The race for the DI North’s two state berths starts this afternoon.
The first round and first round in the consolation bracket of the regional tournament will be hosted by the higher seed, but after that it’s on to Peccole Park starting on Wednesday.
Here is a closer look at the matchups and the eight teams participating:
Reed (8) at Galena (1)
The Raiders obviously have an uphill climb in their opener. That’s what happens when you sneak into the postseason by a game.
Galena owns one of the toughest parks to play in for opposing squads. The Grizzlies are 12-0-1 at home this year and 32-4-1 in their yard the last three years.
There is precedence for an upset though. McQueen went to Damonte Ranch as an eight seed last year and knocked off the league champs. The Mustangs bowed out of the tournament in their next game.
April 5: Galena 11, @Reed 5
April 7: @Galena 10, Reed 6
The pick: Galena
Reed has the bats to hang around in a high-scoring contest, but the recent defensive issues (four errors in loss to Spanish Springs on Friday) are a concern against a high-powered Galena offense.
Spanish Springs (5) at Bishop Manogue (4)
The Miners struggled at the start of the season after losing a monster class to graduation but coach Charles Oppio has righted the ship.
Fresh off a sweep of the Huskies, capped by a CJ Hires walk-off home run on Friday, the Miners are one of the hottest teams entering the tournament.
Spanish Springs opened the regional tournament at Bishop Manogue last year as the No. 6 seed and could not capitalize on a masterful outing from Ryan Anderson in a 1-0 loss. Anderson will likely take the ball again today and try to put the Cougs in the winner’s bracket.
“He’s pitched well against them. He’s pitched well against a lot of teams to be honest,” Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said of Anderson. “It’s going to be tough.”
March 15: @Spanish Springs 5, Bishop Manogue 1
March 17: Spanish Springs 6, @Bishop Manogue 0
The Pick: Bishop Manogue
There are a number of arguments that can be made for why Spanish Springs will pull off the upset (technically) in this one: The Cougs already beat the Miners twice, Anderson has a lot of success against Manogue, the Purple has some momentum, etc. …
However, it’s too tough to look past the Miners’ recent sweep of the Huskies. If this game were at Spanish Springs, the odds would’ve maybe leaned in the Cougs’ favor. The Miners are 7-3 at home this year and just 6-12 in other parks.
McQueen (7) at Carson (2)
The Senators finished the regular season tied with Reno for second but earned the tiebreaker nod thanks to a doubleheader sweep of the Huskies in early April.
Carson enters the postseason as winners of nine of its last 11—two losses to Galena being the only hiccups.
McQueen has the potential to put up a big number offensively. Bryce Moyle will likely be asked to keep the Lancers’ bat in checks. Moyle is a Pitcher of the Year candidate. He owns a 5-2 record with a 2.64 ERA. He’s struck out 68 batters compared with just 15 walks. That dog, as they say, will hunt.
The Senators are 12-1 at home this year.
March 24: Carson 5, @McQueen 1
March 26: @Carson 4, McQueen 1
The pick: Carson
If the Senators look past the Lancers and plan to just ride Moyle, they could find themselves scrambling late to fight off an upset scare. Even then, they should have enough to pull out a first-round victory and advance to Peccole Park with a 1-0 record.
Damonte Ranch (6) at Reno (3)
Coach Jon Polson and the Mustangs can’t be excited about drawing Reno in the first round.
Damonte, which went 0-2 in regionals last year as the No. 1 seed, was in line to potentially host a first-round game but lost five of its last six and tumbled all the way down to No. 6.
The Mustangs have already lost to the Huskies three times this year, twice at Reno.
The Huskies aren’t entering on a heater either, though, getting swept by Bishop Manogue last week.
What Reno does have going for it is one of the best pitching staffs and defenses in the tournament. The Huskies are allowing an obnoxiously low 2.8 runs per game this year.
March 12: @Reno 3, Damonte Ranch 2 (non-league game)
March 23: Reno 9, @Damonte Ranch 3
March 24: @Reno 9, Damonte Ranch 2
The pick: Reno
If it’s hard to beat a team three times, it must be really hard to top them four times. In that case, advantage Damonte. That’s one of the few arguments in the Mustangs’ case here.
Damonte has scored just seven total runs in three losses to Reno this year. It may have to double that number to have a shot against a Husky team that’s 13-4 at home this year.
Before falling to Bishop Manogue twice, Reno had won 10 of its last 11, including a split with Galena.
In a result that can only be explained as weird, Galena fell at Douglas, 7-5, in mid March. Since then, the Grizzlies rolled through the DI North on their way to the regular season title. Galena doesn’t have great arms, but their consistent. They are backed by the most dangerous offense in the DI North.
The Huskies are one of the Northern Nevada’s best dynasties regardless of sport. They will attempt to win their fifth straight regional title. Reno was swept by Carson the first weekend of April. That’s the biggest reason the Huskies don’t own the No. 1 seed this week. They didn’t finish particularly strong either, getting swept by Bishop Manogue.
Carson was in the running for a league title before getting swept at Galena last Saturday. Bryce Moyle is one of the two or three best pitchers in Northern Nevada.
A down year was in store for the perennially strong Miners, who lost a massive senior class last year. However, they’ve regrouped down the stretch and now they’re hosting a playoff game. As a team, the Miners have compiled an impressive 3.16 ERA. Junior Michael Davis is 5-3 with a 1.78 ERA and a pair of complete game shut outs. That’s pretty good.
The Mustangs have the pedigree but last year will be in their minds. They were the No. 1 seed then fell to No. 8 McQueen in the opener and proceeded to get bounced in their next game. Damonte can absolutely win a game or two, but it will have a difficult time getting past Reno and Galena.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
A soft schedule early in the season factored in a 9-1 start before an eight-game skid derailed the Cougars’ league title aspirations. Senior southpaw Ryan Anderson can beat any team in the region, but there isn’t an abundance of pitching depth behind him.
The Raiders also got off to a hot start then cooled off down the stretch against the best the region has to offer. Reed has an explosive offense. Its weakness is on the hill and with the leather. Reed has lost five straight and seven of its last eight.
McQueen is the most unpredictable team in the field. The Lancers are capable of playing like the low seed they are. They’re also capable of jumping up and biting someone.
2015 REGIONAL TOURNAMENT RECAP
Results: W vs Carson (5-4), W vs McQueen (14-0), W vs Reno (3-2), L vs Reno (6-4), L vs Reno (6-4)
Results: W vs Reed (10-0), W vs Bishop Manogue (5-1), L vs Galena (3-2), W vs Galena (6-4), W vs Galena (6-4)
State results: L vs Bishop Gorman (10-2), L vs Green Valley (11-1)
2015 seed: 5
2015 regional tournament: L vs Galena (9-8), W vs Damonte Ranch (2-1), L vs Bishop Manogue (11-3)
Bishop Manogue Miners
Results: W vs Spanish Springs (1-0), L vs Reno (5-1), W vs Carson (11-3), W vs McQueen (10-9), L vs Reno (9-3)
Damonte Ranch Mustangs
Results: L vs McQueen (5-1), L vs Carson (2-1)
Spanish Springs Cougars
Results: L vs Bishop Manogue (1-0), L vs Reed (8-5)
Results: W vs Damonte Ranch (5-1), L vs Galena (14-0), W vs Reed (5-2), L vs Bishop Manogue (10-9)
Results: L vs Reno (10-0), W vs Spanish Springs (8-5), L vs McQueen (5-2)