State baseball and softball tournaments brackets released by NMAA
FARMINGTON — Several high school baseball and softball teams will prepare to hit the road this week in preparation for state tournaments, but for the Aztec High School baseball and softball squads, the competition will be coming to face them.
On Sunday, the New Mexico Activities Association announced brackets and schedules for most of the upcoming state tournaments, with only a few outstanding regular season games still to be determined.
Here's a look at the seedings and matchups coming up for local and area prep baseball and softball teams.
Seeded fifth overall in the Class 4A state baseball tournament, the Aztec Tigers will host a first-round best-of-3 series against Hope Christian beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Aztec High School.
The Tigers and Huskies will be facing each other for the second time this season. On March 26, Aztec's Brandon Arellano drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking a tie game and handing Aztec a 5-4 victory at home.
"They're a tough team," said Tigers coach Eli Wyatt of the Huskies. "I'm confident in the strides we've made and the hard work our boys have been putting in."
The second (and if necessary third game) of that playoff series will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. at Aztec High School.
The Tigers are one of four teams from District 1-4A to make the state tournament, with Kirtland Central, Bloomfield and Miyamura all reaching the postseason.
16th seeded Kirtland Central will be on the road Friday to face top-seeded Albuquerque Academy, while 13th seeded Bloomfield hits the road to face Grants. Miyamura, who comes into the tournament as the 11 seed, will visit Santa Teresa Friday at 6 p.m.
"This demonstrates the quality of baseball being played up here," Wyatt said. "It's pretty impressive to have that number of teams from this district."
Meantime, in Class 5A, both Farmington and Piedra Vista High School baseball teams have advanced to the postseason, with both teams set to hit the road this week.
Farmington goes into the state tournament as the nine-seed and will visit Rio Grande High School out of Albuquerque, with a best-of-3 series set to get underway Friday night.
Rio Grande beat Farmington (18-7 overall, 6-4 District 2-5A) in an earlier game during the regular season by a final score of 12-3. The Ravens finished their regular season with a record of 19-5 and were winners in District 5-5A with a record of 9-1.
Meantime, Piedra Vista, seeded 14th in the Class 5A tournament, will face a familiar foe in the tournament's first round on Friday at 4 p.m. when they visit district rival and third-seeded La Cueva.
The Bears have an overall record of 20-4 and finished 7-3 against their district rivals. In a doubleheader last month at La Cueva High School, the Bears beat Piedra Vista by scores of 12-7 and 16-2.
Class 3A state baseball seedings were announced on Sunday, and District 1-3A champ Navajo Prep earned the 10-seed and will hit the road Friday at 7 p.m. to face Raton in the first game of a best-of-3 series which will conclude on Saturday.
Raton finished the season with a record of 8-13 overall (4-6 District 2-3A) while the Eagles come into the postseason on a 10-game win streak with a record of 12-13 overall and an unblemished mark of 8-0 in District 1-3A competition.
The winner of that game will move on to the second round to face Sandia Prep, seeded second in the state with a record of 18-5 (11-1 District 4/5-3A).
For more information about the upcoming state baseball tournaments, log on to the official page at NMAA.org.
Aztec High School, seeded seventh in Class 4A, will host 10th seeded Belen Saturday at 10 a.m. in a play-in game at Tiger Park with the winner of that matchup moving on to the quarterfinals to face the winner of a similar play-in game between Gallup and Miyamura.
The Tigers wrapped up the regular season with a record of 16-9, finishing second in District 1-4A with a record of 8-2. Aztec's only district losses this season came against Gallup, seeded second in the tournament and seeking their second consecutive appearance in the state title game.
Farmington and Piedra Vista softball teams will hit the road this weekend in play-in games for the Class 5A state tournament.
The Scorpions, seeded 11th in the tournament, will visit Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho Friday at 6 p.m. to face No. 6 Cleveland. The winner of that game moves on to the quarterfinals and a game against either third seeded Alamogordo or 14th-seeded Manzano.
Cleveland, the defending Class 5A state champions, lost to Farmington 10-0 in tournament play on March 26 at Cleveland High School.
Saturday at 11 a.m., play-in competition continues when ninth-seeded Piedra Vista visits the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces to battled with No. 8 Mayfield. The winner of that contest moves on to face either top-seeded Carlsbad or 16th-seeded Sandia.
Piedra Vista, winners of nine state titles under head coach Kevin Werth, will be looking to get back to the state championship game which has eluded them for each of the past seven years.
"We were hoping for a home game, but we're no strangers to the road," Werth said regarding their trip to Las Cruces. "We'll prepare like any other week and see what we can do."
The Class 3A state softball tournament selections will be announced later this week, with Navajo Prep currently ranked ninth in that classification with an overall record of 13-12 and currently unbeaten in District 1-3A. The Eagles will visit Zuni on Tuesday for a season-ending doubleheader before learning of their inclusion to the postseason.
For more information about the state softball championships, visit the official NMAA website.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.