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Ripon baseball, softball programs set for playoffs

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POSTED May 10, 2014 12:15 a.m.

Ripon’s softball and baseball teams kick off the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs on Wednesday and Thursday. The Ripon Christian baseball squad will face Foresthill-Placer in the out-bracket game of the Division VI baseball tournament Monday.

The Knights (12-9) will limp into the postseason as the Southern League’s No. 3 seed and host the Wildfires (13-6) at 4 p.m.

The Knights lost three of their last four league ball games, including back-to-back defeats at the hands of Mariposa, the SL’s No. 1 seed and last year’s section runner-up. Mariposa suffered a 10-2 loss against Bradshaw Christian in last year’s final, just a year after the Grizzlies beat the Pride for the 2012 Division VI section title. Last year, Bradshaw defeated Ripon Christian 7-0 in the semifinals and eliminated the Knights in the semifinals two years ago as well.

Bradshaw Christian (17-8) is the top seed out of the Sierra Delta Valley League, where it went 12-0 this season. The Pride will await the winner of Ripon Christian-Foresthill at Stagg High of Stockton Thursday night.

This is also the Knights’ third straight trip to the postseason.

The Ripon baseball team, under first-year head coach Jon Manrique, will open its Division V tournament on Thursday as the Trans Valley League’s second-seeded team. Ripon is back in the playoffs for the third time in four years after being absent last year.

The Indians (14-9-1) will host Argonaut at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals for a trip to face the winner out of Capital Christian and Escalon/Calaveras Thursday.

Capital Christian, the Golden Empire League’s No. 1 seed and defending section champ, dethroned last year’s three-time defending section champ Escalon and will be aiming to repeat.

Ripon split its final two series’ with Orestimba and Hilmar to close the season despite the Warriors and Yellowjackets not being playoff squads. The Indians will face an Argonaut squad on a streak having won nine of its last 10 games.

Much like the Ripon baseball team, the softball team will square off with Argonaut of the Mother Lode League as well.

The Lady Indians will return to the Division V tournament for a second straight year after qualifying for the postseason last spring for the first time since 1996.

While Escalon and Dixon will open the out-bracket contest on Monday, the Indians (19-4-3) will host an Argonaut squad at 4 p.m., that went 16-10-1 this season.

Ripon will aim to improve on last year, where it lost in the first round against Marysville, which went on to lose against the eventual section champion Hughson.

 If Ripon can defeat its opponent from Jackson, it will move on to the quarterfinals to face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Calaveras and Lindhurst.

Hughson has won the last three Division V section championships, including the last two against Linden, the MLL’s No. 1 seed who are both back in the tournament along with Marysville.

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