GJ, Central, Fruita all make state baseball field
All three Class 5A Southwestern League baseball teams are headed to the state playoffs Saturday.
The Colorado High School Activities Association announced the seeds for the 32-team playoffs in 5A, 4A and 3A on Wednesday.
Grand Junction, the 12th seed, 17th-seeded Central and 19th-seeded Fruita Monument will all travel to the Front Range for the district round of the playoffs.
First-round games for all three SWL teams will be at 12:30 p.m. If they win, teams will advance to play the winner of the host school and its opponent in the district final at 3 p.m. Teams will have to win both games Saturday to advance to the final eight.
Grand Junction (13-6) plays 21st-seed Dakota Ridge (10-9) in District 4. No. 5 Mountain Vista (16-3) is the host team and plays 28th-seeded Denver East (11-8) at 10 a.m. Saturday. Games will be played at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch.
Central (14-5) plays 16th-seeded Pine Creek (14-5) in District 1, with the winner advancing to play the winner of No. 1 seed Chatfield (17-2) vs. Doherty (10-9). Games will played at Chatfield High School in Littleton.
In a quirky seeding decision, which takes power points and overall records into consideration, Chatfield was given the No. 1 seed in the 5A tournament even though the Chargers finished third the Jeffco League standings behind Arvada West (14-5), which went 8-0 in league play, and Columbine (18-1), which went 7-1 in league play. Columbine is seeded fourth and Arvada West sixth.
Fruita Monument (10-9) takes on Arapahoe (14-5), the 14th seed in District 7, with the winner to play the winner between No. 3 Fairview (18-1) and Douglas County (11-8) in the final at Fairview High School in Boulder.
Last year, Grand Junction was the only SWL team to make the playoffs.
4A state playoffs
Montrose (13-3) was given the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A state tournament.
The SWL champion Indians will play Coronado (7-12), the lowest seed in the tournament, at home at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner advances to play the winner of No. 16-seed Erie (12-7) and Palmer Ridge (13-6), the 17th seed, at 3 p.m.
Western Slope League champion Delta (17-2) is seeded fourth and will host the District 3 tourney. The Panthers play 29th-seeded Pueblo West (8-10-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner plays at 3 p.m. against the winner of Niwot (16-3), the 13th seed, and 20th-seeded Cañon City (12-7).
Palisade (13-6) earned a No. 11 seed and will travel to the Front Range for a 12:30 p.m. first-round game Saturday against Pueblo South (12-7), the No. 22 seed. The winner will play at 3 p.m. against the winner of sixth-seeded Wheat Ridge (16-3) and 27th-seeded Denver North (11-8).
Rifle (12-7) was given the 23rd seed and will travel to Durango for District 6 play, where three Western Slope teams will battle to advance to the final eight.
Even though the Bears have a better record, they will play No. 10 Ponderosa (9-10) at 12:30 p.m.
No. 7 Durango (11-8) will host Eagle Valley (10-8-1), the 26th seed, at 10 a.m. Winners will play at 3 p.m.
3A state playoffs
Cedaredge (17-2) will go in as the No. 6 seed in the Class 3A state playoffs and will host No. 27 Clear Creek (10-8) on Saturday at 10 a.m. The winner advances to play the winner between 11th-seeded Kent Denver (13-6) and Basalt (13-6), the 22nd seed.
Olathe (11-8) is seeded 21st in District 4 and plays 12th-seeded University (14-5) at 10 a.m. Bayfield (16-3) hosts the district as the No. 5 seed and will play 28th-seeded La Junta (9-10).
Other Western Slope teams in the 3A field include Gunnison (16-3) at No. 9, Coal Ridge (10-9) at No. 30, and Pagosa Springs (7-11) at No. 31.
The Class 2A playoff field won’t be announced until Sunday.