NORTHAMPTON >> A Pittsfield team earned a top-five slot in the Western Massachusetts Division I baseball tournament for the second consecutive season.
Taconic (18-2) got a No. 2 seed in the Division I tournament, surpassing the No. 4 seed that Pittsfield earned a year ago. The Braves are one of eight Berkshire County baseball teams that will battle for Western Mass. trophies this month.
"It was kind of what we expected," said Jim Abel, the athletic director of the Pittsfield Public Schools and a member of the baseball tournament committee. "We're content. It's a second season for the kids now."
Taconic will play No. 7 East Longmeadow in a quarterfinal game. Pittsfield earned a No. 9 seed in the Division I tournament and the Generals (13-7) will travel for the first-round game at eighth-seeded Central (10-10) on Thursday.
Four Berkshire County teams will play in the Division III. Wahconah (12-8) is the fourth seed, followed by No. 5 Monument Mountain (10-10), No. 7 Mount Greylock (10-10) and No. 10 Hoosac Valley (12-8). Greylock is the defending Western Mass. champion.
In Division IV, Lenox (14-6) got a No. 3 seed, and that's the highest Berkshire County seed in that division since it was the old Division III and St. Joseph was a No. 2 seed in 2013.
In all, Athol athletic director, and tournament director, Dave King said he was happy with how things turned out.
"For me it was easy because all the teams that had games at the end of the year were already in the tournament," he said. "It's stressful when you have teams that you don't know if they're getting on or not and you can't do the whole Walker system until the end."
As a reminder, all schedules are tentative for 24 hours after the seeding meeting, allowing schools to shuffle starting times and dates if necessary.
Taconic would have been a No. 3 seed had Pope Francis not received a bid to play in the Super 8 Tournament. The Braves earned their No. 2 seed thanks to the best winning percentage in Division I. If Taconic had higher than the second lowest strength of schedule, the Braves might have been No. 1.
"I am" happy with the second seed, Taconic coach Kevin Stannard said. "I would love to be No. 1. We get a home game out of it. That's a first for us in a while.
"We did all we could with our body of work this year."
Taconic's only losses were by one run to Pope Francis and to sixth-seeded Minnechaug.
The Braves might see Minnechaug again. Taconic will play seventh-seeded East Longmeadow (13-8) in a quarterfinal game, and would see the winner of No. 3 Westfield (13-7) and Minnechaug (12-8) in the semis.
Pittsfield was the last of the nine teams in the Division I field. The Generals will play No. 8 Central.
Monument Mountain might be the highest-seeded 10-10 team in the Commonwealth, if one looks at teams that are seeded by more than just their record.
The Spartans had the fifth-best Walker ranking and were No. 1 in strength of schedule in Division III. Because of that, the Spartans get a first-round home game against 12th-seeded Hampshire Regional, despite the Red Raiders' 10-8 record.
Fourth-seeded Wahconah (12-8) is on the same side of the bracket with Monument, and would face the Spartans in the quarterfinals if Monument beats Hampshire and Wahconah knocks off 13th-seeded Sci-Tech (11-9). There are 13 teams in the Division III field.
Defending champion Mount Greylock (10-10) had the fourth-best strength of schedule in Division III and will get a first-round home game. The seventh-seeded Mounties will, however, see a familiar foe in No. 10 Hoosac Valley (12-8). The Mounties beat the Hurricanes 10-9 and 2-1 in the regular season.
By earning the No. 3 seed, Lenox is the highest-seeded Berkshire County team in this grouping of schools since St. Joseph earned the No. 2 seed in the Division III tourney back in 2013. That's when there were Divisions I, II and III. The Millionaires will be seeking a first Western Mass. title in that division Mount Everett won the D-III title in 2012.
The Millionaires (14-6) won four of their last five and were perfect against Division IV opponents. They will wait for the winner of Thursday's game between No. 6 St. Mary's (14-6) and 11th-seeded Pathfinder (10-10).
Tri-County League champion McCann (16-4) earned a first-round bye, but as the No. 5 seed, the Hornets will be on the road in the quarterfinals when they play at No. 4 Commerce (15-5).
Granby (17-3) is the top seed, and if the Rams and Hornets hold serve, they would play each other in a semifinal.
Division I seeds: 1. Holyoke (15-5), 2. Taconic (18-2), 3. Westfield (13-7), 4. West Springfield (14-6), 5. Northampton (13-7), 6. Minnechaug (12-8), 7. East Longmeadow (13-8), 8. Central (10-10), 9. Pittsfield (13-7).
Division II: 1. South Hadley (16-4), 2. Southwick (16-4), 3. Frontier (15-3), 4. Wahconah (12-8), 5. Monument Mountain (10-10), 6. Mohawk (14-6), 7. Mount Greylock (10-10), 8. Greenfield (11-9), 9. Belchertown (11-7), 10. Hoosac Valley (12-8), 11. Mahar (10-10), 12. Hampshire Regional (10-8), 13. Sci-Tech (11-9).
Division III: 1. Granby (17-3), 2. Hopkins Academy (11-7), 3. Lenox (14-6), 4. Commerce (15-5), 5. McCann Tech (16-4), 6. St. Mary's (14-6), 7. Ware (14-6), 8. Smith Academy (8-10), 9. Westfield Tech (10-8), 10. Turners Falls (6-14), 11. Pathfinder (10-10).
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.