WIAA Baseball Tournament Preview

It’s that time of the year for the spring sports tournaments to begin. Today, we had the reveals of the baseball brackets in the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) for all divisions. We going to take a quick look at each division with who is the favorite, who is the sleeper and is the key matchup to look for in the tournament. Let’s get started!

1B Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

This is an extremely interesting bracket for several reasons. First off, the 1-seed DeSales is ranked 2 in the RPI behind the 4-seed A-C-H (Almira-Coulee-Hartline) who happens to be ranked 1st in the RPI. 2-seed Liberty Christian (Richland) has defeated DeSales twice in the regular season, but DeSales has defeated them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, 3-seed Mt. Vernon Christian has 3 losses, 2 of which were to non-league opponents and 1 to Coupeville who is in the tournament in the 2B level.

Favorite: So in determining a favorite, we are going to lean in favor of the 2-seed Liberty Christian (3 in RPI). We are leaning towards the whole body of work in this choice as Liberty Christian has only one league loss to Pomeroy by 1 run and their other 2 regular season losses were to 1A Kiona-Benton and Idaho’s Kendrick High School.

Sleeper: Our sleeper pick is A-C-H. They are the RPI number 1 and their one loss this year was to DeSales in district playoffs. We feel their placement as a 4-seed is an unfair seeding, but it puts them in prime position to upset the field in the quest for the tournament championship.

Most Intriguing Matchup: 1st Round Matchup is a repeat of last year’s championship game between 5-seed Naselle (2022 Champion) and 12-seed Crosspoint (2022 Runner-Up). Winner faces A-C-H in the 2nd Round.

2B Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

Of the 12 seeds in this tournament, 9 of the seeds are returning from last year’s field. 1-seed Brewster and 2-seed Toutle Lake were Champion and Runner-up respectfully last year and the bracket sets up a possible rematch in the title game for them.

Favorite: Brewster has been the dominant team in the 2B ranks this season with their only loss to 1A Meridian by a score of 1-0. They have a +318 run differental over just 23 games with 12 shutouts thrown this season. That makes anyone a favorite by a landslide.

Sleeper: Cle Elum-Roslyn we feel has been badly misseeded in this tournament with the 6-seed. Their 2 losses were to 2A Tournament team Grandview and the 1st round of Districts to Warden, which they came back to defeat to later in the district tournament. They have played a stronger schedule then Brewster and is ranked 2nd in the RPI. They are the team to watch out for in this tournament.

Most Intriguing Matchup: 12-seed Tonasket and 5-seed Riverview (Kennewick). Winner of this matchup gets the honor of facing 4-seed Tri-Cities Prep in the 2nd round. Riverview and Tri-cites Prep went head to head in league with TC Prep winning 2 out of 3 by a run differental +10. We covered a non-league win by TC Prep over Ephrata. Here is the game if you want to check out them out:

1A Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

The top 14 seeds in this tournament match closely to the RPI rankings within one or two seeds, with 15-seed Lynden Christian and 16-seed King’s Way Christian making successful progress in their districts to qualify for Round of 16 of the tournament.

Favorite: Naches Valley is our pick due to their track record this season. Their only 2 losses were to 4-seed Montesano and 2A tournament team Selah. Their pathway to the tournament championship goes through the 16-seed, 8-seed and the 4-seed. The Semifinals may include a rematch of their season split with Montesano.

Sleeper: Deer Park is our pick to surprise in this tournament. They have big wins against several 2A opponents in Rogers (Spokane), Shadle Park and Ellensburg and their only regular season losses were to 2A Clarkston, 2A Pullman and 2A Othello before their blowout loss to 12-seed Colville in districts. With their resume, we feel they are primed to make some noise in the tournament.

Most Intriguing Matchup: 1-seed Naches Valley and 16-seed King’s Way Christian earns this honor as it’s a rematch of a 1st round of 2022 whehn King’s Way (9-seed) won 9-7 over Naches Valley (8-seed). The roles are different this year as Naches Valley is the clear cut 1-seed, and King’s Way had to win their way into the tournament, but the records don’t matter once the first pitch is thrown and history comes to play. Who will win the rematch?

2A Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

The bracket for this tournament is interesting due to a lot of surprises who made the tournament. Surprises such as RPI ranked 33 Archbishop Murphy as the 10-seed, RPI ranked 20 Burlington-Edison as the 13-seed, RPI ranked 31 Grandview as the 15-seed and RPI ranked 23 Steliacoom as the 16-seed. District losses to RPI 5-seed Ellensburg, RPI 9-seed Anacortes, RPI 12-seed Othello, and RPI 14-seed Ridgefield have opened this tournament field wide open.

Favorite: The clear cut favorite is Selah. Selah’s only two losses are to 3-seed W.F. West and RPI 5-seed Ellensburg. They have 8 shutouts this season and wins right before disricts over 4A Davis and 3A Prairie.

Sleeper: W.F. West gets the crown for the 2A ranks purely because it would be fun to get a rematch of the opening weekend of play for both teams as they split a doubleheader. W.F. West losses were 3 times to 2-seed Tumwater, 1 loss to 5-seed Lynden and 1 loss to 1-seed Selah. They are primed for another rematch round in the semifinals with 5-see Lynden to avenge their loss to them.

Most Intriguing Matchup: 7-seed Mark Morris (8 RPI) and 10 Archbishop Murphy (33 RPI). This is intriguing because in tournament seeding, it would indicate a very closely matched up teams facing each other, but with RPI, there is a huge difference between the two teams. Can Archbishop Murphy step up and pull off the upset? They made it into the tournament so anything is certainly possible.

3A Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

Right off the bat, the most noticiable team missing in the field is last year’s champion Mercer Island, as they were knocked out of district playoffs before the tournament. The tournament field is quite congested with 4 play-in games for seeds 13-20. The winner’s reward is the top 4 seeds in the field.

Favorite: Our pick is the 2-seed Lincoln as they are coming off a district championship win against the 3-seed West Seattle. We give them the edge over the 1-seed Kennewick as Kennewick has 3 wins against tournament teams. Though, those 3 wins are all against 11-seed Southridge. Momentum might be key here in our opinion.

Sleeper: Timberline out of Lacey is our pick to surprise in this tournament. They come from a district that fielded 3 teams in the tournament and they defeated the two other teams en route to the district title which is giving them nice momentum entering the tournament field at the 5-seed.

Most Intriguing Matchup: 14-seed Stadium against 19-seed Gig Harbor is a matchup of district foes who didn’t face each other in the district tournament. Winner of this matchup faces #3 West Seattle.

4A Tournament

Bracket Courtesy of WIAA

The 4A tournament is loaded with a huge representation from Eastern Washington (5 Teams – Richland (3), West Valley – Yakima (6), Kamiakin (8), Moses Lake (13), Hanford (15)). In seeding, the 1-seed in the RPI Tahoma is the 5-seed in the tournament due to a loss to Tournament 4-seed Olympia in the district tournament.

Favorite: We give the nod for the favorite to the 2-seed Puyallup as their path to the championship is favorable to them. 1st round is versus RPI ranked 25 Hanford followed by the winner of Jackson (4 RPI)-Federal Way (11 RPI). If Federal Way upsets Jackson, the road to the semifinals is easier.

Sleeper: This is a bold pick, but we are going with 16-seed Rogers. They are 21 in the RPI and 1-6 versus tournament teams (win against 11-seed Sumner). They had nice run in the district tournament going 4-1 and with momentum they might make some noise in this tournament.

Most Intriguing Matchup: We will circle back to the 1 vs 16 matchup, Eastlake and Rogers. Rogers going by the RPI is the not 16 seed in this tournament and that makes them primed for an upset.

All and all the upcoming 2023 WIAA Baseball tournament should provide some very intriguing stories as the tournament progresses.

As always if you like our content, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button as we do about 2 posts a week ranging the topics from high school sports to professional ranks. On Tuesday, we are going to take a look at the NWAC Softball Tournament and analyze the bracket before we begin our broadcasts of championship field at the tournament.

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