Scorpions will face Bloomfield, while Panthers take on Sandia
FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista and Farmington baseball teams were rewarded for their late-season surges with high state tournament seeds.
The Panthers earned the No. 3 seed in the 6A bracket and will host No. 14 seed Sandia in the first round. The Scorpions will be 5A's No. 2 seed and will host district foe and 15th-seeded Bloomfield in the opening round.
“I’m just excited to be hosting. The seed is very important with matchups, but we were really pleased with the undefeated run in (District) 1-6A. I felt like we took care of our business,” PV coach Mike McGaha said. “District 1-6A is very unforgiving. We’re very happy with our progress to this point.”
FHS (19-5) and Bloomfield (11-14) will go at it at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by PV/Sandia at 5:30 p.m. that same day. Both games will be at Ricketts Park.
“It’s cool. It’s good for the city of Farmington. Hopefully we can have people make their way (there) after work (or) get off work early,” Scorpions coach Sean Trotter said. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a top-eight seed and have been able to host. The last three years, that has not been the case.”
Aside from going undefeated in district, PV’s key victories include beating 5A powers St. Pius, Albuquerque Academy (twice), crosstown rival Farmington (twice) and 6A's Hobbs.
PV (19-7) also concluded district play with back-to-back 3-0 victories.
“It was really enjoyable. They were hungry for the district sweep. They (did) grind it out to the very end,” McGaha said. "We knew that every (district) game was going to be a dogfight.”
Farmington also went unbeaten in district and won key 5A games over Albuquerque Academy and Goddard.
"We've played a quality schedule, and I think the success that we've had through that schedule is being rewarded. To get the (No.) 2 seed, we're happy with that. Our kids have played some really good clubs," Trotter said.
FHS is averaging 11.3 runs scored per game since March 22.
"We have to continue to be aggressive (hitting) in the strike zone," Trotter said.
Other area teams make playoffs
Aztec (11-15) and Kirtland Central (10-13) earned the No. 13 and 14 seeds, respectively, in the 5A bracket. The Tigers will open at No. 4 seed Belen, while KC will begin with a trip to No. 3 seed St. Pius.
In 4A, No. 9 Shiprock (16-10) will play at No. 8 seed Cobre, while No. 16 seed Navajo Prep (17-7) will play at top-seeded Hope Christian.
All first-round games will be a best-of-three format, starting Friday and wrapping up Saturday.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.