2022 AIA Playoffs: 2nd Round Picks

Paul Panaccione
Arizona Scouting Director

On to round 2! The play-in teams are moving on to their 3rd playoff game, as the top seeded teams play their 2nd. Through round 1 in the 6A Division, Red Mountain and Sandra Day O'Connor were the only higher seeded teams to take a loss in the opening round, pushing them straight into the losers bracket. There were 3 first round upsets in the 5A Division, with Higley falling to Desert Mountain, Casteel topping Centennial, and Millennium falling to Catalina Foothills. The higher seeds took care of business for the most part at the 4A level, #9 Saguaro knocked off #8 Bradshaw Mountain.

The 4A and 5A Divisions continue play tonight, May 2nd, and the 6A Division continues tomorrow night, May 3rd.

Round 2 Pick-Em

*Picks highlighted in BOLD* (Games on 5/2 and 5/3)

6A Picks

#8 Chaparral vs #1 Hamilton: 6:30pm @ Diablo Stadium

Hamilton has been the clear cut favorite all year and that's not changing now. We think Hamilton takes this one under the lights at Diablo. 

#13 Basha vs #5 Queen Creek: 4pm @ Queen Creek

Tough to pick against Queen Creek again at home, but Basha has some good options on the mound still and they've been playing clean and exciting baseball. Both teams are still in the winners bracket, and pending their next round matchups, we expect these teams to be some of the final teams left in the tournament. 

#12 Corona Del Sol vs #4 Red Mountain: 4pm @ Red Mountain

Two very skilled teams that we did not expect to be in this situation. We're going to give the edge to Red Mountain with home field advantage in this win or go home matchup.

#16 San Luis vs #9 Tucson: 4pm @ Cherry Field

Tucson just missed the automatic bid by one spot, making them travel to Chaparral for their first round matchup where they took a tough loss. We think Tucson bounces back at home with their backs against the wall. 

#10 Perry vs #2 Alhambra: 4pm @ Diablo Stadium

Very tough to pick against Alhambra here, all they have done is win games and show they're meant to be where they are at. But assuming Perry uses their #1 Stephan Hernandez, we're taking the Pumas in the stadium in this one. 

#6 Chandler vs #3 Mountain Ridge: 4pm @ Mountain Ridge

This is a good one. Both teams are very offensive with some skill on the mound. Whatever side limits their mistakes will take this one and hard to pick a winner. But with Mountain Ridge being one of our favorites since opening day, we're riding with the Mountain Lions. 

#14 Mountain View, Mesa vs #11 Brophy: 4pm @ Brophy

Another great matchup here. Mountain View is a very interesting group, and we've mentioned their left handed hitters at the top of the order many times in McNaughten and Christiansen, but in an elimination game against James DeCremer and the Broncos, we're siding with Brophy. DeCremer has consistently been an elite arm all season and don't expect that to stop on Tuesday. Brophy in a tight ball game.

#15 Desert Vista vs #7 Sandra Day O'Connor: 4pm @ SD O'Connor

Desert Vista took a tough loss against one of the most competitive arms in the state vs Alhambra. Sandra Day O'Connor lost a 1-0 game to a skilled team in Perry. With DV not dipping into their bullpen, and using McKnight the full 7 innings, they have plenty of viable arms to go with vs O'Connor. This game could easily go either way, but we're going to give the edge to DV in a hard fought game on the road. 


5A Picks

#9 Desert Mountain vs #1 Nogales: 4pm @ War Memorial

Two skilled teams going at it in this one, but Nogales is #1 for a reason, and we don't expect to see them in the losers bracket yet. We're taking Nogales in their neck of the woods. 

#5 Canyon View vs #4 Sunrise Mountain: 4pm @ Sunrise Mountain

One of Sunrise's four losses this year came to Canyon View. In that matchup CV's ace Connor Mattison was on the mound, which will not be the case today. Both teams #1 threw in the opening round, so we're going to see who's depth on the mound carries more weight here. We're taking Canyon View in a close game on the road. 

#10 Casteel vs #2 Horizon: 6:30 @ Diablo Stadium

Horizon continues to show they're one of the most exciting offenses in the state. They're matching up with a dangerous opponent in Casteel, but we think the bats for the Huskies are going to continue to prove to be too much tonight. 

#11 Catalina Foothills vs #3 Verrado: 4pm @ Verrado

This game could easily go to either side. And for that reason we are going to side with the home team. Verrado has been playin with a lot of emotion and are riding off their Region Championship. We're taking the Vipers in round 2 at home. 


4A Picks

#9 Saguaro vs #1 Poston Butte: 4pm @ Diablo Stadium

Poston Butte has been a power in the 4A Division for the seasons length. Their run differential is almost video game like. Ethan Hatch has been their leader all year, and only threw 2 innings on Saturday so there is a possibility we see him back on the mound tonight. With all that said, Saguaro could have the #1 ranked LHP in the country on the mound tonight. If we see Caminiti take the ball for the Sabercats, we think we could see the #1 seed fall in round 2. 

#5 Mesquite vs #4 Canyon Del Oro: 4pm @ CDO

Very good matchup here and probably the most interesting one at the 4A level this round. CDO has home field advantage and fresh arms available. It will be interesting to see who they use, whether it being Felix or Delgado. Either way those are two quality options on the mound that have to deal with a scary offense in Mesquite. We're taking CDO is a close ball game at home. 

#7 Sahuarita vs #2 Walden Grove: 4pm @ Walden Grove

 Two solid teams from the same part of town. This will be a very emotional matchup and expect it to be a close game. Walden Grove used two of their top arms on Saturday with a couple left to use. We're going to side with the #2 seed at home. 

#6 Notre Dame vs #3 Salpointe Catholic: 6pm @ Salpointe

Notre Dame's ace Christopher Gaudio threw the opening round vs St Mary's. He went the distance in a 5 inning run rule but only threw 48 pitches. He's possibly available to throw in this one, but we think the higher seeded Salpointe and their skilled offense is going to take this 2nd round matchup at home under the lights. 


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