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Southern Section baseball preview

Posted: May 23, 2008 1:20 a.m.
Updated: July 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 

Valencia vs. Simi Valley
The last time the Vikings got to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs was in 2003.

This year's team, which finished No. 2 behind Hart in the Foothill League, has advanced to the quarters this year and will face No. 4 Simi Valley on the Pioneers home field today at 3:15 p.m.

This is not the first meeting for the two ball clubs.

The Vikings (22-7) lost to the Pioneers (22-8) twice in preseason action.

"This is one of the tougher teams we have faced," said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. "They are a good team all around and we know what we're up against."

Last year the Vikings lost in the first round of playoff action and this season's Vikings team is ready for the task at hand.

"Our kids are prepared and we've been playing well." Snyder added. " We know what our strengths are and this year's team is much more aggressive.

Hart vs. Long Beach Wilson
No. 3 seeded Hart will face the defending champions of Long Beach Wilson in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs today.

Hart plays at home on Bud Murray field at 3:15 p.m.

Historically, the Indians have had a tough time getting to the quarterfinal round let alone beyond.

But Hart head coach Jim Ozella said this year's team has the talent to see them through.

"We have two excellent pitchers who understand what it takes to win."he said.

The Indians (23-6) are facing tough competition with the Bruins (26-5-1) who finished first in the Moore League.

"We have our hands full," Ozella said.

But nonetheless, the Indians are up for the challenge.

Hart will be led by starting pitcher Michael Montgomery and a supporting defensive cast.

Montgomery enters today's game 8-1 with a 1.24 ERA.

"You gotta rise to the challenge and be ready to play." Ozella added. "We're not taking a back seat to anybody. The guys are smelling that championship and they know they have a shot to win it."

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