All four local squads boast postseason promise of varying degrees
If you are tuning in late, you won’t be judged. You’re getting here just in time.
As the 4A North races near culmination (baseball season has four games left per team, softball has six), we get our cameras ready.
On the baseball side, six teams separated by two games are darting for four playoff spots while Reno and Spanish Springs sit in a first-place deadlock.
On the softball side, three teams are fastened into a first-place brace.
Updated 4A North baseball & softball standings. This discounts protested Galena-Wooster baseball game that Galena won. pic.twitter.com/zeyPWa0d4H
— Nathan Shoup (@Trib_Shoup) April 28, 2017
With so many teams packed into friendly quarters, it’s difficult to imagine final standings that won’t feature multiple ties. So, let’s get this over with and run through the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association universal tiebreaker procedure.
The first bullet point is easy. If two teams are tied and one swept the two-game regular-season series, the sweeper gets the nod.
It’s when the two teams split the regular-season meetings that things get messy. A point system is then used. One point is given for each league win of a defeated opponent. For example, Spanish Springs baseball took both games from Bishop Manogue this year. The Miners have 11 wins as of Friday, giving the Cougars 22 points for those victories as of now.
The team with the most total points gets the higher seed.
A different procedure is used when three or more squads are knotted. Head-to-head standings within the tied teams are compiled and if that doesn’t establish contrast, run differential in the games between tied teams is calculated.
Here is the seeding synopsis for the four local teams:
Spanish Springs baseball
Saturday’s home doubleheader against Reno will likely determine the 4A North regular-season title.
Both teams are 15-3. And both are hot – the Cougs have won 10 straight, the Huskies nine. But one has a tiebreaker advantage. Reno has 106 tiebreaker points, six points clear of Spanish Springs.
If Spanish Springs and Reno split their double dip, the Cougs would then have to sweep Reed next week and hope the Huskies go 1-1 against McQueen. Or the Cougs could go 1-1 against the Raiders if the Huskies get swept by the Lancers. That outcome that is unlikely at best.
Simply, the Cougars best shot at a league title requires a sweep on Saturday of the five-time defending regional champs.
The Raiders are in the six-team faction fighting for or clinging to one of the final four playoff spots.
After losing three of their previous four, the Raiders rest at 12-17, 8-10. They are tied with both Carson and Douglas for the eighth and final playoff spot, trail Wooster (9-9 in 4A North play) by a single game, and sit two back of Damonte Ranch (10-8) and McQueen.
The Raiders are in a good spot with points thanks in large to a surprising sweep of Galena. They have 67, well in front of the Senators (56) and Tigers (44). Wooster has 48 points, Damonte Ranch edges Reed by one point, with 68, and McQueen has 74.
However, the points matter to the Raiders only regarding Carson, McQueen and Damonte Ranch. Reed was swept by Douglas and Wooster and will lose any head-to-head decision with the Tigers or Colts.
Reed split with Carson, McQueen and Damonte Ranch.
The Raiders have a polarizing schedule remaining. They host winless Hug for a doubleheader on Saturday, and will not pick up any tiebreaker points with two victories, then close next week with two against first-place Spanish Springs
Sitting in fifth, McQueen closes with series against North Valleys and Reno while Damonte Ranch has Bishop Manogue and Galena – the toughest remaining schedule within the six teams aforementioned.
Wooster drew Carson and Bishop Manogue.
Carson has Wooster and Douglas. Douglas squares off with Galena and Carson.
Too many games and potential results remain to project an outcome, but the Raiders control their own destiny with four games left.
A 2-2 finish to the season may be enough to get into the regional tournament, a 3-1 burst should do it.
Reed got into the postseason last year as the eight seed with a 10-12 record.
Spanish Springs softball
The Cougars are familiar with league titles. They’ve won two of the last three (but ironically didn’t win last year before going on to win the state title) and seven of the last 11 overall.
Making it eight of 12 will require will require an undefeated bookend or at least one more Bishop Manogue loss. If both teams win out, the Cougars will win the tiebreaker because they allowed fewer runs in the two meetings with the Miners.
Spanish Springs goes into the weekend tied for first with Reed and Bishop Manogue at 14-2 in 4A North play, but the Miners have a decided tiebreaker points advantage with 109 (thanks to a sweep of Reed) while the Cougs have 89 and the Raiders own 82.
Spanish Springs split its doubleheader with Bishop Manogue earlier this month.
Two-game series with Reno (9-7) and Reed remain on the schedule. The Cougs will pick up two forfeit wins over Hug on Saturday.
The four-time defending regional champs will also likely need to win out – and hope the Miners don’t do the same – to bag the league title.
Losing twice at Bishop Manogue six weeks ago undoubtedly dampened the No. 1 seed aspirations, but it may have been the cliched good loss(es) though. The Raiders (24-2-1, 14-2) have not lost since, a span of 19 games.
The Raiders will win the league with a 6-0 finish and one Bishop Manogue loss OR a 5-1 finish with two losses each by Spanish Springs and Bishop Manogue.
Reed hosts McQueen for a doubleheader on Saturday, will pick up two forfeit wins against Hug next week, then concludes the season next Saturday with a home doubleheader against Spanish Springs.
The McQueen contests aren’t without consequence. The Lancers are three games back of the three-way tie and already own series splits with Spanish Springs and Bishop Manogue.
Along with picking up two forfeited wins against Hug, Bishop Manogue closes with series against Damonte Ranch and Wooster.