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FIELDER’S CHOICES: Fielder seeks redemption in region playoffs

How does your report card look about a month away from graduation?

I went 5-3 in picking who would win baseball league titles and 4-3 in softball, which equates to a D average. I might deserve an F for overlooking Green Valley baseball and Boulder City softball.

But there’s ample opportunity for redemption in the weeks ahead.

You’ve talked about it in the hallways, maybe even in class.

You’ve posted heated comments about it.

And after weeks of waiting, it’s playoff time.

Will Bishop Gorman baseball run the table on the way to a fourth straight Class 4A state title? Or even be threatened?

Is Shadow Ridge the favorite in 4A softball?

What will Northern Nevada have in store for Boulder City softball?

We finally start getting answers this week.

Don’t be shy. Let me know what you think of these region predictions:

Baseball

Class 4A Sunset Region: Bishop Gorman

This is like the sample test question where the pamphlet asks you, “2+2=?”

No disrespect to Cimarron-Memorial, Palo Verde, Centennial, Spring Valley, Sierra Vista or Durango. All are darn good baseball teams that should feel good about their chances.

But Gorman is on another level.

The Gaels have a guy batting ninth who has signed with Utah.

They have another who tied a national record with five homers in a game this season.

Their schedule has more Ws than the Bush family tree.

Sure, the hype can go overboard, and I’m part of that. But when you have the track record Gorman has, it’s warranted.

Class 4A Sunrise Region: Green Valley

Here’s my chance (I hope) to amend for picking Silverado to win the Southeast League.

My bad, Gators.

This is a tougher nut to crack than the Sunset, but something tells me Green Valley will chomp its way to state.

Las Vegas ran the table in the Northeast and could take the Sunrise, but Green Valley gets the nod as the two-time defending region champion.

Class 3A Southern League: Virgin Valley

Faith Lutheran will be fired up for its final run at a 3A state title.

Don’t be deceived by the Crusaders’ 11-20 overall record — they’ve played 12 games against 4A teams.

But the Bulldogs get the nod after going 3-1 against Faith Lutheran during the regular season.

Don’t forget the lesson of 3A boys basketball, which taught us the regular season can mean nothing when predicting the playoffs.

Class 2A Southern League: Needles (Calif.)

It’s not a misprint.

The Mustangs do have a kid batting north of .800 (Bobby Stahel).

But as much attention and intentional walks as he draws, it’s ace pitcher Stevie Kidd who makes Needles the best team in league.

Class 1A Southern Region: Indian Springs

The year was 1973.

Richard Nixon was president, most of the 4A schools in the valley didn’t exist, and Indian Springs was on top of the 1A baseball world.

The Thunderbirds are poised to raise another banner.

Softball

Class 4A Sunset Region: Shadow Ridge

The Mustangs were 13-1 in the best league in the city.

And having Mandy Harmon in the circle will come in handy here.

If you had to pick one pitcher in the valley to build a team around, who else would you take?

Shadow Ridge hasn’t lost since April 8, and there’s been no indication its momentum will stop.

Durango is dangerous, though.

Class 4A Sunrise Region: Foothill

It’s a good bet that this winner will come from the Southeast League, but determining who that will be is tough.

Green Valley has a good shot, and Liberty could make some noise.

But Shelbie Medrano will be able to lift the Falcons to state.

Plus, Foothill has a potentially favorable road to the region final when looking at the bracket.

Class 3A Southern League: Boulder City

This is the 3A softball version of Gorman baseball.

The Eagles have two stud pitchers in Karlee Koopman and Dylan Scott, which isn’t something other 3A teams can say.

And not many others have a team batting average above .400.

Class 2A Southern League: Needles (Calif.)

I’ve picked Needles so many times in all these columns, I should be some sort of honorary mayor there.

The Mustangs have won state each of the past two years, and nothing indicates they’ll stop this season.

Class 1A Southern League: Pahranagat Valley

Indian Spring and Lake Mead are potent, but the Panthers went 12-0 in league for a reason: pitcher Addie Canning.

Pahranagat Valley allowed 13 runs in league all season.
 

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