May 12, 2011
Wild and surprising finishes in several league baseball races

Several league baseball races, which didn't decide league champions and playoff teams until Tuesday's and Wednesday's final rounds, produced a number of surprises.

Here are the highlights:

• Bella Vista, which appeared headed for the Capital Valley Conference championship last week, had to settle for third place after losing three of its last four, including 3-2 to Del Campo in its final regular-season game on Wednesday. Bella Vista, Del Campo and Casa Roble all finished 9-6 and league tri-champions. But Casa Roble gets the No. 1 playoff seed, Del Campo the No. 2 seed and Bella Vista the No. 3 and a Monday outbracket game against visiting Sacramento. Del Campo won its last four games, including twice against neighboring rival Bella Vista, to make the postseason.

• Woodcreek, Granite Bay and Nevada Union all were tied for third place entering the final day of Sierra Foothill League play on Wednesday. Nevada Union lost to Rocklin while Woodcreek (8-7) beat Del Oro and Granite Bay (8-7) downed Roseville. Granite Bay's win dropped 9-6 Roseville from a first-place tie with 10-5 Rocklin into second place. But Woodcreek got the No. 3 playoff spot over Granite Bay after beating the Grizzlies two out of three. It was a tough way for Granite Bay to go out. Once the league leaders, the Grizzlies lost five of their last six games.

• Antelope (9-6), which was atop the Capital Athletic League and cruising with a 9-0 record at one point, wound up fourth and out of the playoffs after losing 8-0 to Whitney on Wednesday, the Titans' sixth straight league loss. Rio Americano repeats as league champions at 12-4. Whitney and Cordova take the other two playoff berths with 10-5 records.

• Co-champions Bear River (10-5) and Lincoln (10-5) wrestled the Pioneer Valley League title away from Colfax. Lincoln beat the Falcons 5-4 on Tuesday, then Bear River downed Colfax 4-0 on Wednesday. Colfax (9-6) still lands the No. 3 playoff berth.

• El Dorado, which had won the last two Pioneer Valley League titles and played in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game in 2009 and 2010, failed to make the playoffs in the Sierra Valley League after a big early lead. Coach Rusty McDonald removed four senior starters for a rules violation during a spring break tournament and the 11-7 Cougars went on to lose six of their last eight, including 6-2 to Union Mine in the season finale on Tuesday. Vista del Lago won the league banner with a 12-5 record. Galt (12-6) and River City (12-6) landed the league's other two playoff spots.

-Bill Paterson

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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