The North Coast Section Baseball and Softball playoffs begin with first round games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Before moving on to that, let’s move back about twenty four hours.  The post about the seeding process received some attention and for that I wanted to explain.
I’m not sure how, but the comments were taken as a swipe at Cardinal Newman.  That wasn’t the intention at all.  It is obvious that Cardinal Newman has had a fine season. They went 21-5, which is the first time since 2011 they had a twenty win season.  They actually had a better record than Casa Grande.
One comment mentioned that for years Cardinal Newman hasn’t gotten the respect they deserved.  Well welcome to Sonoma County and the North Coast Section Playoffs.
Actually that comment might have been fed by the 2011 season.  Cardinal Newman went 21-7 overall and 13-1 in league play, and not only won the NBL regular season race by two games, they also won the post season tournament.  In the playoffs that season they were a No. 11 in the NCS Division 2 playoffs, two NBL teams were seeded higher than them.  I’m not sure if I was writing then, but I am sure I would have ranted about that.
As for this year, it was a fluid situation and new information kept coming in, even though it was a holiday Monday.  One thing that was found out, was not all the NBL leagues have the same rules.  The baseball and softball races this season almost had the exact same scenario play out.  In each case, the NBL regular season champion lost in the post season tournament.  For baseball, the post season tournament gets the automatic NCS berth, in softball the regular season champion does.
I have always been for the regular season race having the top priority.  The league race takes two months to play, the post season tournament two games.  Maybe NBL baseball should revisit this rule.  I don’t know of any other sport in the league that the post season tournament gets priority over the regular season champion.
Even so, that doesn’t answer the question about Cardinal Newman being seeded higher than Casa Grande.  Casa Grande won the NBL race by two games and while doing that went 2-0 vs. Cardinal Newman.  As far as I’m concerned that is “case closed.”
Another factor to consider that I didn’t notice until I started to examine it, is the first round schedule.  People who run these things have been accused of trying to set up the juiciest matchups.  For the NCAA March Madness that comes up all the time.
One of the first round games is Campolindo at Casa Grande.  The two teams met in the first round last season with No. 16 Casa Grande taking a 1-0 win over No. 1 Campolindo.  That snapped a streak of four straight NCS championships for Campolindo.  It wouldn’t be a shock that this is why that set up this matchup.
If you have followed the YSN rankings, the power rankings for the local teams have been included.  The power rankings are a sample and sometimes are close to what the playoffs turn out to be, sometimes not.  After the post season tournament Cardinal Newman did pass Casa Grande in the power rankings.  In Division 2 Cardinal Newman was No. 2, Casa Grande No. 3 and Maria Carrillo No. 4.
By the power rankings, it was quite a stretch to get a Casa Grande-Campolindo first round game.
LOCAL NCS SCHEDULE
BASEBALL
DIVISION 2 (ALL GAMES AT 4 PM)
TUESDAY
No. 15 Concord (15-10) at No. 2 Cardinal Newman (21-5)
No. 13 Campolindo (15-9) at No. 4 Casa Grande (20-6)
No. 9 Arroyo (19-6) at No. 8 Petaluma (18-8)
WEDNESDAY
No. 12 Pinole Valley (15-11-1) at No. 5 Maria Carrillo (18-7)
No. 11 Ukiah (14-11) at No. 6 Alameda (19-7)
DIVISION 3
TUESDAY
No. 11 Eureka (14-11) at No. 6 Sonoma Valley (16-9)…7 pm
No. 9 Analy (13-12) at No. 8 Albany (15-10)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 13 Piner (13-12) at No. 4 Tamalpais (16-9)…4 pm
DIVISION 4
TUESDAY
No. 14 Willits (11-8) at No. 3 Salesian (18-5)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 10 Cloverdale (15-9) at No. 7 El Molino (14-10)…4 pm
No. 15 Kelseyville (11-13) at No. 2 Justin-Siena (13-10)…4 pm
DIVISION 5
TUESDAY
No. 16 Bay School of SF (10-12) at No. 1 Clear Lake (24-0)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 11 Bentley (12-12) at St. Vincent (20-4)….4 pm
No. 10 Sonoma Academy (16-4) at No. 7 South Fork…4 pm
DIVISION 6
TUESDAY
No. 9 San Francisco Waldorf (10-9) at No. 1 Rincon Valley Christian (17-4)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 5 Archbishop Hanna (10-7) at No. 4 Tomales (10-8)…4 pm
No. 7 Anderson Valley (7-6) at No. 2 St. Bernard Catholic (12-12)…4 pm
No. 6 Ferndale (10-12) at No. 3 Point Arena (10-6)…4 pm
SOFTBALL
DIVISION 2
TUESDAY
No. 10 Rancho Cotate (20-6) at No. 7 Pinole Valley (16-8)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 9 Ukiah (21-5) at No. 8 Petaluma (23-3)…4 pm
No. 12 Montgomery (14-11) at No. 5 Carondelet (12-12)…5 pm
DIVISION 3
TUESDAY
No. 12 Eureka (10-16) at No. 5 Analy (15-11)…4 pm
No. 11 Piner (9-15) at No. 6 Tamalpais (13-11)…4 pm
WEDNESDAY
No. 9 Sonoma Valley (15-10) at No. 8 Encinal (12-10-1)….4 pm
DIVISION 4
WEDNESDAY
No. 13 Healdsburg (6-13) at No. 4 Cloverdale (19-4)…4 pm
No. 10 Justin Siena (10-13) at No. 7 Cardinal Newman (11-8)…4 pm
No. 9 St. Mary’s (Berkeley) at No. 8 Lower Lake (18-6)…4 pm
No. 11 Middletown (11-11) at No. 6 Moreau Catolic (13-10)…7 pm
DIVISION 5
No. 1 Clear Lake (17-6) BYE
TUESDAY
No. 13 Oakland Military Institute (11-9) at No. 4 Calistoga (17-8)…5 pm
No. 12 College Prep (10-6) at No. 5 St. Vincent (14-10)…4 pm
No. 11 Upper Lake (13-6) at No. 6 Ferndale (11-11)…4 pm
DIVISION 6 (THREE TEAMS)
TUESDAY
No. 3 Potter Valley (9-7) at No. 2 Rincon Valley Christian (8-11)…4 pm
No. 1 Laytonville (12-9) BYE
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