Doomsday - otherwise known as the interregion baseball playoffs - has arrived for the 4A and 5A teams that qualified for postseason play.
The top 16 squads from each classification will battle it out today and tomorrow in a single-game elimination round for a spot among their respective eight-team, double-elimination tournaments next week.Most baseball coaches would rather visit the dentist or spend a weekend at their mother-in-law's house than play the dreaded game in which even the best teams are susceptible to an early exit because of a bad day.
"Any team can be beaten at any time," said Weber coach Ken Cottle, whose team has the unenviable task of facing top-ranked and three-time defending champion Taylorsville at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow.
That pressure of `winner takes all, loser takes off' is what makes these two days of torture so intriguing.
The bulk of interregion games are being held tomorrow at various home sites, while several teams opted to play this afternoon.
The final field for the 5A class was decided yesterday when Bountiful defeated Highland 3-2 to advance in the last spot for Region 2. The Braves play at second-ranked Mountain View tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Today's slate includes just three games, featuring a tough matchup between Brighton and third-ranked Viewmont.
With a 6-2 victory over Logan Tuesday, Ogden was the last 4A team to qualify for postseason action. The Tigers will go up against fifth-ranked Sky View tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.
Just one game is scheduled in 4A this afternoon as fourth-ranked Springville plays host to Jordan.
Cedar and Richfield have a scheduled play-in game today for the last piece of the 3A postseason puzzle. The winner will travel to St. George to face top-ranked Pine View (18-2) at 4 p.m. Saturday.
All other spots have been filled for the eight-team tourney, which kicks off on Saturday. Matchups include: fifth-ranked Uintah (13-6) at Carbon (11-8); Union (6-12), which beat Wasatch 11-0 Tuesday to qualify, travels to Emery (13-6); and second-ranked Dixie (16-5) plays at third-ranked Lehi (16-6).
First-round action also begins tomorrow for the 2A teams in the classification's single-elimination tournament. Manti, which won 21 straight games before losing to Gunnison, is the favorite to win it all. The top-ranked Templars (21-1) host Beaver (8-10) at 3 p.m.
Other action will see defending champion Millard (11-7) at third-ranked Kanab (14-2); No. 5 Juab (13-9) at South Sevier (8-6); and second-ranked Grand (14-3) at No. 4 Gunnison (17-5). Winners advance to Monday's semifinal action at BYU.
5A INTERREGION PLAYOFFS
Brighton at Viewmont
Layton at Bingham
Orem at Skyline
Granger at Clearfield, 3:30 p.m.
Cottonwood at Alta, 3:30 p.m.
Weber at Taylorsville, 3:30 p.m.
Bountiful at Mountain View, 4 p.m.
Hunter at Bonneville, 4 p.m.
4A INTERREGION PLAYOFFS
Jordan at Springville
East at Bear River, 3 p.m.
Spanish Fork at Tooele, 3:30 p.m.
Mountain Crest at West, 3:30 p.m.
Ogden at Sky View, 3:30 p.m.
Woods Cross at Pl. Grove, 3:30 p.m.
Provo at Murray, 3:30 p.m.
Box Elder at Cyprus, 3:30 p.m.
Uintah at Carbon, 1 p.m.
Dixie at Lehi, 2 p.m.
Union at Emery, 4 p.m.
Cedar/Richfield at Pine View, 4 p.m.
All games 3 p.m.
Beaver at Manti
Millard at Kanab
Juab at South Sevier
Grand at Gunnison