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Previewing the San Diego Section baseball semifinal matchups

Six CIF championship baseball games will be played on campus at UC San Diego over the course of Thursday and Friday.

The second week of postseason baseball in the San Diego Section resumes on Tuesday with 12 semifinal matchups around the county.

OPEN DIVISION (Bracket)

(1) Granite Hills (23-5) vs. (4) Rancho Bernardo (20-11)

How they got here: Granite Hills cruised through their first two playoff games, getting excellent starting pitching from underclassmen Nico Tomasello and Chandler Henry. Freshman Brenden Lewis came up with a big three-run double in Wednesday's 6-1 over Helix while senior Ethan McNish-Heider hit a two-run home run during Friday's 4-1 win against Santana.

Rancho Bernardo got off to a rough start with a 6-1 loss against Santana on Wednesday but quickly rebounded by beating Helix and Santana, 8-2 and 3-0, on consecutive days to avoid elimination.

The situation: Granite Hills only needs one win over the Broncos to reach the championship game while Rancho Bernardo has the unenviable task of needing to beat Granite Hills on the road Tuesday and Thursday in order to reach Friday's CIF Open Division championship game.

(2) La Costa Canyon (21-10) vs. (3) Torrey Pines (20-10)

How they got here: La Costa Canyon got off to a rough start, trailing Madison 10-0 in Wednesday's playoff opener. The Mavericks battled back before losing, 11-9. They then walked off with a 5-4 win against San Marcos on Friday and came from behind once again on Saturday to beat Madison 5-4 and avoid elimination.

Torrey Pines opened the playoffs with a 3-0 win over San Marcos thanks to a complete game from senior Eric Van Valkenburg. The Falcons then found themselves trailing Madison 4-2 in the sixth inning on Friday before rallying for a 5-4 win in ten innings to reach Tuesday's semifinal round.

The situation: Torrey Pines only needs one win over the Mavericks to reach the championship game but will have to do it on the road as the lower seeded team. La Costa Canyon will have to beat Torrey Pines twice and won't have the luxury of a rested pitching staff after playing three games over four days to end last week.

DIVISION 1 (Bracket)

(5) Grossmont (13-17-1) vs. (8) Cathedral Catholic (15-16)

How they got here: Grossmont ended the regular season with three straight wins in league play and appear to have carried that into the postseason. They took down Sage Creek in Tuesday's play-in game before losing to Poway a day later. From the loser's side of the bracket the Foothillers then proceeded to take down top-seed St. Augustine and redeemed themselves with a 7-3 win over Poway on Saturday to avoid elimination.

Cathedral Catholic did not win more than two games in a row during the regular season but managed to string together three straight last week, beating Bonita Vista, St. Augustine, and Poway 6-4 in 13 innings.

The situation: The Dons will travel to Grossmont, needing only one win over the Foothillers to advance to Thursday's Division 1 championship game. Grossmont will be on home turf but must beat the Dons on Tuesday and again on Wednesday in order to make the championship game on Thursday night.

(2) Eastlake (19-9) vs. (7) Carlsbad (14-18)

How they got here: Eastlake has been sharp in two playoff games so far, taking down Carlsbad and Steele Canyon by a combined score of 17-3.

Carlsbad took down Point Loma 7-3 in Tuesday's play-in game before losing to Eastlake 6-1 a day later. The Lancers proceeded to beat Scripps Ranch 2-0 on Friday and and went and beat Steele Canyon 8-2 a day later to advance to the semifinals.

The situation: Eastlake sits in a good spot, needing just one win at home over Carlsbad on either Tuesday or Wednesday to advance to Thursday's championship game. Carlsbad will need their pitching to be ready for a possibility of three straight games beginning with Tuesday's trip to Eastlake.

DIVISION 2 (Bracket)

(1) Francis Parker (26-5) vs. (4) Canyon Crest (22-8)

How they got here: After cruising for much of the season, Francis Parker has had to battle over the last few weeks. The Lancers lost their playoff opener against Christian on Wednesday before taking down La Jolla Country Day and Christian later in the week to reach the semifinal round.

Canyon Crest beat La Jolla Country Day, 3-2, in eight innings to open the playoffs and backed it up with a 4-2 win over Christian two days later.

The situation: Francis Parker will be the host team but must find a way to grab back-to-back wins over Canyon Crest on Tuesday and Thursday in order to advance to Friday's championship game. Canyon Crest needs only one win over the Lancers to advance to Friday and has the luxury of using star left-handed pitcher Sam Garewal to get the job done.

(2) Montgomery (21-6) vs. (3) Del Norte (23-8)

How they got here: Very few in the county play low scoring, one-run games like Montgomery does. The Aztecs opened up the playoffs with a 3-2 win over Mission Hills and backed it up with a 2-1 win over Del Norte.

Del Norte beat Patrick Henry on Wednesday before losing to Montgomery on Friday. They returned with another win over Patrick Henry on Saturday to eliminate the Patriots and will now travel to Montgomery once again.

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The situation: Montgomery needs one win over the Nighthawks this week and will be playing at home. Del Norte must beat Montgomery on Tuesday and then again on Thursday to advance to Friday's CIF championship game.

DIVISION 3 (Bracket)

(1) Rancho Buena Vista (18-12) vs. (8) Mar Vista (21-10)

How they got here: Rancho Buena Vista lost their opener on Wednesday to Mar Vista before bouncing back with wins over La Jolla and Mt. Carmel on consecutive days to avoid elimination.

Mar Vista beat El Camino in Tuesday's play-in game and followed it up with a win over top-seeded Rancho Buena Vista a day later. The Mariners then proceeded to beat Mt. Carmel on Friday for a perfect 3-0 week.

The situation: Rancho Buena Vista will have the luxury of playing at home but must find a way to beat Mar Vista on Tuesday and Wednesday if they want a shot at Thursday's championship game. Mar Vista needs only one win over the Longhorns to advance to Thursday and has the confidence of having already beat Rancho Buena Vista last week.

(2) Olympian (14-16-1) vs. (10) Maranatha Christian (19-12)

How they got here: Olympian began the playoffs with a loss at home to Maranatha Christian before getting wins over West Hills and Mater Dei Catholic later in the week to avoid elimination.

Maranatha Christian took down Brawley in Tuesday's play-in game and then managed to beat Olympian and Mater Dei Catholic later in the week to advance to the semifinal round.

The situation: Olympian gets to play at home but must find a way to beat Maranatha Christian on both Tuesday and Wednesday to avoid their season ending. Maranatha Christian will have to travel south to Olympian but sits in a good position, needing only one win over an Olympian team that they already beat a week ago.

DIVISION 4 (Bracket)

(1) Oceanside (23-7) vs. (5) Fallbrook (18-14)

How they got here: Top-seeded Oceanside opened with a win over Castle Park and beat Valley Center on Friday thanks to a no-hitter from sophomore Zach Small.

Fallbrook beat Morse in Tuesday's play-in game but lost to Valley Center the next day. They finished the week with wins over Castle Park and Valley Center to avoid elimination.

The situation: Oceanside took two of three games from the Warriors during their regular season series and needs just one more to advance to Friday's championship game. Fallbrook will have to play their best baseball of the season, needing road wins over the Pirates on Tuesday and Thursday in order to advance to Friday.

(2) Mission Bay (20-10) vs. (3) San Ysidro (21-10)

How they got here: Mission Bay finished the regular season by winning eight of their final ten games and have carried that into the playoffs. The Buccaneers beat Calexico 7-4 and San Ysidro 4-1 to advance to Tuesday's semifinal round.

San Ysidro opened the playoffs with a 2-1 win over Escondido but lost to Mission Bay on Friday before beating Calexico 8-7 on Saturday to avoid elimination.

The situation: Mission Bay will host San Ysidro needing to beat the Cougars on either Tuesday or Thursday to advance to Friday's championship game. San Ysidro must find a way to grab back-to-back wins over Mission Bay to extend their season.

DIVISION 5 (Bracket)

(1) Pacific Ridge (15-8) vs. (4) Lincoln (15-13) *Game will be played at San Dieguito Academy

How they got here: Top-seeded Pacific Ridge began the playoffs by losing to Army-Navy, 6-1. The Firebirds bounced back with wins over Ocean View Christian and Army-Navy to keep their season alive.

Lincoln ended the regular season by winning eight of nine games and carried it into the playoffs with one-run wins over Ocean View Christian and Army-Navy last week.

The situation: Pacific Ridge will need to regain their form from Pacific League play to come up with two straight wins over Lincoln in order to see Thursday's championship game. Lincoln sits in a good spot needing only win over Pacific Ridge but must keep their recent form going to advance to Thursday afternoon's championship game.

(6) Calipatria (14-9) vs. (10) Palo Verde Valley (9-21)

How they got here: Palo Verde entered the playoffs with only six wins but were able to turn things around during the first week of postseason play and rattled off three straight wins to get to the semifinal round.

Calipatria began the playoffs with a loss to Liberty Charter but quickly bounced back by scoring a combined 26 runs in wins over Coastal Academy and Liberty Charter.

The situation: Calipatria will host Palo Verde and must beat the Yellow Jackets twice to advance to Thursday's championship. Palo Verde lost all three games to Calipatria during the regular season but only needs to win one of two on the road this week to advance to Thursday.