Baseball, softball playoff brackets unveiled

With most of the spring high school sports already wrapping up their seasons, baseball and softball are just getting started.

With the regular season completed Friday, the all-important playoff brackets were unveiled Saturday, with 48 teams combined earning an opportunity to play for a Central Section championship.

Four Kern County teams finished on top last year, with No. 9 Centennial’s dramatic 4-3 victory over No. 2 Clovis-Buchanan in the D-I baseball final capping an unbelievable year of upsets and clutch performances.

As if by design, the Golden Hawks will open defense of their crown seeded ninth again, and wouldn’t you know it, they will open play on Tuesday at No. 8 Buchanan. The winner will face top-seeded Clovis West.

Last season the Golden Hawks knocked off No. 1 Fresno-Bullard in the quarterfinals on their road to a title.

Four of the five South Yosemite River League baseball teams are slotted in D-I this year, with Centennial the only one playing its opener on the road. Garces is playing D-II.

No. 2 Liberty (25-4), the SYRL champion, will host No. 15 Tulare Western, with No. 5 Frontier playing No. 12 Santa Maria-Righetti and No. 7 Stockdale at home against No. 10 Fresno-Central.

No. 2 Bakersfield Christian (22-5), the South Yosemite Valley League champions, will open defense of its D-II title at home against No. 15 San Luis Obispo. Ridgeview is the fourth seed in that bracket and hosts No. 13 Clovis East.

South Yosemite Mountain League champion Tehachapi (22-7) is the No. 6 seed in Division III, with No. 10 Garces on the opposite side of the bracket at No. 7 Arroyo Grande.

Two other area league champions are in Division IV. No. 10 Arvin (20-9) which won the South Yosemite Horizon League title will play at No. 7 Independence, while South Sequoia League champ Taft (18-9) in the No. 2 seed and will host No. 15 Santa Ynez. No. 6 Highland hosts No. 11 Visalia-Golden West.

No. 3 Shafter and No. 8 Kern Valley will have home games in D-V, with No. 6 South, No. 2 Chavez and No. 7 California City at home on Tuesday.

In softball, Frontier is looking to get another chance at a section title, but after falling short in the Division-II final last year, the Titans (20-5) will have to accomplish that as a fourth seed in Division I this year.

The SYRL champions have a bye in Wednesday’s opening round and will play the winner of No. 12 Sanger and No. 5 Centennial in Friday's quarterfinals.

A matchup with the Golden Hawks would be the fourth of the season, and would come just eight days after the Titans edged Centennial 3-1 to win the league title in a winner-take-all game.

No. 9 Stockdale opens on the road in D-I at No. 8 Visalia-Redwood. If the Mustangs can win on the road, it would set up a matchup at top-seeded Fresno-Central. Stockdale knocked off No. 1 Clovis North in each of the last two playoffs.

No. 11 Liberty plays at Fresno-Bullard, with the winner traveling to play at No. 3 Clovis-Buchanan on Friday.

No. 7 Highland is the lone area team in Division II and will host No. 10 Porterville-Monache.

Three of Kern County’s league softball champions will compete in Division III and have first-round home games.

SSL champion Taft (26-2-1) is the top-seed and plays No. 16 Atascadero. No. 2 BCHS (23-1), which won the SYVL, hosts Chowchilla and SYML champion Tehachapi (20-6-1) plays No. 10 Reedley.

No. 6 Golden Valley (23-3), the SYHL champion, opens play in D-IV against South High, which won the D-VI title last year.

Boron, which captured the Division-V title last year, is the No. 12 seed in Division Vi this year and travels to No. 5 Mojave on Wednesday.

Central Section playoffs


First round, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. start

Division I

No. 9 Centennial at No. 8 Clovis-Buchanan

No. 15 Tulare Western at No. 2 Liberty

No. 10 Fresno-Central at No. 7 Stockdale

No. 12 Santa Maria-Righetti at No. 5 Frontier

Division II

No. 13 Clovis East at No. 4 Ridgeview

No. 15 San Luis Obispo at No. 2 Bakersfield Christian

Division III

No. 11 Exeter at No. 6 Tehachapi

No. 10 Garces at No. 7 Arroyo Grande

Division IV

No. 11 Visalia-Golden West at No. 6 Highland

No. 10 Arvin at No. 7 Independence

No. 15 Santa Ynez at No. 2 Taft

Division V

No. 16 North at No. 1 Madera-Matilda Torres

No. 9 Foothill at No. 8 Kern Valley

No. 13 East at No. 4 Bishop Union

No. 14 O’Neals-Minarets at No. 3 Shafter

No. 11 Wasco at No. 6 Santa Maria

No. 15 Golden Valley at No. 2 Oakhurst-Yosemite

Division VI

No. 16 Delano at No. 1 Woodlake

No. 13 Rosamond at No. 4 Lone Pine

No. 11 Mammoth at No. 6 South

No. 10 Mira Monte at No. 7 California City

No. 15 Lee Vining at No. 2 Chavez


First round, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. start

Division I

No. 9 Stockdale at No. 8 Visalia-Redwood

No. 12 Sanger at No. 5 Centennial

No. 11 Liberty at No. 6 Fresno-Bullard

Bye: No. 4 Frontier

Division II

No. 10 Porterville-Monache at No. 7 Highland

Division III

No. 16 Atascadero at No. 1 Taft

No. 12 Bakersfield at No. 4 Hanford West

No. 14 Hanford at No. 3 Wasco

No. 10 Reedley at No. 7 Tehachapi

No. 15 Chowchilla at No. 2 Bakersfield Christian

Division IV

No. 9 Shafter at No. 8 Dos Palos

No. 12 Arvin, at No. 5 Reedley-Immanuel

No. 11 South at No. 6 Golden Valley

No. 15 Kern Valley at No. 2 Orange Cove

Division V

No. 13 East at No. 4 California City

No. 14 Fresno-McLane at No. 3 Chavez

No. 11 Immanuel Christian at No. 6 Porterville

No. 15 North at No. 2 Orcutt Academy

Division VI

No. 9 McFarland at No. 8 Nipomo

No. 12 Boron at No. 5 Mojave

No. 11 Desert at No. 6 Kennedy