By DON McCORMACK - firstname.lastname@example.org
The second season — which comes in the midst of the first season — tips off today for the area’s high school baseball squads.
Sectional-district tournament play begins this afternoon, with five area nines taking to the diamond, all of which are in the Jefferson Division II sectional-district tournament.
The area’s highest seed in the field — Jefferson — will enjoy the comforts of home.
Coach Scott Barber’s two-time All-American Conference champions, the fourth seed, will host 12th-seeded Orange at Cotton Field.
At Walter Higgins Field, coach Bill Lipps’ Edgewood Warriors will host coach Justin Drapp’s 10th-seeded Geneva Eagles in a sectional semifinal.
In another matchup of two area squads, coach John Grdina’s sixth-seeded Perry Pirates will host the seventh-seeded Conneaut Spartans of coach Walker Graher.
The other sectional semifinals in the Jefferson tournament will send 13th seed Warrensville Heights to No. 9 seed Lake Catholic and 11th-seeded Harvey heading to eighth-seeded University School today.
The winners of today’s sectional semifinals will advance to sectional championship games Tuesday, at respective home sites.
The Jefferson-Orange winner will invade third-seeded West Geauga, while the survivor of the Geneva-Edgewood matchup will take on the winner of the Conneaut-Perry matchup. If Edgewood beats Geneva today, it will host the winner of the Conneaut-Perry game Tuesday. If Geneva wins that contest at Edgewood, it will hit the road again Tuesday to either Conneaut or Perry, as both are seeded higher than the Eagles.
The other games for sectional titles Tuesday will have the Warrensville Heights-Lake Catholic winner headed to top-seeded Chagrin Falls and the victor in the Harvey-University clash journeying to second-seeded NDCL.
The tournament shifts to Havens Complex in Jefferson for the district-level games, with the semifinals set for May 20 and the championship game for May 21.
The area’s two Division III squads — Pymatuning Valley and Grand Valley — will dive into sectional play Wednesday as part of the Euclid sectional-district tournament.
First-year coach Nathan Smith’s Lakers will host the winner of a game Tuesday between fifth-seeded Champion and fourth-seeded Cardinal in a sectional championship game.
Coach Russ Bell’s Mustangs will welcome the victor of a game today between No. 3 seed Garfield and No. 6 seed Berkshire in another sectional title game.
The tournament moves to Euclid for the district games, set for May 21 and May 22.
Two of the area’s D-I teams — Madison and Lakeside — will have to wait until Thursday to kick off sectional competition.
Coach B.J. Titman’s 10th-seeded Blue Streaks will host 11th-seeded Shaw in a sectional semifinal that day as part of the Euclid sectional-district, while coach Andy Kiphart’s fifth-seeded Dragons will host Youngstown East at 4 p.m. as part of the Struthers sectional-district.
Coach Ed Humes’ fifth-seeded Riverside Beavers will host the winner of the Shaw-Madison matchup in a sectional final Friday.
If Lakeside defeats Youngstown East on Thursday, it will journey to Austintown to take on Fitch on Friday.
District play at both Euclid and Struthers will be staged the following Thursday and Friday, the Struthers event being stages at Cene Park.