Peninsula baserunner Payton Knowles, center, gets chased by Port Angeles shortstop Michael Soule as second baseman Colton Romero looks on after Knowles was caught in a rundown between second and third and eventually tagged out in the first inning earlier this season at Port Angeles Civic Field. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Peninsula baserunner Payton Knowles, center, gets chased by Port Angeles shortstop Michael Soule as second baseman Colton Romero looks on after Knowles was caught in a rundown between second and third and eventually tagged out in the first inning earlier this season at Port Angeles Civic Field. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

PREPS: Postseason primer for area playoff teams

Spartans seek first state trip

PORT ANGELES — Winnowing season is well underway for spring prep sports.

Regular seasons are nearly all complete — softball the lone holdout — and the elimination process that is the postseason already has removed a handful of playoff qualifiers from the dance floor.

Others have chances to advance to the next stage: state tournaments with wins today and later this week.

Here’s where North Olympic Peninsula teams stand early in the postseason.

Baseball

Pacific League-champion Forks (14-0) is a win away from the first state-tournament berth in school history, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association database.

The Spartans, ranked No. 4 in the WIAA RPI, already earned a walkoff win in their district quarterfinal opener Saturday, and with a win over No. 12 Napavine (11-5) in today’s semifinal contest (3 p.m. at Lower Columbia College in Longview), they can seal a repeat trip to the Class 2B Southwest District IV championship game.

Of course, if not for COVID-shortened seasons that eliminated the state playoff round in 2021, Forks would already have a state trip under its belt from last spring.

Last year’s district championship opponent, No. 2 Toutle Lake (19-1) and No. 13 Toledo (14-6) face off in the other district semifinal. Winners advance to the district title game at W.F. West in Chehalis at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Forks also can reach the state tournament through the consolation bracket if it stumbles today. A win in the consolation rounds Friday or Saturday at Adna High School also would seal a state trip.

Port Angeles (10-9) received some good news and some bad news when it was given the West Central District’s ninth seed.

The good? The Roughriders get to host a district playoff game today at 4:15 p.m. against the 14th-seeded Franklin Pierce Cardinals (7-11).

The bad? It’s a loser-out contest, so Port Angeles can’t afford much in the way of mistakes if it wants to keep playing ball.

Jefferson County’s East Jefferson (8-10) played a West Central District 1A loser-out contest against Cascade Christian late Monday.

Quilcene (7-8) went 1-1 in a pair of loser-out Class 1B District 1/2 tournament games Saturday, beating Concrete 12-4 before bowing out to Mount Vernon Christian 13-0.

Boys soccer

Sequim (10-5), ranked No. 16 in the RPI, was given the No. 7 seed in the Class 2A West Central District tournament and will visit No. 4 Franklin Pierce (14-1), the district’s second seed, tonight on the road with a state-tournament berth at stake. The Wolves can afford a loss tonight and would still have a shot at state with two straight consolation-round wins Thursday and Saturday.

Forks (10-7) must win tonight at home at 6 p.m. against Winlock (6-8-1) to remain in the Class 1A Southwest District tournament. Winner advances to face the loser of tonight’s Columbia White Salmon and Seton Catholic match.

East Jefferson and Port Angeles both saw their seasons come to a close in district losses over the weekend.

Softball

Port Angeles (9-1, 14-1) and Sequim (10-5) each have three Olympic League games remaining this week, including the Wolves visiting the Riders on Friday.

All No. 1-ranked Port Angeles has to do to seal the league title is pick up a win and likely seal up the No. 1 seed to the district tournament set for the RAC in Lacey on May 20-21. The top eight seeds to the 16-team district tournament will face off in winner-to-state contests to open tourney play.

The Wolves are currently fifth in Olympic League play and may need a wildcard based on RPI to advance to district play if they can’t surpass North Mason in the league standings.

Pacific League contests today at Raymond between Forks (11-3, 12-5) and the Seagulls (10-3, 12-4) will determine the league’s second seed to the District IV tournament. The No. 2 seed advances directly to the double-elimination quarterfinals while the No. 3 must win a first-round loser-out contest.

Quilcene (7-5) will host a 1B District 1/2 tournament game against the Pope John Paul-Muckleshoot winner at Quilcene on May 17.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected]

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