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Ranking the teams

by Chris Conley

EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) Tonight baseball coaches from around the region will meet at D.C. Everest for the seeding meeting. They'll determine the match-ups for the state tournament that starts in early June.

The Evergreens still have six games remaining in the regular season, and they could finish as high as second in the Wisconsin Valley Conference or a low as 6 th . Winning four-in-a-row and 5-of-their-last-6 has improved the Evergreen's position. It's unfortunate the Everest-Wausau-West game wont happen until Thursday after the rankings come out.

Here's how I would rank the 12 teams, which is what each coach will be asked to do.

1 - Bay Port (14-5)

2 - Ashwaubenon (14-4)

3 - Antigo (16-1)

4 - Wausau-West (9-5)

5 - Green Bay Southwest (8-10)

6 - D.C. Everest (8-7)

7 - Merrill (6-11)

8 - Wausau-East (5-9)

9 - Pulaski (7-12)

10 - Rhinelander (4-7)

11 - Shawano (4-14)

12 - New London (3-11)

A few comments: This is a group that's top-heavy. Bay Port and Ashwaubenon are head-and-shoulders the best teams in the bracket. Either could be number-one. The two teams split their regular-season meetings. Antigo gets the #3 seed because of their very good record against weaker opposition. The #4 seed is a grab-bag of either D.C. Everest, Wausau-West or GB Southwest. I think Southwest is probably the better team of the three, but I picked West because of their better overall record. The Green Bay area coaches may not see it this way.

The Evergreens could have easily claimed the #4 slot if it wasn't for two games they should have won. If Everest captured the 11-inning game against Wausau-West and their 8-5 loss in the April chill at Merrill they'd be 10-5 overall, in second place in the Valley, and would be a lock for a first-round bye.

The bottom part of the bracket (East, Pulaski, Rhinelander, Shawano, New London) is an ugly bunch. There will be many first and second round mismatches.

Under my unofficial rankings, Everest would have a home game in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday, June 2 against Shawano, and if they win, would play at Antigo on Friday, June 5. If somehow the Evergreens fall to the 7 th seed or lower, they'd be stuck playing one of the tough Green Bay area teams in the second round.

I'll post the official pairings on Thursday.

Chris Conley