The News-Gazette's baseball Top 10: Monticello still No. 1

May 9—The regular season is almost done and

postseason play is nearly here. So here are the final rankings before The News-Gazette's All-Area package comes out this summer, courtesy Sports Editor Matt Daniels:

1. Monticello

➜ Previous ranking: No. 1

➜ Record: 28-3

Monticello had its six-game win streak snapped with a 1-0 home nonconference loss in nine innings against Clinton. Colton Vance and the Sages are set to play at Mt. Zion on Friday, with their Class 2A postseason opener slated for 4:30 p.m. on May 15 in Monticello. The top-seeded Sages will get either ninth-seeded Olympia or seventh-seeded Warrensburg-Latham in a regional semifinal game.

2. St. Joseph-Ogden

➜ Previous ranking: No. 2

➜ Record: 28-3

Rain and lightning canceled Wednesday's nonconference game at Mt. Zion for the Spartans, who have a busy stretch to end this week. Luke Landrus and SJ-O host Mattoon on Thursday afternoon at Meier Field, play at Pleasant Plains on Friday evening and then host Salt Fork on Saturday morning. SJ-O starts Class 2A postseason play as a No. 1 seed at 4:30 p.m. on May 15 against either 10th-seeded Iroquois West or ninth-seeded Oakwood with a regional semifinal game in Bismarck.

3. Westville

➜ Previous ranking: No. 7

➜ Record: 22-5-1

An impressive 5-2 nonconference home win against Mahomet-Seymour on Wednesday showcased the potential these Tigers have a week before they begin Class 2A postseason action. Easton Barney and Co. host Casey-Westfield at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday before playing at Centennial next Monday to end the regular season. All final preparation before Westville, a No. 3 seed, plays fifth-seeded Paxton-Buckley-Loda at 4:30 p.m. on May 16 in a Unity Regional semifinal game in Tolono.

4. Mahomet-Seymour

➜ Previous ranking: No. 3

➜ Record: 20-7

After a win against Prairie Central on Monday night, the Bulldogs traveled to Westville and lost 5-2 on Wednesday. Tyson Finch and his teammates have seven regular-season games left on their schedule, starting Thursday at Tri-Valley and continuing Saturday with a home doubleheader against Mt. Zion. M-S received a No. 2 seed in the Class 3A playoffs and starts the postseason at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal game against seventh-seeded Danville on the Bulldogs' home field in Mahomet.

5. Unity

➜ Previous ranking: No. 5

➜ Record: 20-7

Quality regular-season tests remain for the Rockets with home games against Charleston on Thursday and separate games against Normal U-High and Harrisburg on Saturday. Then, Tre Hoggard and Co. can turn their full attention to the Class 2A playoffs, beginning with a regional semifinal game in Tolono against either eighth-seeded Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond or sixth-seeded St. Thomas More at 4:30 p.m. on May 15.

6. Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin

➜ Previous ranking: No. 6

➜ Record: 22-6

The Blue Devils have played some of the best baseball in the area since a mid-April loss to Westville, rattling off a 10-game win streak since. Now, Jordan Johnson and the rest of his teammates will hone in on Class 2A postseason play. BHRA is a No. 4 seed and hosting a regional next week, with either 11th-seeded Watseka or seventh-seeded Hoopeston Area its regional semifinal foe at 4:30 p.m. on May 16 in Bismarck.

7. Arcola

➜ Previous ranking: No. 4

➜ Record: 18-5

The Purple Riders are still well within reach of hitting the 20-win milestone, but recent losses to Altamont and Okaw Valley put a hinder to reaching those goals just yet. Brevyn Whisman and the rest of Arcola's roster, though, wouldn't have to leave its home field at Moore Park until a Class 1A super-sectional if the wins start to add up beginning next week. Arcola hosts both a regional and sectional, with the second-seeded Purple Riders playing either 10th-seeded Georgetown-Ridge Farm or seventh-seeded Tuscola at 4 p.m. on May 16 in a regional semifinal game.

8. Clinton

➜ Previous ranking: Not ranked

➜ Record: 20-8

A win at Monticello, like the Maroons pulled off with a 1-0 nonconference victory in nine innings on Wednesday, certainly brings about attention. Brooks Cluver and teammates will try to keep that going next week in the Class 2A postseason when fifth-seeded Clinton plays fourth-seeded Tri-Valley at 4:30 p.m. on May 16 in a Monticello Regional semifinal game.

9. Paxton-Buckley-Loda

➜ Previous ranking: No. 10

➜ Record: 15-10

A 7-6 nonconference road win on Monday at Ford County rival Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley has Bryar Cosgrove and the Panthers a spot ahead of the Falcons in the latest poll. PBL is set to host Herscher on Thursday and Clifton Central on Friday before it prepares to start Class 2A postseason play as a fifth seed, meeting third-seeded Westville at 4:30 p.m. on May 16 in a Unity Regional semifinal game.

10. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

➜ Previous ranking: No. 8

➜ Record: 16-6-1

Brayden Elliott and the Falcons closed out a Heart of Illinois Conference regular-season championship with a 2-0 win at Tri-Valley on Wednesday afternoon. The Falcons will look to keep those good vibes intact when they start the Class 1A playoffs by playing either 10th-seeded Grace Christian or ninth-seeded Illinois Lutheran at 4:30 p.m. on May 15 in a Grant Park Regional semifinal game.