Chattahoochee No. 1 as junior college playoffs begin
Playoff pairings are starting to take shape throughout junior college baseball.
Regional tournaments begin this weekend in the Central, East Central, Eastern and Western districts, with regional champions advancing to their respective district tournaments the next three weeks as teams qualify for the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
Chattahoochee (Ala.) Community College has four games remaining before taking its No. 1 national ranking into the Alabama Community College Athletic Association tournament May 9-14 in Ozark, Ala. Chattahoochee Valley received all 10 first-place votes in this week’s NJCAA Division I rankings.
The Pirates, 40-8 overall, 20-3 in the ACCAA, lead the Central Division. Shelton State leads the North Division and Alabama Southern the South Division. Defending national champion Central Alabama is second in the Central at 16-9.
Chipola (Fla.) College (36-10) is ranked No. 2 in the nation and opens play in the 10-team Gulf District tournament May 9 against Central Florida.
■ Central: Sub-regional series are Saturday and Sunday at home sites, with the eight sub-regional champions advancing to the district tournament May 9-13 in Wichita, Kan.
■ Gulf: May 9-14 at Lakeland, Fla. Eastern Florida plays Gulf Coast and Tallahassee Community College plays State College of Florida in first-round games.
■ East Central: Region 7 playoffs are May 2-5 at Gallatin, Tenn.; Region 17 is May 7-10 at Albany, Ga. Regional champions and runners-up advance to district May 15-17 at the Region 17 champion.
■ Eastern: The Region 10 champion hosts the JUCO qualifier May 16-18. Region 10 begins its eight-team tournament Saturday at Kinston, N.C., with Spartanburg Methodist the top seed. Region 15 is Saturday and Sunday in New York; Region 20 is May 9-11 at Bel Air, Md.
■ Northern: The Region 11 champion hosts the district tournament May 16-18. Indian Hills (Iowa) hosts the three-team Region 11 tournament May 10-11. The Region 4 tournament is May 9-11 at Kishwaukee, Ill., and the Region 24 tournament begins Saturday in Marion, Ill.
■ South Central: The Region 16 champion from Missouri hosts the district tournament May 16-18. Region 2 plays May 8-11 in Jenks, Okla., which will feature former No. 1 Connors State, which is No. 9 this week. Region 16 is May 7-11 in Joplin, Mo., with Region 23 played May 9-11 in New Orleans, a three-team tourney with No. 3 Delgado (La.), Baton Rouge and Meridian (Miss.)
■ Southeastern: May 9-14 at Ozark, Ala. Pairings will be set after this weekend’s games.
■ Southern: May 10-14 at Lufkin, Texas. Pairings have not been set.
■ Southwestern: May 10-15 at Lubbock, Texas. Pairings have not been set.
■ Western: May 15-17 at the Region 1 champion. The Region 1 10-day tournament begins Thursday at home sites. Lamar Community College hosts the Region 9 tournament May 10-11, with the Scenic West Athletic Conference champion hosting the Region 18 tournament.