Redondo High is the only seeded South Bay team in Friday's opening-round CIF baseball playoffs, but several teams could be contenders. Eleven South Bay teams will play Friday in four divisions.
No South Bay teams were seeded in girls softball playoffs but 11 in four divisions will try to prove the experts wrong.
Boys 4-A baseball openers are North Torrance at Fontana, Rolling Hills at Hoover, Redondo hosting Walnut, Torrance hosting St. John Bosco and defending champion South Torrance at Riverside Poly.
3-A openers match Leuzinger at San Marcos and El Segundo at Recreation Park tonight against Sonora. In 1-A matches, St. Bernard is at Temple City and Mary Star hosts Melodyland. In Small Schools, Chadwick hosts Avalon and Coast Christian plays at Providence.
All games are scheduled for 3:15 p.m. except El Segundo's, which will be under the lights tonight at 7:30.
Redondo (20-6-1) goes into Friday's game pitchers in right-hander Paul Johnson. Walnut is 16-8. South Torrance (11-9) draws a tough opening opponent in second-seed Poly (22-2), the Citrus Belt League champ. If high-scoring North Torrance (16-6) can get by Fontana (16-6), the Saxons probably will meet top-seed Mater Dei (22-1) in the second round. Rolling Hills (20-6) will throw Charlie Plumley at Pacific League champ Hoover (15-6). Powerful Torrance (19-6), the Ocean League's No. 1 team, could have a tough draw in St. John Bosco, which is 17-4 despite finishing third in the Del Rey League.
Right-hander Jim Hudson figures to make El Segundo (21-7) the favorite against Sonora (13-11). If they advance, the Eagles figure to meet second-seed Rio Mesa (22-3) in the second round. Leuzinger (20-7) will test San Marcos (17-6) with right-hander Tony Johnston.
St. Bernard (12-7), the Camino Real League's third-place team, could be a playoff sleeper behind right-hander Tim Williams, who will open against Temple City, the Rio Hondo League champ at 12-10. Camino Real winner Mary Star (12-7-1) should play a tune on Melodyland (8-8). Both area teams would be able to advance to quarterfinals before meeting a seeded team.
Prep League champ Chadwick (8-7) probably will start three-sport star Jeremy Kaufman against Avalon (14-6). Coast Christian takes a 5-7 record against Providence (12-8).
The area's 4-A softball teams appear to have tough draws, with South Torrance hosting St. Paul and the winner playing top-seed Ocean View (27-0) in the second round. Mira Costa plays at Moore League champ Long Beach Wilson, with the winner probably advancing against fourth-seed Cypress. Bishop Montgomery opens at second-seed Kennedy, the defending 4-A champ (22-5-1). Bay League winner Rolling Hills host a wild-card winner Friday, then would face the Kennedy-Bishop Montgomery winner.
Ocean League winner North Torrance is unseeded in 3-A but could make noise. The Saxons open at home against a wild-card team and probably have the South Bay's top CIF pitcher in junior Stephanie Skegas. If the Saxons advance they won't have to meet a seeded team until the quarterfinals. Hawthorne opens at Sunny Hills while Torrance travels to Irvine to face Seaview champ Woodbridge, a tough challenge for Tartar starter Joan Ybarra.
Mary Star, the Camino Real League champ, opens 2-A play at home against El Toro.
Pioneer League winner El Segundo hosts Los Angeles Lutheran today, with the winner proably advancing against fourth-seed Santa Paula (15-1). Leuzinger plays at Desert-Inyo League champ Paraclete this afternoon, and Miraleste hosts Western Christian today. The winner probably will draw second-seed Maranatha (18-1) in the second round.