The road to the PIAA baseball championship starts with the District 11 tournament.
And this week, a dozen Schuylkill League baseball teams begin their quest for postseason glory.
Here’s a look at the Schuylkill League baseball teams in action this week in the District 11 tournament:
District 11 Class 5A Playoffs
Local Teams Qualified: #1 Blue Mountain, #4 Pottsville
Schuylkill League champs Blue Mountain hold the top seed in the 5A playoffs. And they get rewarded with a bye into the semifinals.
The Eagles must wait to see who wins the only first-round matchup at the 5A level.
On Tuesday, #4 Pottsville takes on #5 Bangor. The Crimson Tide host that playoff game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The winner gets Blue Mountain in the semifinals.
On the flip side of the bracket, #2 Whitehall and #3 Southern Lehigh wait until May 25 to play a semifinal game. That’s when Blue Mountain faces the winner of Pottsville-Bangor but a site hasn’t been picked for that game.
The District 11 5A championship is held at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
District 11 Class 4A Baseball Playoffs
Local Teams Qualified: #1 North Schuylkill, #7 Jim Thorpe
Schuylkill League runner-up North Schuylkill is on to the semifinals, earning the only bye in the District 11 Class 4A baseball bracket. The Spartans hold the top seed.
They’ll wait out the winner of the first-round matchup between #4 Saucon Valley and #5 Allentown Central Catholic.
The other side of the bracket features another Schuylkill League side, #7 Jim Thorpe. The Olympians need to knock off #2 Northwestern Lehigh on the road to make the semifinals. Thorpe-Northwestern first pitch is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22.
Winning that game gets someone a date with the winner of the other quarterfinal game, #3 Wilson vs. #6 Bethlehem Catholic.
The semifinals for Class 4A are set for May 25.
District 11 Class 2A Baseball Playoffs
Local Teams Qualified: #1 Schuylkill Haven, #2 Marian Catholic, #3 Williams Valley, #4 Panther Valley, #5 Minersville, #6 Shenandoah Valley
The District 11 Class 2A baseball playoffs looks more like a small-school Schuylkill League tournament.
Schuylkill Haven and Marian Catholic earned the top seeds in the bracket. And they’ll automatically move on to the semifinals, May 26, at Pottsville.
In the quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 22, #3 Williams Valley hosts #6 Shenandoah Valley at 4:30 p.m. in Williamstown. The winner of that game gets Marian Catholic in the semis.
The other quarterfinal game pits #4 Panther Valley against #5 Minersville. That games is also on Wednesday, May 22, in Lansford. The winner gets Haven in the semifinal round.
The finals in Class 2A are set for May 29 at 4:30 at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
District 11 Class 1A Baseball Playoffs
Local Teams Qualified: #1 Tri-Valley, #3 Nativity BVM
The Class 1A playoffs all take place at Stump Stadium in Pine Grove. The semifinal round takes place Election Day, May 21.
In the first game, #3 Nativity BVM of Pottsville takes on #2 Salem Christian at 4:30 p.m. Right after that, at 7:30 p.m., #1 Tri-Valley takes on #4 Lincoln Leadership.
Winners in those games meet in the District 11 Class 1A championship at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 24.