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Aragon High School Dons' Steven Hughes (14) high-fives his coach after hitting a home run against the Capuchino High School Mustangs in the third inning at Aragon High School in San Mateo, Calif. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Trying to figure out Peninsula Athletic League baseball this season has been an exercise in futility.

Carlmont has put on a late-season drive to take over first place in the league's "A" division (the Bay), one game ahead of Terra Nova and Menlo-Atherton.

Normally that would be the only race that mattered much in regard to postseason conjecture. But this year the league's "B" division (the Ocean) appears just as strong, if not stronger. There was a four-way tie for first place in the Ocean at the start of the week, and the four top Ocean teams have a cumulative 8-1-2 record in head-to-head matchups against Bay teams.

We're talking serious parity.

The power division concept has not worked out in the PAL, largely because of the difficulty in predicting which teams belong in which division.

"It's really hard to get it right," Aragon coach Lenny Souza said. "Baseball is not like football or basketball, where the more physically talented team almost always wins."

Look at the numbers

Sequoia, Capuchino and Hillsdale are tied for first place in the Ocean at 9-4. Hillsdale is 3-0 against teams from the Bay, Sequoia is 3-0-1, and Capuchino 1-1. Fourth-place Aragon is 1-0-1. So how did the Ocean end up with the upper hand?

"I wish I could tell you,'' Sequoia coach Corey Uhalde said. "I've been in this league five years now, and it's always been pretty balanced. But this year, with four teams tied for first and a week to go, it's just remarkable.''

And yet despite the Ocean's superiority in head-to-head games, the Bay gets five automatic berths in the Central Coast Section playoffs and the Ocean gets two.

Of the top four in the Ocean, Aragon (8-5) is the most likely to miss out on the CCS playoffs if it does not finish in the top two and get an automatic berth.

"We don't have the points to get in,'' Souza said. "We had a bad spring break. But we hold our fate in our hands.''

Lots of movement

Menlo-Atherton, behind the pitching of Erik Amundson and Matthew McGarry, led the Bay for most of the season. But then Terra Nova got Anthony Gordon back and went into first place.

Gordon, who put up prolific passing numbers as the quarterback on the Terra Nova football team, was out for two months after suffering a broken wrist and hairline pelvis fractures in a fall at the school's swimming pool.

The shortstop and No. 3 batter in the team's lineup a year ago as a sophomore, Gordon has hit .333 over six games since returning, batting second and playing third base.

But after moving into first place, Terra Nova lost a pair of games last week, and Carlmont, the defending Bay champion, utilized a four-game winning streak to take over the top spot.

The Scots were buoyed by the return from injury of junior shortstop Aaron Pleschner, who has already orally committed to San Jose State.

The Bay Division champion will be part of the inaugural CCS Open Division playoffs.

And while a representative from a league with such parity would not be expected to fare well against the CCS elite, the current Bay Division leaders at Carlmont are looking forward to the opportunity. After all, Carlmont made history in 2011 when as the No. 16 seed it upset No. 1 seed St. Francis in the opening round of the Division I playoffs.

"That's fine," Carlmont coach Rich Vallero said of the possibility of having to play in the Open Division. "We will lay it all on the line."

"Bring it on," pitcher Matt Seubert said. "It's baseball. Anything can happen on any given day."