Scouting 2023 area baseball district tournaments

·7 min read

May 14—DIVISION I

Northeast 1 Nordonia

Top seeds: 2 Walsh Jesuit, 8 GlenOak, 9 Louisville

Other area teams: 22 South

Favorites: Walsh Jesuit

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Northeast 2 Euclid

Top seeds: 3 Aurora, 5 Stow, 6 University, 11 Roosevelt

Other area teams: 14 Riverside, 23 Mayfield 25 Mentor

Favorites: Aurora, Stow, University

Up Next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: This is a loaded bracket. Aurora is the top seed, followed by Stow, with University not too far behind. The Preppers had good wins during the season but also some low points. Recently, the Preppers turned their luck around. In three of its past four games, University scored 10-plus runs. On the bottom half of the bracket, University would likely see Stow in a district semifinal. A win would set up a showdown with the Greenmen, and potentially Evan Shapiro (Kent State signee) and Ben Schechterman (Ohio State signee) battling on the mound. The Preppers first have to work around sneaky 25 seed in Mentor. The Cardinals are playing strong down the stretch as they've won eight of their last 12. An interesting first-round matchup is the third meeting of Riverside and Mayfield. The two met last year in the postseason, with the Wildcats winning. But the Beavers have gotten the best of their pair of games this year. A sectional final of Aurora vs. Riverside would be an interesting look for an upset by the Beavers.

Northeast 3 Canton

Top seeds: 1 Jackson, 4 Chardon, 7 Hoban, 10 Massillon

Other area teams: 33 North, 34 Euclid

Favorites: Jackson, Chardon, Hoban

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: This bracket is one of the most interesting. You have the top seed in the district pool on the top half of the bracket and a D-II state championship rematch from the 2022 season on the bottom. Chardon took a bye into a sectional final and would welcome either 35 seed Cleveland JFK or 20 seed Canton McKinley to Munson Township Park. Chardon needs its bats to get going early rather than waiting for the final innings if it hopes to replicate last season's run. If the seeds play out, the Hilltoppers will face Hoban in a district semifinal. But Hoban has to focus on a sectional final as Ellet is an interesting 17 seed. The Chardon-Hoban winner would meet Jackson in an interesting clash for a trip to regionals, as all three are no strangers to close games.

DIVISION II

Northeast 1 Struthers

Top seeds: 2 Canfield, 4 Field, 5 Geneva, 6 Ursuline, 8 Poland Seminary

Other area teams: 18 West Geauga, 21 Harvey

Favorites: Canfield, Field, Geneva, Ursuline

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: This is a loaded bracket, especially with three of the top seeds in the bottom half. Fifth seed Geneva selected a bye into a sectional final, and sixth-seeded Ursuline picked the sectional semifinal that feeds into that final. The two met early in the season with the Irish winning (9-1). The Eagles have won 12 of their last 15 and won their first CVC Chagrin title since 2009. If the seeds play out, the Eagles would face fourth-seeded Field in a district semifinal, a Falcons team that has held 12 teams to two runs or fewer. Canfield and Poland Seminary would meet on the top half of the bracket if the seeds play out as the Cardinals look to return to the regional round after they were upset by Niles McKinley last year in a district semifinal.

Northeast 2 Louisville

Top seeds: 1 Alliance, 3 West Branch, 7 Hubbard, 9 Marlington

Other area teams: 13 NDCL, 17 Madison

Favorites: Alliance, West Branch

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Northeast 3 Twinsburg

Top seeds: 3 Lake Catholic, 4 Norwayne, 7 Woodridge, 9 Kenston

Favorites: Lake Catholic, Norwayne

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: If the seeds play out, the top half of the district semifinals would be Lake Catholic vs. Kenston, who have had different styles of seasons. The Cougars have had consistent momentum all season and are on a seven-game win streak, including a win over North Royalton on the road. Lake Catholic looks for its first regional trip since 2012. Kenston currently sits at 12-11 and have won four of their last six. While the Bombers' results have been mixed, they have been in all of their games. A tough slate last season prepared them for a run to the D-I state semifinals, and they hope to see that trend continue this postseason. If the seeds play out, the Cougars and Bombers would meet in a district semifinal, while Woodridge and Norwayne are in the bottom half of the bracket. Padua, the 18th seed, could be a spoiler. The Bruins had some momentum going into their doubleheader with Lake Catholic.

Northeast 4 Gilmour

Top seeds: 1 Gilmour, 6 Benedictine, 11 Buckeye, 12 Hawken

Other area teams: 21 VASJ

Favorites: Gilmour, Benedictine

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: It's home-field advantage for Gilmour as the Lancers play host to their own district round. The Lancers selected the bottom half of the bracket and a bye into a sectional final. They could see a big challenge if the seeds play out and they face 11 seed Buckeye. Also on the bottom half of the bracket is 12 seed Hawken, who beat the Lancers earlier in the season. The Hawks look to return to Figgy Field and the district semifinals. A rematch between Gilmour and Hawken with a trip to the district final would make for an interesting clash. Benedictine is in the top half of the bracket with a bye into a sectional final. While the Bengals would first take on either 21 seed VASJ and 26 seed Copley, a district semifinal with Cloverleaf could be a very interesting matchup. The Bengals have some strong pitching that would look for a way to calm the Cloverleaf bats, which has posted five or more runs in 12 games.

DIVISION III

Northeast 1 Struthers

Top seeds: 1 Lakeview, 4 Kirtland, 5 Garrettsville, 8 Perry

Other area teams: 10 Berkshire, 13 Cardinal

Favorites: Lakeview, Kirtland, Garrettsville

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: This bracket could be the most interesting to watch. Kirtland took a bye into a sectional final on the bottom half of the bracket. The Hornets would play Columbiana before a potential district semifinal against Garrettsville if the seeds play out. Kirtland brings a strong young group into the tournament as they look to build on a CVC Valley championship season. The top half has several storylines. Perry matches up with 23 seed Southeast and Berkshire clashes with 21 seed Grand Valley. If the seeds play out, the two cross-division CVC rivals will meet in a sectional final. Both teams bring in a lot of young talent and look to build on strong regular seasons for a trip to the district round. Cardinal could play spoiler. If the Huskies beat 25 seed Liberty, they would travel to top-seeded Lakeview. If Jake Bean is on the mound in that contest, that could spell trouble for the Bulldogs.

Northeast 3 Norwayne

Top seeds: 3 Waynedale, 4 Chagrin Falls, 5 Black River, 9 Beachwood

Favorites: Waynedale, Chagrin Falls, Black River

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinal

Outlook: It's been an up-and-down season for the young Tigers, as their bats try to find their swing. The pitching staff has continued to keep games close as they've held opponents to about four runs a game. The Tigers welcome either 13 seed Rootstown or 18 seed Chippewa in a sectional final. If Chagrin Falls wants to make it three straight trips to the regional round, it will need the bats to provide early run support. Beachwood sits at the top half of the bracket and opens with 23 seed Clearview. The Bison have won 12 of their last 13 with strong pitching performances, including a shutout of Lutheran West to win the CVC Metro for a second year in a row. If the seeds play out, the Bison would play 10 seed Wellington in a sectional final for a chance to play 3 seed Waynedale in a district semifinal. A matchup with last year's D-III state champion would need the Bison to click on all cylinders to pull an upset.

Northeast 4 Tri C West

Top seeds: 1 Triway, 2 Manchester, 6 Independence, 7 Canton Central Catholic

Other area teams: 14 Wickliffe

Favorites: Triway, Manchester

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinals

DIVISION IV

Northeast 3 Medina

Top seeds: 1, Dalton, 2 Hillsdale, 3 Columbia, 4 Loudonville

Other area teams: 8 Cornerstone, 9 Andrews-Osborne

Favorites: Dalton, Hillsdale

Up next: District champion advances to regional semifinals