SAN DIEGO — Thirty-eight of San Diego County's 51 prep baseball teams will have a chance to find out where they stand heading into league play when the 35th Annual Lions/Mike Morrow Baseball Tournament begins today.
The tournament, which is divided into three divisions, continues with round-robin play Monday and Tuesday. The semifinal and championship games will be played next Wednesday.
Santana, Valhalla and Lincoln, the defending champions in the tournament's three divisions, will open play today.
Santana (6-2), the defending CIF 3-A champion, will open play in Division III against Southwest at 11 a.m. at Santana. In other Division III openers Madison faces Helix (2 p.m. at Santana), Poway plays host to Montgomery (11 a.m.), Madison meets Helix (2 p.m. at Poway), Granite Hills plays host to San Dieguito (11 a.m.), Morse takes on Chula Vista (2 p.m. at Granite Hills), Grossmont plays host to Patrick Henry (11 a.m.) and Mount Miguel meets Sweetwater (2 p.m. at Grossmont).
In a Division II opener, Valhalla will try to bounce back from its first defeat of the season when it plays host to Kearny at 11 a.m.
The Norsemen, who beat Hilltop, 9-3, to win the championship a year ago and have won two straight Lions championships, were beaten for the first time Friday by Helix, 13-5. Valhalla had won seven straight.
Mark Warren (3-0) will start today for Valhalla against Kearny, which is also 7-1.
"Hopefully we can get things back together," said Valhalla Coach John Marlow, whose team committed nine errors in its loss. "We've had a very strong defense all year long prior to Friday.
"I like this tournament because it gives us a chance to look at some of our reserves and evaluate our talent, because we're ultimately concerned with how we do in league."
In other key Division II games today, Mission Bay plays host to Serra at 11 a.m., Hilltop plays host to Crawford at 11 a.m., and Hoover plays host to La Jolla at 11 a.m.
In Division I, Lincoln (4-2-1) takes on Coronado at University City at noon.