La Quinta, the county's top-ranked team, was rewarded for a 26-1 season with the No. 1 seeding in the section Division IV baseball playoffs.
The Aztecs were the only county receiving a top seeding, when the pairings were announced Monday at the Southern Section office.
Defending champion: Esperanza, an 11-3 winner over Long Beach Millikan.
Top teams: La Puente Bishop Amat (22-4), Mater Dei (21-4), Long Beach Wilson (18-4-1), Encino Crespi (21-5-1).
Dark horse: Esperanza (17-7-1). The Aztecs, who looked dead at the halfway point of the season, have won their last seven.
Noteworthy: Millikan becomes more dangerous now that right-hander Randy Tymchak (4-1, 2.69, 24 strikeouts) has recovered from mononucleosis.
Defending champion: La Verne Damien a 6-5 winner over La Mirada in nine innings.
Top teams: West Torrance (23-3-1). Newhall Hart (24-3), Santa Maria Righetti (21-2), Canyon (21-5)
Dark horse: Aliso Niguel (20-6). When the Wolverine football team won its first league title in 1996, it won the section championship. The baseball team won its first league title this year.
Noteworthy: Canyon won the Division III title last year and the Division II title in 1996.
Defending champion: Canyon, which defeated Lakewood Artesia, 4-0.
Top teams: Palm Desert (22-4), Santa Margarita (20-6), West Covina South Hills (20-4) South Torrance (18-10).
Dark horse: La Habra (18-8). The Highlanders have enjoyed a fairy-tale season, led by David Cosato (.561, four homers, 22 RBI).
Noteworthy: Region II is loaded with county teams; besides Santa Margarita, there is Savanna, Western, Laguna Hills, Pacifica, Brea Olinda and Garden Grove.
Defending champion: West Covina South Hills, which beat San Luis Obispo 10-7
Top teams: La Quinta (26-1), El Segundo (23-4), St. Joseph Santa Maria (18-3), Monrovia (17-3)
Dark horse: Ocean View (16-10). The Seahawks were toughened by their season-long struggle with Servite for the Golden West League title.
Noteworthy: Corona del Mar landed an at-large berth, and gets to face El Segundo in the first round. A better test for El Segundo might be a potential second-round game with Calvary Chapel, which loves to face bigger schools.
Defending champion: Santa Maria St. Joseph, which defeated Brethren Christian, 4-1.
Top teams: Pasadena Poly (18-3), San Pedro Mary Star of the Sea (17-6-1), Lake Isabella Kern Valley (18-3), L.A. Baptist (16-5).
Dark horse: Temecula Linfield (17-3). The Lions won section titles in 1995 and 1996.
Noteworthy: One reason to like Linfield's chances is the caliber of play the Lions have gotten from Corey Sousa (.484, two homers, 24 RBIs) and Robert Ruiz (7-1, 2.75, 31 strikeouts).
Defending champion: Colton Christian Center Academy, a 10-8 winner over Hesperia Christian.
Top teams: Bloomington Christian (15-2), Simi Valley Grace Brethren (17-2), Christian Center Academy (16-8), La Verne Lutheran (15-2).
Dark horse: Heritage Christian (10-7), although the Patriots have not looked that sharp lately.
* COMPLETE PAIRINGS: C12