Rio Rancho’s baseball team and Cleveland’s softball team received No. 1 seeds ahead of next week’s Class 5A state tournament.
The New Mexico Activities Association announced the playoff brackets late Saturday night.
(NOTE: All bracket links at bottom of article)
BASEBALL: The Rams (20-0) will play host to Oñate in the quarterfinals, but Rio Rancho’s half of the draw is actually quite demanding, as No. 5 Cleveland and No. 4 La Cueva are also in this half.
No. 2 Hobbs anchors the bottom half, and the Eagles play rival Carlsbad in the quarters. Sixth-seeded Rio Grande gets the shortest road trip, visiting No. 3 Sandia.
The Matadors won the District 2-5A championship — officially — on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of West Mesa.
But Sandia really had the door opened for it on Friday when Eldorado upset La Cueva in the first of two games on back-to-back days. The Bears and Matadors started the weekend tied for first place in 2-5A.
That was La Cueva’s third loss in league play, and the Bears (15-3, 7-3) — despite beating Eldorado on Saturday and despite beating Sandia twice two weeks ago — finished a game behind Sandia (16-2 overall, 8-2) in the 2-5A standings.
St. Pius has the No. 1 seed in 4A, and the Sartans will open against Aztec. Albuquerque Academy, seeded sixth, visits No. 3 Los Alamos. Artesia at Santa Teresa and Goddard at No. 2 Miyamura are the other quarterfinal matchups.
Sandia Prep and East Mountain, as the top two seeds in 3A, were placed on a collision course in the state final. The Sundevils open with Socorro, the Timberwolves with Navajo Prep.
Texico (2A) and Logan (1A) also are No. 1 seeds.
SOFTBALL: The Storm takes on No. 8 La Cueva in the quarterfinals.
The No. 2 seed is Piedra Vista, which takes on No. 7 Los Lunas in the opening round. Two other teams from Cleveland’s District 1-5A, also were selected into the 5A field.
The No. 5 seed, Cibola, visits fourth-seeded Oñate, while No. 3 seed Carlsbad will play host to sixth-seeded Rio Rancho, the third-place team from 1-5A.
The 4A field has a particularly interesting element with Bernalillo as the No. 8 seed.
Valley, which was leading District 6-4A most of the last few weeks, had to forfeit three games (for using an academically ineligible player) earlier this week, which elevated the Spartans into first place in that league. And, into the playoffs.
But the Vikings have filed an appeal, coach Oscar Medrano told the Journal on Saturday night, and said the school is just waiting for a date to hear their appeal.
Gallup, Artesia, Silver and St. Pius are the top four seeds in 4A. The Sartans are home to No. 5 Miyamura in the quarterfinals.
Dexter is the top seed in 3A, with East Mountain a 5 seed and slated to visit Cobre in the quarterfinals. Tularosa was seeded No. 1 in Class 1A/2A.