BASEBALL PROJECTIONS: Sutter heavy favorite in Division-V; Wheatland likely playoff team in D-IV

Apr. 18—Following the release of the latest MaxPreps section and state rankings published Thursday, the Sutter Union High baseball team leads the area's Sac-Joaquin Section squads at No. 17 — up one spot from last week.

The Huskies (17-3-1) remain unbeaten in the Pioneer Valley League and one of the clear favorites to return to the SJS D-V final where it took down Bradshaw Christian in 13 innings a year ago. The two could be poised for a rematch as The Pride sit at No. 8 in the section at 18-1, according to MaxPreps' projection.

Other D-V contenders are No. 18 Hughson (17-2).

BC could be moved to D-VI if it does not win the Sierra Valley. To date, Bradshaw Christian is two games up on El Dorado with three weeks left.

In D-IV, Wheatland, ranked 40th in the section and No. 3 in the PVL, is projected into the 11-team playoffs alongside No. 16 Lincoln, Placer, Ripon, El Dorado, Casa Roble, Twelve Bridges, Liberty Ranch, Woodland, Union Mine and Venture Academy. Lincoln, MaxPreps projects, appears to be the clear favorite in the division.

Division III

With three straight losses to Woodcreek last week and the Capital Valley Conference's second-place team, Bella Vista, on Tuesday, Yuba City (10-12, 5-8 CVC) has fallen into fifth in league and currently out of the automatic bids for the SJS D-III playoffs.

To date, MaxPreps projects Oakdale, Oakmont, Central Catholic, Manteca, Roseville, Vista del Lago, East Union, West Park, Vanden, Pioneer, Los Banos, Del Campo, Weston Ranch, Christian Brothers, Rio Linda and Florin into the 16-team bracket.

Yuba City needs to jump Inderkum (6-6) and Roseville (7-3) in order to get into the league's top-3. The Honkers have Bella Vista on the road today, Vista del Lago on Wednesday and a three-game set with River Valley starting April 30 to round out the regular season.

MaxPreps important playoffs notes — The qualifying teams will be placed in divisions in order of enrollment size. However, schools may not play more than one division below its league placement in realignment (If a school's enrollment places them in a division that is two or more divisions below its league placement in realignment, that school will be adjusted accordingly in the playoff brackets). — A league champion (outright or is the No. 1 seed by criteria) must play at or above the level of its league competition.

Northern Section poll

Colusa (16-3) sits an area-best No. 5 in Thursday's Northern Section full rankings, while Gridley is eighth. The RedHawks lead the Sac Valley League, 2-1/2 up on East Nicolaus with eight left. The two-time defending D-IV champs host East Nicolaus Tuesday at 4 p.m., followed by Butte View leader Gridey (12-4) on Wednesday.

Gridley is slated for D-III in next month's playoffs.

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