Baseball teams battle for top seeds | Sports

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The Pairings Monday triennial holiday is less than a week away, which means the race for seeds in all four divisions of Vermont High School baseball is hotter than ever.

If there’s one division where the top seed looks the most up for grabs, it’s Division II.

Spaulding and Lyndon have been the cream of the crop in D-II all season and it’s almost a given that the two will be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the state tournament.

But which side will be number 1 on? Heading into Monday, the Crimson Tide and Vikings were only 0.010 apart in Vermont Principals’ Association index points.

As fate would have it, Spaulding and Lyndon faced off on Monday in a match that will go a long way in deciding the top seed when the pairs go out next week.

The Crimson Tide made a big statement by beating the Vikings 11-3. If they win, the No. 1 seed is as good as theirs.

The two-time defending Division I champion CVU has the inside lane on the No. 1 seed in DI with just one loss heading into the final week of the season and a solid index point advantage.

The final week is not without its challenges, however. Colchester and Rice are both elite clubs with impressive wins, so the Redhawks will have to fight to secure the top spot for the fourth consecutive season.

Hazen to a loss at the inside track on the No. 1 seed in Division III and has rebounded well from his first loss two weeks ago against Spaulding, but like CVU, the last week of the regular season is not not a walk in the park.

Thetford Academy, D-III state finalists last year, and the aforementioned elite club Lyndon are both on the programme.

If Hazen were to stumble, a rampaging Bellows Falls team could sneak in and snatch the No. 1 seed from them. The Terriers are having a tough week themselves, taking on top division opponents Hartford and Mount Anthony.

It would take quite an upheaval for Blue Mountain to drop from the No. 1 seeded line in Division IV. The Bucks had an index point advantage of nearly one point at the start of the week. If the wheels somehow fall off, rival White River Valley could rush in and take over this spot.

Let’s go to the last episode of the Rutland Herald/Times Argus baseball power rankings this spring. Last week’s standings are in parentheses and records and analysis are for Monday’s matches.

1. CVU 11-1 (1). The Redhawks haven’t touched the ball this week, but have allowed just five points in three games. A solid cast is essential at this time of year.

2. Spaulding 12-1 (4). The Crimson Tide made a huge statement with their comfortable win over Lyndon on Monday. They look like the team to beat in Division II. A rivalry game with the U-32s could be interesting on Tuesday, after these rankings are created.

3. Burr and Burton Academy 11-3 (2). The Bulldogs had a setback against Rutland but bounced back well against Mount Anthony. BBA had been brawling a bit, so quality wins like that are huge.

4. Colchester 11-3 (5). The Lakers took advantage of a dominant May. Colchester have won seven of eight games this month. The Lakers have been particularly good in close competitions.

5. Brattleboro 10-3 (7). The Colonels picked up two dominant wins last week, including one against a strong Mount Anthony team.

6. Lyndon 12-2 (3). The Vikings finally tasted defeat when the defending U-32 state champion knocked them out last Tuesday. They still look like a team ready to go deep in the state tournament, but there’s a lot of depth around D-II.

7. Hazen 12-1 (9). The Wildcats moved closer to the No. 1 seed in Division III with a pair of wins their week. When your only loss is against Spaulding, things are going well. As mentioned, they’re having a tough last week.

8. Rice 8-5 (6). The Green Knights had a rough week losing a pair of games to strong Metro Division opponents, but they ended it on a high by blasting Mount Mansfield on Saturday. They have proven they can play the best of the best tough guys too.

9. Mount Abraham 10-4 (UR). The Eagles have been rolling lately, winning eight straight games. If they win, they are eyeing a potential top-three Division II seed.

10. Blue Mountain 11-0 (10). The Bucks have the inside lane on the No. 1 seed in Division IV. Their boys basketball team just won a state title two months ago, could the boys of baseball do the same?

On the bubble: U-32, Essex, Enosburg, Bellows Falls

TOP FIVESection I: 1. CVU; 2. ABA; 3. Colchester; 4. Brattleboro; 5. Rice.

Division II: 1. Spaulding; 2. Lyndon; 3. Mount Abraham; 4.U-32; 5. Enosburg.

Section III: 1.Hazen; 2. bellows chutes; 3. Peoples Academy; 4. Green Mountain; 5. Thetford Academy.

Division IV: 1. Blue Mountain; 2. White River Valley; 3. Arlington; 4. Mont Saint-Joseph; 5. Rivendell.

adam.aucoin @rutlandherald.com

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