Baseball: It's time for coaches to earn their pay
Second-round playoff games on Tuesday will force coaches to make one of their biggest decisions of the post season. Do you come back with your No. 1 pitcher on three days rest?
In Division 1, it looks like most of the teams will be using their No. 2 pitchers while having the aces ready to go in relief. But top-seeded Huntington Beach Edison could end up starting ace Henry Owens against host Orange Lutheran because he didn't throw very many pitches on Friday when he had a no-hitter against Corona Santiago.
Santa Ana Mater Dei is expected to go with sophomore Davis Tominaga against Newhall Hart, which will start Garrett Gooding on the mound at Hart.
El Toro has unbeaten No. 2 pitcher Garrett Mundell (9-0) ready to go on road at Simi Valley. One big question is how will Lakewood and JSerra do on the mound in second-round games after playing 13 and 14 innings, respectively, in the first round? Lakewood plays at Tesoro. JSerra plays at Riverside North.
One school looking in good shape is Dana Hills, which won five playoff games last season coming out of the wild-card bracket. Dana Hills gets to host Valencia, a team with a terrific hitting attack but a hurting pitching staff.
In Division 2, teams played last Thursday, so it would be easier for coaches to come back with their No. 1 pitchers on four days rest, but North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake is going to use freshman Jack Flaherty against visiting Arroyo Grande. It's a big test for the Wolverines, who would have ace Lucas Giolito ready to go in the quarterfinals against Yucaipa or Santa Barbara if they can get past Arroyo Grande.
Alemany could end up starting ace Cody Thompson, who shut out La Mirada on Thursday, for its game against No. 2-seeded Arcadia.
-- Eric Sondheimer