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Jackson-Milton earns top seed in baseball

Two area teams earned No. 1 seeds in voting for the upcoming high school baseball postseason, one a perennial power — Canfield in Division II — and the other a bit of a surprise — Jackson-Milton in Division IV.

The two were chosen in online voting by coaches of the teams involved in the respective district tournaments.

Sectional first-round games and bracket finals are scheduled the week of May 18-23. Those games will be played at the better-seeded team’s site.

District semifinals and finals will be played at neutral sites the week of May 25-30. Regional tournament games are the following week and the state tournament is scheduled June 10-12 at Canal Park in Akron.

Canfield, 15-0 at the time the voting began, finished ahead of No. 2 Salem (17-3) in the Division II voting. Howland (13-6) is seeded fourth, followed immediately by Niles (14-5) and West Branch (13-7).

Jackson-Milton (11-2) was first in D-IV, ahead of Lake Center Christian (12-4). Heartland Christian (10-4) is seeded third, Kennedy (10-7) is fourth, Mathews (13-5) is fifth and Western Reserve (10-6) is sixth.

Area teams grabbed seven of the first nine seeds in Division III, though the top seed went to Rootstown (16-1). South Range (13-6) is second and Garfield (15-6) is third. After fourth-seeded Burton Berkshire (13-5) local teams are Springfield (12-4), Columbiana (14-4), Cardinal Mooney (9-4), Ursuline (9-11) and Champion (11-6).

In Division I, Fitch is seeded fifth and Boardman is 13th.

The Northeast District Athletic Board again divided the district geographically into East and West, as it had done for soccer, volleyball and basketball as part of COVID-19 pandemic protocols. All area schools are in the East for baseball.

Division I coaches (35 in the East) had the option of three different district brackets in which to place their teams. The district sites for Division I are Euclid, Hudson and Canton (Thurman Munson Stadium).

There are two brackets from which to choose in the other three divisions. District sites are Cene Park in Struthers and Louisville in Division II (25 teams), Cene Park and Niles in Division III (23 teams) and Cene Park and Fairport Harbor in Division IV (24 teams).

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