Here’s who we think are the best bets in the upcoming Southwest District high school baseball postseason. The sectional is up first, followed by a one-game district. The two-game regional is on deck and the state final four in the hole.
The higher seeded teams host first- and second-round games. Sectional finals and district finals are at various fields throughout the area. The regional sites are Marge Schott Stadium at the University of Cincinnati (Division I), Mason (D-II), Athletes in Action at Xenia (D-III) and Wittenberg Carleton Davidson Stadium in Springfield (D-IV).
Division I: Just like last season, Vandalia-Butler (21-3) is top seeded. But this year the Aviators have been playing like a team that has something to prove. That’s because Butler was stunned 4-3 by Tecumseh in its first playoff game in 2016. Ouch.
Bracket buster: Fairborn (17-6) is on a seven-game win streak and easily won the GWOC American South (11-2).
D-I PAIRINGS: High school baseball SW District
Division II: Tippecanoe is a No. 1 seed in what essentially is a CBC-loaded Kenton Ridge sectional. The Red Devils are in their first GWOC American North season after jumping from the CBC. Tipp ended Butler’s 34-game conference win streak that stretched back to May 2014 with a 6-4 win on Tuesday.
Bracket buster: Oakwood (19-5) could do no better than a No. 4 seed. After dropping a 3-0 decision to Eaton, the teams are scheduled once more on Friday for what will decide the SWBL Southwestern Division title since both are 9-2. Having drawn a bye, Oakwood will likely host Badin (13-11) in a great second-round matchup.
D-II PAIRINGS: High school baseball SW District
Division III: Anna is the No. 1 seed and has just one winning team (Northeastern) in its sectional bracket. The Rockets are coming from the Shelby County Athletic League but join the Midwest Athletic Conference for football only.
Bracket buster: We guarantee teams were hoping to dodge third-seeded Versailles (15-6) for as long as possible. Of course, that’s likely what Versailles was thinking about MAC rival and state power Coldwater, which went to the D-III Northwest District.
D-III PAIRINGS: High school baseball SW District
Division IV: A 3-2 defeat of CCC rival Newton (23-2) likely earned Tri-County North (13-7) a No. 1 seed.
Bracket buster: Triad (16-3), which rolled to an OHC North Division title (11-0).
D-IV PAIRINGS: High school baseball SW District