The two top-ranked teams in the 2A Western Slope League will meet twice this week, with the outcome determining the league champions.
Paonia (13-1, 5-0) is currently in the number two spot in state Max Preps standings and Hotchkiss (11-1, 4-0) is number four.
This week's Colorado High School Activities Association polls, which is voted on by coaches and select members of the media, have Paonia holding steady in second place in Class 2A with 103 points, while Hotchkiss moved up a notch to fourth place this week with 82 points.
Game one of the two-game series will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at Volunteer Park in Paonia; game two starts at 4 p.m. Friday at Burns Drake Field in Hotchkiss.
For both teams, the doubleheader could mark their toughest game of the year. And there's no doubt that all of the returning players remember the 2017 quarterfinal state playoff game when then junior Kayden Seriani scored a run in the sixth inning for Paonia to defeat the Bulldogs, 1-0. The Eagles went on to win the state title.
The doubleheader could also determine the league champions ahead of the May 11-12 district tournament.
Paonia will end the season on a May 1 non-conference game at Nucla (7-7), and a pick-up non-conference doubleheader against Sanford on May 4 at Gunnison High School.
Hotchkiss is one game shy of a full season and will end regulation play with a home doubleheader on May 3 against Sargent and will end the conference season with a doubleheader on May 7 at Meeker (8-5, 3-1).