5A Division II Baseball State Tournament
When: Saturday through May 15 (double elimination)
Where: First round at higher seed
First-round schedule: No. 16 Valley Vista at No. 1 Horizon; No. 9 Cibola at No. 8 Tolleson; No. 12 Sunnyside at No. 5 Ironwood Ridge; No. 13 Marcos de Niza at No. 4 Pinnacle; No. 15 MIllennium at No. 2 Chaparral; No. 10 Lake Havasu at No. 7 Boulder Creek; No. 11 Centennial at No. 6 Deer Valley; No. 14 Sandra Day O'Connor at No. 3 Desert Mountain.
Favorite: Pinnacle: The four Desert Valley teams — Horizon, Chaparral, Desert Mountain and Pinnacle — have all beaten each other up this year, and honestly, it’s impossible to differentiate between them. But the Pioneers have an offense that never stops hitting, and a looming third-round matchup with Horizon, who they beat twice in the regular season.
Darkhorse: Desert Mountain — The Wolves are actually seeded higher than Pinnacle at No. 3, but struggled for the first half of the year. They have won six of their last seven power point games, and have one of the top players in the tournament in Taylor Lindsey.
Outlook: It would be a shock if one of the four Desert Valley teams did not win the title. It worked out well that they are the top four seeds in the tournament so they can avoid each other for the first two rounds as long as none lose.