With tournament play slated to begin Saturday, the state seedings along with the second coaches poll for Ohio was released Sunday.

Three area baseball teams received recognition in the coaches poll, which subsequently led to No. 1 seeds for each program. Wheelersburg (14-4) is ranked No. 9 in Division III while Minford (14-4, 9-4 SOC II) checked in at No. 11.

Falcons coach Brent Daniels was elated his team received recognition Sunday but he wasn’t banking their success on the coaches poll.

“I think it makes the kids feel good and the program feel good that they’re recognized for getting something accomplished,” Daniels said. “That’s something that’s out of our control and we really don’t worry about — if it happens, great, if not, that’s OK — but I think it gives the kids some added incentive.”

Minford won’t play its first tournament game until May 14. Daniels has added a few games leading into the tournament game.

“I’ve added a couple of games in there to kind of keep us game fresh,” Daniels said. “We’ve just got to keep playing and hope we peak at the right time.”

“I think we’re getting close,” Daniels said. “I think we’re playing better each night. I think it’s just about playing games. For the last three or four weeks, we’ve played four games a week, so we’re trying to get as many games in as we possibly can. We’re just trying to keep the bats going, keep our pitchers’ arms going.”

In Division IV, Notre Dame (14-4, 10-0 SOC I) checked in at No. 3 while grabbing a one seed in the tournament. While Notre Dame isn’t used to being in the spotlight, Titans manager Drew Mader said his players aren’t getting caught up in the moment.

“To tell you the truth, a lot of our kids don’t really look at it,” Mader said. “They really haven’t mentioned it. It’s really funny to say but when you hear the kids, they’re kind of humble to be on the streak that we’re on. They just take it day by day.

“Polls are great. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to have other coaches take notice that your team is doing well for the year and it’s been a long time since we have even been ranked as high as we are. But right now, our kids are focused on one game at a time and they’re not really even focused on the tournament.”

Notre Dame is heading into the tournament with momentum as the Titans are currently riding a 14-game winning streak. Notre Dame began the season with a spring break trip to Florida but returned with an 0-4 record. Since returning to Ohio, the Titans have yet to taste defeat.

“Coming out of that, we were really thankful when we came up here and started winning,” Mader said. “Now we look back and we kind of credit that to our spring break.”

The OHSAA tournament officially begins on May 7. The brackets are posted on www.seodab.org.

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By Chris Slone

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