Class 3A-4A high school baseball playoff outlook

News-DemocratMay 19, 2013 

Class 4A O'Fallon Regional

Seeds: (1) O'Fallon (23-12), (2) Belleville East (17-13), (3) Belleville West (21-10), (4) Collinsville (16-10), (5) Granite City (14-20)

Favorite: This one is a complete tossup. O'Fallon has a slight edge being at home, but is 1-1 against East, West and Collinsville.

Could surprise: Every one of the five teams has a shot with perhaps the deepest pitching this regional has seen in years

Worth noting: O'Fallon has won regional titles in seven of the last eight years. ... Collinsville junior pitcher Tanner Houck has already committed to Missouri and Granite City junior catcher Chad Spanberger has committed to Arkansas. Spanberger is the latest in a line of talented catchers from Granite City that includes Tampa Bay Rays prospect Jake DePew.

Class 4A Edwardsville Regional

Seeds: (1) Edwardsville (26-9), (2) Alton (23-9), (3) Danville, (4) Quincy

Favorite: Until someone proves it on a consistent basis, Edwardsville is the regional favorite every season

Could surprise: Alton

Worth noting: Edwardsville is competing for its third straight regional title and 14th since 1996...Alton's last regional title came in 2007.

--Norm Sanders

Class 3A Columbia Regional

Seeds: (1) Columbia (22-10), (2) Waterloo (22-9), (3) Freeburg (19-14), (4) Mascoutah (19-14)

Favorite: Too close to call. Columbia is at home, Mascoutah has potentially dominant pitching and Waterloo has been hot down the stretch

Could surprise: Mascoutah or Freeburg

Worth noting: Cahokia Conference rivals Columbia and Freeburg are both making the jump from 2A this season and find themselves right in the middle of a rough regional. ...Waterloo is trying to win its third straight regional and finished third at state in 2011.

Class 3A Triad Regional

Seeds: (1) Highland (24-8), (2) Triad (22-11), (3) Marquette (23-9), (4) Jerseyville (14-13)

Favorite: This regional seemingly comes down to Triad or Highland every season one way or another and this year should be no different

Could surprise: Marquette or Jerseyville

Worth noting: It will take a lot to keep Highland and Triad from following their usual collision course toward playoff elimination. Both have the experience, the pitching and the lineup to make a long 3A playoff run. ... Highland hasn't won a regional since it won state in 2008. ... Marquette finished third at the 1A state tourney last year in Peoria, so it will be making a two-class jump for the playoffs.

--Norm Sanders

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