It's tempting to separate the 40th Windemuth Classic into two baseball tournaments, but the rules don't allow that.
The tournament boasts five teams that have at least 10 victories and are contending for their league championships.
The problem is that all five teams are in one bracket: The opposing bracket doesn't possess a team that has more than seven wins or is more than one game above .500.
The positive spin is that the "Windemuth" bracket should have plenty of quality battles.
The first one is today, when Escalon -- 15-0 and The Bee's top-ranked small school -- faces Modesto Metro Conference-leading Davis (11-4) at 3:30 p.m. at the Spartans' field.
In the same bracket are: Pitman (10-7), a Central California Conference contender; Enochs (11-4), in second place in the MMC; and Modesto Christian (10-4), contending in the Trans-Valley League.
Other featured games include Enochs vs. Pitman and Escalon on Tuesday, and Pitman vs. Modesto Christian and Davis on Wednesday.
The other two teams, while lacking strong records, have a player capable of changing a game: Central Valley, with Martin Gomez pitching, can topple any opponent, while Modesto's Calvin Thomas is third in the Sac-Joaquin Section with five home runs.
The "Vermeulen" bracket lacks star power, but should be competitive with Turlock,Sonora, Ceres and Johansen topping the seven-team field.
Action starts today at Davis and Downey, then games will be at those sites and Enochs Tuesday through Thursday.
Since teams play only three round-robin games, run differential rather than records could determine which teams reach Thursday's title game.
The Stanislaus District's other major baseball tourney starting today is the 50th Atwater-Winton Lions Classic at Memorial Park in Atwater.
The eight-team event features two brackets with four teams each, and the winner of each bracket plays Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for the championship.
Central Catholic, boasting a duo of sophomore Billy Flamion (6-1, 2.65 ERA) and freshman Chris Sauls (4-1, 2.36) is the favorite in one bracket.
Atwater is expected to battle Carson in the opposing bracket. All eight teams will play Thursday to decide third, fifth and seven places.
Bee staff writer Rich Estrada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.