Thursday , May 10, 2018 - 11:44 PM
The 4A baseball and softball state playoffs begin this Saturday. At least, that’s the plan.
Impending rainy weather, as well as a hope of mitigating pitch count concerns, has forced state officials to move the first-round state baseball pods to southern Utah locales St. George and Hurricane.
That means instead of an hour’s drive north, Ogden’s baseball team will head nearly five hours south to Desert Hills High for its first-round playoff game against Region 12 champion Sky View.
Instead of heading to Spanish Fork, the Bear River baseball team will face Tooele at Pine View High in St. George.
The location changes are intended to prevent teams from playing Monday and stressing their pitchers, who are subject to pitch-count limits that would mean a team has to stretch its pitching staff even further.
Softball, for the time being, is still in its same locations. Region 12 champion Bear River is set to host a pod on Saturday, weather permitting.
The National Weather Service forecasts a 60 percent chance of rain Friday night in Tremonton with an 80 percent chance of rain Saturday, meaning there’s a chance the pod gets moved to Monday if there’s not a long enough break in the weather.
Bonneville is still scheduled to face Ridgeline in Spanish Fork, where the forecast is similar. It’s an 80 percent chance of rain Friday night, continuing with a 70 percent chance Saturday. The weather isn’t supposed to settle down until Monday at the earliest, according to the NWS.
Here’s a look at the first-round matchups. All games are Saturday.
(1) Bear River vs. (4) Ogden, 10 a.m. at Bear River High
Bear River enters this year’s stacked 4A tournament field as one of the favorites to make a deep run. That potential run starts Saturday at home as the Bears host a first-round pod, weather permitting.
The Bears enter with a 20-5 overall record, the Region 12 outright title, a roster of talented, college-bound players and a penchant for winning.
Ogden qualified for the playoffs this year going 5-9 overall and 5-7 in Region 11 play. It’s the Tigers’ first playoff berth in 15 years, helped by a three-game winning streak in region play to start the season, a season that included a dramatic, back-and-forth, 21-20 comeback win over Juan Diego at home.
The winner of this game faces the winner of Snow Canyon-Uintah at 4 p.m. Saturday at Bear River High.
(3) Bonneville vs. (2) Ridgeline, 10 a.m. at Spanish Fork Complex, Field No. 6
Bonneville won its final three games of the season by a combined score of 43-3 to clinch Region 11’s third seed. The Lakers will take on Ridgeline in the first round in a pod hosted by tournament favorites Spanish Fork.
The Riverhawks have some very good non-region wins to their name along with a season split with Bear River. Ridgeline beat both Grantsville and Stansbury in non-region play. The Stallions beat Bonneville twice.
The winner advances to play the winner of the Spanish Fork-Canyon View contest at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
(4) Ogden vs. (1) Sky View, 10 a.m. at Desert Hills High, St. George
Ogden can look back on its series win against Bonneville and know the Tigers’ win in the rubber match is why they ultimately qualified for the playoffs.
Their first test is the Region 12 champion Sky View Bobcats, who at one point went on a 14-game winning streak. The winner takes on the Salem Hills-Desert Hills winner at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
(2) Bear River vs. (3) Tooele, 11 a.m. at Pine View High, St. George
Bear River’s good season continues with a first-round playoff game against Tooele in St. George. Fun fact: the Bears are 16-2 against Tooele since the 2009 season.
The Buffaloes took third place in a top-heavy Region 11. The winner faces either Spanish Fork or Pine View at 2 p.m. Saturday.
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