Column: Region 1 baseball playoff race coming down to hectic final day

Monday , May 07, 2018 - 8:44 PM

This is the final week of the spring sports regular season. It wouldn’t be the end of a sports season without pure chaos regarding playoff scenarios in baseball, softball and soccer — and, of course, there are tons with Region 1 and Region 5.

Let’s take a look at how everything looks right now and how it could all shake out by the end of the week. Also, regions 1, 5 and 11 all have their track and field, boys tennis and girls golf tournaments this week. 

REGION 1 BASEBALL

Region 1 has the most complicated playoff race in terms of the number of teams still alive and scenarios that could happen.

There are literally hundreds of potential scenarios, with six teams — each playing three games this week — gunning for three playoff spots.

Clearfield’s in second place with a 9-6 record, Northridge is at 7-8 in third place, and then four teams check in tied for fourth at 6-9: Fremont, Weber, Syracuse and Layton. 

The only certain things are that the loser of the Fremont/Weber series misses the playoffs and Clearfield clinches the No. 2 seed with at least one win this week.

It’s also likely that there will be some sort of two-way or three-way tie for the fourth spot once the games finish Thursday (not Friday this week), so the chances of a Saturday play-in game for the final playoff spot are high.

Here’s a refresher on who has the tiebreaker advantages: Northridge beats Weber and Syracuse, Fremont beats Layton and Northridge, Syracuse beats Weber and Fremont, Layton beats Syracuse and Clearfield, Weber beats Layton.

This week’s matchups are Fremont/Weber, Layton/Northridge and Syracuse/Clearfield. Based on that, it appears that Layton, Weber and Syracuse are further behind the 8-ball than Fremont and Northridge.

The Titans face a very good Clearfield team and earning a series win will be challenging, but they’re coming off a series win against Weber and have momentum.

The Warriors have one tiebreaker to their advantage, so should there be a three-way or four-way tie, they could be left out even if they win or sweep the series. 

Layton essentially has one tiebreaker to its advantage since the Lancers beat Clearfield and the Falcons are likely going to win at least one game against Syracuse.

The bottom line is a team is going to have to win a series this week, and probably sweep, in order to keep its postseason chances afloat. Hopefully, by the end of Wednesday’s games, the hundreds of potential playoff scenarios will be whittled down to dozens.

REGION 5 BASEBALL

Box Elder (5-4), Woods Cross (3-6), Roy (3-6) and Bountiful (2-7) are all jostling for the Nos. 2-4 spots from Region 5 since Viewmont (11-1) wrapped up the region title already.

The Woods/Cross Bountiful series winner will qualify for the playoffs no matter how Roy and Box Elder fare in their series. If the Wildcats get a sweep, that will eliminate Bountiful.

The most likely scenario involves a play-in game, likely on Saturday, between two teams of either Roy, Woods Cross or Bountiful. 

REGION 1 SOFTBALL

Layton (7-3), Davis (7-3), Fremont (6-4) and Clearfield (6-5) enter this week jostling for three playoff spots. Davis and Fremont battle on Tuesday, as do Syracuse (9-1) and Layton. On Thursday, it’s Davis/Layton and Syracuse/Fremont.

The onus is on Fremont, then, to win both games, which is a tough task. The Falcons have just one game left, against Weber on Thursday and with a win, would put the Silver Wolves under tremendous pressure. 

Layton and Davis can each lock up a playoff berth with a win Tuesday, which would then bring the question of who gets the No. 1 seed in the playoffs into play. Syracuse hasn’t locked up the top seed yet, but the Titans can do that with a win.

REGION 5 SOFTBALL

The region championship is up for grabs between Bountiful (8-2), Box Elder (8-2) and Roy (7-3).

The Braves and Bees face off on Tuesday, with the winner taking sole possession of first place with one game remaining. Whoever wins Tuesday can wrap up the outright region championship and clinch the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a win Thursday.

Bountiful already has a head-to-head tiebreaker on Box Elder, the Royals have a head-to-head tiebreaker on Bountiful and the Bees have a tiebreaker advantage on Roy should those (likely) come into play in the event of a two-way or three-way tie for playoff spots.

Woods Cross (3-8) is penciled in at No. 4.

REGION 1 SOCCER

Weber (9-1) and Layton (8-1-1) face off Tuesday in what amounts to a region title game. If the Warriors win, they clinch the outright title. If the Lancers win, then they can clinch the championship outright with a win Thursday.

Davis is in as the No. 3 seed, but the fourth seed comes down to Northridge (4-6), Syracuse (3-7) and Fremont (3-7). The Knights and Titans play Tuesday, then Northridge faces Fremont on Thursday. 

There are of course a myriad of different ways this could turn out since teams can tie in soccer. It’s in Northridge’s hands, though. If the Knights win both games this week, they’re in. 

If not, that basket of possibilities opens the door for the Titans and Silver Wolves, who, to be safe, need to win out as well to have any shot.

REGION 5 SOCCER

Box Elder (6-0) has a share of the region title already and can clinch it outright with at least one win this week.

Roy (4-2) wraps up the No. 2 seed with at least one win this week.

Viewmont (3-3-1) can still usurp the Royals, but it would require a Vikings win on Tuesday over Roy as well as the Royals either losing or tying on Friday against Box Elder.

Woods Cross (2-5) gets into the playoffs with a win or a Bountiful (0-5-1) tie or loss at any point this week.

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickcarr_ or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/patrickcarr17.

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