San Fernando earns top seeding in City Section baseball playoffs

San Fernando and ace Alonzo Garcia have earned the No. 1 seeding in the City Section Division I playoffs.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

San Fernando (29-3) was seeded No. 1 on Saturday for the City Section Division I baseball playoffs that have first-round games May 22.

The quarterfinals are May 24, semifinals May 29 at USC and the championship game June 1 at 1 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.

West Valley League champion Reseda Cleveland (21-10) is No. 2, West Valley runner-up Chatsworth (21-10) is No. 3 and Marine League champion Wilmington Banning (15-16) is No. 4.


Some West Valley League coaches are not happy. Their league was considered the best in the division. But Cleveland didn’t get the nod for No. 1 despite the fact the Cavaliers defeated Harbor City Narbonne, 8-1, and San Fernando lost to Narbonne, 1-0, in a comparison of the three schools.

“It’s frustrating,” Cleveland Coach Greg Venger said. “You play the schedule to prepare for the playoffs. Sometimes you lose to some quality teams and it comes back to hurt you for seedings.”

Said San Fernando Coach Armando Gomez: “I just thought we deserved No. 1. The last three years we’ve played outstanding.”

Chatsworth could have to go through its fellow West Valley rivals to reach Dodger Stadium, with a potential Woodland Hills El Camino Real-Chatsworth quarterfinal looming and then a potential matchup with Cleveland in a semifinal.

There has been parity in the City Section this season, and much will depend on pitching matchups.

Cleveland has the hottest pitcher in Jack Hartman (11-1), who gave up only one run in West Valley play.

San Fernando has ace Alonzo Garcia. Chatsworth can call upon All-City pitcher Jason Karkenny.

Marshall has Angel Lerma, who lost to El Camino Real, 1-0, in the first round last season and gets to face the Conquistadores again in the opening round. Kennedy has Moises Ceja, who challenged San Fernando in the Valley Mission League. Banning has Gino Brockway, who beat Narbonne.

Another issue is that 12 of the 20 schools will be off until May 22. Coaches will have to figure out how to keep their players sharp.

Wild-card games are scheduled for Wednesday for eight teams.

The pairings:

No. 16 Verdugo Hills or No. 17 Maywood at No. 1 San Fernando.

No. 9 Poly at No. 8 Bell.

No. 12 Granada Hills at No. 5 Narbonne.

No. 20 Arleta or No. 13 Hamilton at No. 4 Banning.

No. 14 Birmingham or No. 19 University at No. 3 Chatsworth.

No. 11 Marshall at No. 6 El Camino Real.

No. 10 Kennedy at No. 7 San Pedro.

No. 15 Venice or No. 18 Carson at No. 2 Cleveland.