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Intriguing matchups highlight the first-round games of the Southern Section baseball playoffs

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider

When the Southern Section released its baseball playoff pairings on Monday, coaches were looking through the 32-team Division 1 bracket and having a difficult time predicting certain first-round winners.

“I don’t think there’s an easy game this year anywhere,” Studio City Harvard-Westlake Coach Jared Halpert said. “Every single game is going to be a dog fight.”

Huntington Beach received the No. 1 seeding and will host Redondo and Michigan-bound pitcher Danny Zimmeran on Thursday. Lake Forest El Toro is seeded No. 2, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame No. 3 and West Covina South Hills No. 4.

The best opening game could be Harvard-Westlake, with junior pitcher Jesse Bergin, a UCLA commit, taking on visiting Dana Hills and pitcher Hans Crouse, a USC signee. However, there are top opening games throughout.

“There’s a lot of great matchups,” Halpert said.

Four Trinity League teams made the playoffs in Division 1, with Anaheim Servite and Orange Lutheran getting selected as at-large teams, joining San Juan Capistrano JSerra and Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Another Trinity League team, Bellflower St. John Bosco, received the No. 1 seed in Division 2, making the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Division 1 and 2 finals will be played on June 2 at Dodger Stadium.

In softball, Norco, the No. 1 team in Division 1 for much of the season, received the No. 1 seeding for the playoffs that begin Thursday. Norco got a first-round bye and will then play the winner of Vista Murrieta-Chino Hills in the second round.

Los Alamitos is No. 2 seed, Orange Lutheran No. 3 and Mater Dei No. 4. The championship game will be June 2 or 3 in Irvine.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: latsondheimer

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