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A-D POWER RANKINGS: Y.C. baseball flying high
Marysville stays on top on softball
Everything has been building up to this point.
Practices that began in February, off-season workout sessions and the up-and-down journey of the regular season culminates this month — it's playoff time in the Mid-Valley area.
Local prep baseball and softball programs begin the quest for a section championship banner over the next two weeks.
Some teams enter the tournament as league champions, others as three-seeds looking for the upset. In a section tournament the past doesn't matter, all that counts is who's still standing at the end.
It's time to break down playoff scenarios and catch up with our local squads.
1. Yuba City (21-6, 15-0 in TCC)
Catching up: The Honkers made history last week.
With a three-game sweep of rival River Valley, Yuba City became the first Honkers squad in program history to go undefeated in league play.
Even those four section-championship teams didn't accomplish the feat.
In the process, Yuba City earned a first-round bye in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
Coming up next: A year after falling in the section semifinals, Yuba City is looking for redemption this year.
Y.C. will open postseason play on Thursday, May 17, at the McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks in Sacramento against the winner of an outbracket game between the Pioneer Valley League's No. 2 seed and the Solano County Athletic Conference's No. 3 seed.
If the Honkers can win that matchup, they will earn a spot in a best-of-three series, with the winner earning a spot in the section title game on Memorial Day at Sacramento City College.
2. River Valley (19-6, 10-5 TCC)
Catching up: It was a rough week for the Falcons, who were swept by their rival and dropped their first TCC series of the season.
R.V. still clinched the No. 2 seed out of the TCC.
Coming up next: The Falcons will play some nonconference games this week to stay sharp for the playoffs.
They play Sutter today at Arata Field and host Division-II McClatchy on Wednesday.
The postseason begins on Monday at home against the No. 3 seed out of the Capital Athletic League.
The CAL has four teams in the running for a playoff berth: Antelope (9-4), El Camino (9-4), Whitney (8-4-1) and Rio Americano (7-6).
River Valley already has wins this season over both El Camino and Whitney.
3. Sutter (18-2, 11-1 in BVL)
Catching up: The Huskies clinched their second straight BVL title after sweeping Orland in the last week of April.
To get ready for the postseason, Sutter is playing four nonleague contests, capped off with today's matchup with River Valley.
The Huskies crushed East Nicolaus, Lincoln and Union Mine last week.
Coming up next: The Northern Section seeding meeting is set for Wednesday, though it's basically a foregone conclusion that Sutter will earn the No. 1 seed in Division II for the second straight year.
The Huskies will open postseason play on Friday at home with their opponent to be determined by Wednesday.
4. Wheatland (12-11, 5-6 BVL)
Catching up: Wheatland is 3-5 in its last eight BVL contests, including losing two out of three to Winters.
Last week the Pirates took two from Gridley and the series concludes today at home.
Coming up next: Wheatland is at No. 5 in the latest Northern Section playoff points.
If things stay true to form, the Pirates will travel to Winters on Friday for a first-round matchup with the Warriors.
5. Lindhurst (9-7, 8-7 in GEL)
Catching up: The Blazers make their debut in the A-D's rankings for the first time in 2012.
With a sweep of West Campus last week, Lindhurst clinched the GEL's No. 3 playoff seed, edging out rival Marysville.
Coming up next: For the second straight year, Lindhurst is facing an uphill battle.
The Blazers will face the No. 3 seed out of the Mother Lode League in a play-in game on Monday on the road.
Lindhurst won that game last year to advance in the postseason with a 9-5 victory over Bret Harte.
TEAMS ON DECK: East Nicolaus (9-9), Marysville (9-14)
1. Marysville (20-3, 13-0 GEL)
Catching up: After a perfect 4-0 week in GEL play last week, the Indians clinched their second consecutive league title.
Coming up next: Marysville will look to close out a perfect GEL season with Wednesday's matchup against Mesa Verde.
For a tune-up game before the playoffs, Marysville will play section powerhouse Woodcreek at home on Thursday. Woodcreek handed Marysville one of its three losses this season.
The Indians open the Division V postseason at the Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton on Wednesday, May 16.
2. River Valley (14-7, 7-3 TCC)
Catching up: Sophomore right-hander Mikayla Brown pitched the Falcons into the postseason by going 3-0 last week, including a huge 4-2 victory over TCC-champion Pioneer.
R.V. defeated Inderkum 10-7 and ended the week with a 6-4 win over rival Yuba City.
Coming up next: The Falcons are back in the playoffs for the third straight year.
River Valley will travel to face the Pioneer Valley League's No. 2 seed in an outbracket game on Tuesday, May 15. Right now, that would mean traveling to Auburn to face Placer, ranked No. 18 by the Sacramento Bee.
3. Wheatland (18-8, 11-0 BVL)
Catching up: Wheatland hasn't lost since March 30 against Sac-Joaquin Section power Roseville.
The Pirates continued their romp through the BVL, sweeping Winters in late April. Wheatland is looking to complete its second straight perfect BVL season as the regular season concludes today against Gridley at home.
Coming up next: Wheatland finds out its playoff seeding on Saturday.
According to the Northern Section's playoff points, Wheatland is the No. 1 seed, but Anderson is right there with the Pirates at No. 1 as well.
Anderson defeated Wheatland in last year's section championship game.
The Pirates begin Division IV postseason action next Tuesday at home.
4. Sutter (16-9-1, 8-4 BVL)
Catching up: The Huskies were off last week and finished BVL play in second place behind Wheatland.
Coming up next: In the D-IV playoff points, Sutter currently sits at No. 4 and would host a first-round playoff game.
5. Lindhurst (17-8-1, 11-3 GEL)
Catching up: All three of the Blazers' losses in league this season came to No. 1 Marysville, but they still clinched the No. 2 spot out of the GEL.
Coming up next: Lindhurst closes out GEL play on Wednesday at home against West Campus.
The Blazers begin their playoff run on Wednesday, May 16 in Stockton.
TEAMS ON DECK: Yuba City (7-13-1), Colusa (13-6-1)