Tulare Western and Madera have justified their promotions to Division I in Central Section baseball this season.
And now the question for the D-II champions of the past two seasons: Have they positioned themselves strong enough to land top five seeds Saturday?
For Tulare Western, it’s an issue of head-to-head results and strength of schedule.
The 24-7 Mustangs, who will likely tie Porterville for the East Yosemite League title, took care of business against Tri-River Athletic Conference competition in the season-opening Coca Cola Classic by defeating Clovis and Clovis North and splitting with Clovis West.
But Tulare Western’s strength of schedule has been dragged down by playing in the EYL. Strength of schedule, as calculated by MaxPreps.com, is often one of the criteria used in seeding. And the Mustangs’ schedule rating of 6.9 is easily the lowest of 14 D-I teams.
Madera, likewise, presents a puzzle for the seeding committee.
The 22-6 Coyotes, probable co-champions of the County/Metro Athletic Conference, won 2 of 3 from both Bullard and Edison in the league.
But, as opposed to Tulare Western, Madera doesn’t have wins against top-tier TRAC opposition. And the Coyotes’ schedule rating of 8.8 is 12th in D-I.
Seedings in six divisions for baseball and softball will be determined by section commissioner Jim Crichlow’s committee at his Porterville office.