semifinals are Thursday, then division championships contests will be held Saturday.

DIVISION I Bracket

San Diego Section runner-up Grossmont (29-6) received the No. 6 seed and will travel to play traditional Orange Country power Orange Lutheran. The Lancers (29-5) are the No. 3 seed, were runners-up in the Trinity League, then also finished second in its CIF section playoff to nationally-ranked Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, 3-2.

In the other half of the draw, SDS champion Eastlake (25-9) gained the No. 4 seed and a home match-up with No. 5 seed Ayala of Chino Hills. The Bulldogs (24-3) also dropped their Southern Section finale to Junipero Serra Catholic (“better known as J-Serra”) from San Juan Capistrano, 11-7.

DIVISION II Bracket

La Costa Canyon (19-13), which lost twice to Grossmont in postseason play to finish third in the SDS Open Division, landed not only a berth in the Southland Regional field, the Mavericks gained a home game as the No. 4 seed. LCC will host the Bonita Bearcats of La Verne (17-6), which dropped their section title game to Thousand Oaks, 10-3.

DIVISION III Bracket

Granite Hills (25-10) secured the top seed in the regional following a section crown in Division I. They will host Birmingham High of Lake Balboa (next to Van Nuys Golf Course).

While the Eagles are a championship club, how the Patriots (12-21) made the playoffs is anybody’s guess. This season, they allowed 10 or more runs nine times, including an 18-1 loss in the regular-season finale to Reseda-Cleveland.

Granite Hills will remain at home as long as they keep winning. And they might get a scouting report from Birmingham — Cleveland is in the other half of the draw hosting Palos Verdes.

Point Loma (20-13), which fell to Granite, 3-2, on a walk-off, is seeded No.7 and will play at No. 2 Arlington of Riverside.

DIVISION IV Bracket

Only six schools comprise the Division IV field, including Steele Canyon (22-11) as the No 5 seed. The Cougars will head for the road to meet No. 4 Citrus Valley, of Redlands. The Blackhawks (22-7) went 5-0 in their section playoffs, defeating Citrus Belt League rival San Bernardino-Cajon in the title game, 6-2.

A Cougars triumph will set a school mark for most victories in a season, plus a date with top-seeded  Royal High of Simi Valley.

Cajon is in the low half of the draw, but yet another meeting between the CBL rivals is unlikely since both are the bottom seeds in this division. In addition, Carlsbad, which downed Steele Canyon for the SDS Division II crown, did not accept a Southland invitation (although the Lancers softball team did accept a berth to Division I).

DIVISION V Bracket

The Christian Patriots (26-4), titlists in SDS Division III and the City League, received both good and bad news heading into the regional.

Although the C-Pats already knew a few players will be missing, the Pats received the second seed in a 6-team field, thus, will get a first-round bye on Tuesday, then host the semifinals carrying a 17-game winning streak into Thursday.

Christian will meet the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 6 seed Elsinore (Wildomar (between Temecula and Lake Elsinore) and No. 3 Legacy (South Gate). Both are known as the Tigers.

DIVISION V-A Bracket

West Hills, coming off its first CIF section championship, seek to extend its postseason winning streak to five games after the Wolf Pack was awarded the second seek in Division V-A.

The Pack (16-17) are in a 5-team field, thus, they already know their opponents in the semifinals: Arroyo Valley of San Bernardino. The Hawks went 10-9 in the regular season, then got hot in the section tournament, going 4-0 by posting two shutouts and outscoring the opposition, 58-11.

Arroyo Valley finished third in the San Andreas League, which stretches from eastern San Bernardino and Fontana all the way to Lake Arrowhead.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino

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