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Southern Nevada region baseball tournaments wide open

Baseball coaches love to use cliches.

Especially the “On any given day, anyone can beat anyone else” phrase.

Yet it might aptly describe the Class 4A Desert and Mountain Region baseball tournaments, which begin Monday.

Handicapping the fields for the two double-elimination tournaments takes an advanced degree, as there doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite in either region.

“We’re not taking anyone lightly,” said Desert Oasis coach Paul Buboltz, whose team is the No. 1 seed in the Desert Region tournament. “Every one of those teams in the region, not to mention the other region, is a good team. I feel like it’s been like that the last few years. A bunch of people have had a shot to win it.”

Desert Oasis and Basic, last year’s Sunrise Region champion, are the top two seeds in the Desert Region, but Liberty, Bishop Gorman and Coronado have been ranked in the top 10 locally, and Spring Valley and Silverado are more than capable of stringing together wins.

The winners bracket final is Wednesday, and the championship game is May 10 at Desert Oasis. In the double-elimination format, a team must win a minimum of four games to capture the title. A loss early in the tournament makes a team’s road far more difficult.

“It becomes a different game in the playoffs,” Buboltz said. “It’s going to come down to who is hot at the end.”

The Mountain Region truly might be up for grabs.

Entering the final week of the regular season, two games separated second place from 10th.

Faith Lutheran earned the top seed for the tournament, but Centennial, defending state champion Palo Verde, Arbor View and Las Vegas are 20-win teams.

“A couple of teams were surprising, but everybody has a couple of arms and anyone can go beat anybody on any given day,” Centennial coach Charlie Cerrone said. “You need to be ready every game, every pitch.”

The region final is May 10 at Centennial.

“If we’re able to get there, I don’t know that it benefits us,” Cerrone said of playing at home. “It’s always nice to play here, but there’s also work involved in playing here.”

The top two teams in each region qualify for the six-team state tournament, with the region champions meeting May 11 for the right to earn a bye in the first round of the state tournament.

“It doesn’t change how you approach the tournament,” Cerrone said. “You’re going to play to win ballgames, not play to get to next week.”

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com.

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