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Playoff matchups released

Four local baseball teams and five softball teams advance to postseason

Posted: May 18, 2009 10:50 p.m.
Updated: May 19, 2009 10:34 p.m.

Valencia shortstop Christian Lopes hits the ball against Hart on April 3 at Valencia High.

Nine area baseball and softball teams will be heading to the postseason as the CIF-Southern Section released its playoff brackets on Monday.

The Foothill League will be sending four teams in each sport to the Division I brackets, including a team in each from Hart, Saugus and Valencia.

Saugus baseball (15-11, 10-5) may have the worst draw of the tournament, as the Centurions will host Oxnard (14-12) today. Oxnard, until last week, was the first place team in the Pacific View League, until it was discovered that members of the team were participating in an adult league on Sundays, forcing the Yellowjackets to forfeit five league games. The forfeits caused Oxnard to drop to fourth place in the league, but the Yellowjackets were still selected as an at-large bid.

"I'm not surprised we're in the wild card round," said Saugus head coach John Maggiora, "But I'm surprised who we're playing. We're essentially playing a first place team, but every team in Division I is a quality team. It doesn't matter who you play."

West Ranch (20-7, 11-4) enters its first playoff run in school history, hosting El Dorado of Placentia (16-10) in the first round on Friday.

"We're really excited," said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. "It's a big honor to be in the playoffs and we're thrilled to have a home game against a program like El Dorado."

League champion Valencia (19-7, 12-3) finds itself in the opposite bracket and will face the winner of the wild card matchup of Newbury Park vs. Vista Murrieta on Friday.

Hart (14-11-1), who finished fourth in league, earned an at-large bid and will enter its 23rd consecutive playoff run in a wild card matchup at Adolfo Camarillo (15-11) today.

In softball, co-league champion Valencia (24-6, 8-2) is the second seed in the tournament and will face the winner of the wild card match up of Agoura vs. Adolfo Camarillo, on Thursday.

The league's other co-champion Hart (24-4, 8-2) will carry the third seed and will host Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo (19-8-1) on Thursday.

Canyon, who has not advanced to the playoffs since 2002, will host Trinity League at-large Orange Lutheran (18-11) in a wild card game today.

"It's a big deal for the program," said Canyon head coach Mike Rego. "We expect to win. They play in a tough league and have beaten some good teams, but so have we."

Saugus (13-16, 6-4), who finished third in league play, will face the Marmonte League's first place finisher, Thousand Oaks (23-5).

Outside of the Foothill League, Santa Clarita Christian softball (12-6, 10-4) will head to Grace Brethren of Simi Valley (11-5) in the first round of the Division VI playoffs on Thursday. Grace Brethren is the first place team out of the Frontier League.


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