Six teams earn spots in state baseball tourneys

Playoff action begins this weekend with best-of-three series

Karl Schneider
  • Aztec, Farmington, Kirtland Central and Bloomfield all made the 5A tourney.
  • Piedra Vista received the No. 3 seed in the 6A bracket.
  • After winning the District 1-4A title, Shiprock was awarded the 10th seed in 4A.

FARMINGTON — It took a while, but when the brackets for the state baseball tournaments finally were unveiled, six local teams learned their seed in the state baseball tournaments.

Piedra Vista's Devin Ferrari connects on a pitch against Volcano Vista on April 8 at Ricketts Park.

The brackets originally were scheduled to be announced Sunday, but poor weather across the state pushed the final games of the season back to Monday with the brackets released late that night.

The 4A, 5A and 6A tournaments begin this weekend with the first round consisting of best-of-three-games series on Friday and Saturday.

No local team was seeded higher than the Piedra Vista Panthers, who in their first year competing in 6A earned the No. 3 seed after compiling a 19-7 record and finishing second in District 1-6A. PV was one of four teams from District 1-6A to make the tournament. All four teams — No. 2 Cleveland, No. 3 PV, No. 7 Volcano Vista and No. 8 Rio Rancho — earned home games in the first round.

The Panthers will host No. 14 Atrisco Heritage Academy on Friday and Saturday at Ricketts Park.

Farmington's Isaiah Royce is picked off at first base during a game against Aztec on April 25 at Ricketts Park.

In 5A, Aztec, Farmington, Kirtland Central and Bloomfield made the tournament.

Aztec, the No. 5 seed and District 1-5A champion, will host No. 12 Santa Teresa in the first round. The Desert Warriors finished third in District 3-5A, compiling a 13-13 record on the season.

Kirtland Central shortstop Cochise Sorrelhorse throws to first base for an out against Bloomfield on April 4 at John Gutierrez Field in Bloomfield.

After dropping its final three games of the regular season, Farmington fell to third in District 1-5A and received the No. 9 seed. The Scorps will face a familiar opponent in the first round, traveling to Gallup to play district foe and eighth-seeded Miyamura. The Patriots beat the Scorps 5-2 and 4-1 in their two meetings this season.

KC earned the No. 11 seed in the tourney and will make the long bus ride to Artesia to play the No. 6 Bulldogs. Artesia finished second in District 4-5A and won seven of its final eight games of the regular season.

Bloomfield spent much of the season on the 5A bubble, but a strong finish secured the 16th and final spot in the 5A field. The Bobcats won their final three games to bolster their résumé and will play No. 1 Alamogordo in the first round. Alamogordo beat Bloomfield 11-4 during the Goddard Invitational on March 16.

Shiprock's Matt Duncan fields the ball and throws to first base against Grand County, Utah, on March 10 at John Gutierrez Field in Bloomfield.

In 4A, Shiprock had to wait the longest to learn its post season fate. As District 1-4A champions, the Chieftains were guaranteed a spot in the 4A field, but it wasn't until 12:07 a.m. today that the 4A bracket was released and Shiprock saw its name on the No. 10 line.

The Chieftains will make the nearly 400-mile trek to play seventh-seeded Ruidoso — one of five teams from District 4-4A to make the tournament — in a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.