Eight different teams held the No. 1 state ranking at some point in the season and all eight are included in this end-of-the-season expanded version of our overall state baseball rankings. This ranges from No. 1 Capo Valley down to No. 25 Elk Grove. Go inside as well to see if San Dimas cracked the list or how high Cathedral Catholic went up.
Compiled by Mark Tennis, Executive Editor
Writeups by Andrew Drennen, Steve Brand, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens and Mark Tennis
(After games of Saturday, June 6; After all games played during 2009 season; Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (4) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 26-6
Once the CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs began, the Cougars hit their rythym with a No. 1 and No. 2 pitching combo of Tyler Matzek and Kevin Chambers that was second to none. Making them even more potent is that both Matzek and Chambers swung the sticks real effectively as well. Coach Bob Zamora’s team, which encountered some difficulty in the South Coast League, began its playoff run with an 8-4 triumph over Long Beach Wilson. Those runs allowed, which came after Zamora took out Matzek with the Cougars ahead 8-0, ended up being the only runs that Capo would allow in entire postseason. In the second-round, the team blanked Lutheran of Orange, 4-0, and then came back-to-back-to-back shutouts of Huntington Beach Marina (11-0), Riverside Poly (1-0) and then finally Edison of Huntington Beach (1-0) in the championship game. The Cougars also featured an outstanding leadoff hitter in outfielder Steve McMichael and they had a very promising slick-fielding shortstop in sophomore Kyle Hunt.
2. (3) Chatsworth 29-4
The Chancellors won the L.A. City Section Div. I title when they thumped Cleveland of Reseda, 9-0, at Dodger Stadium. Towards the end of the year, there was the possibility that Chatsworth would be the state’s No. 1 team, but when Capistrano Valley ended its impressive run through the Southern Section playoffs with four straight shutouts the best Chatsworth could do is second. The Chancellors’ closest playoff game was to rival El Camino Real and that was an 8-5 game. Other than that, they handled their business in the postseason. They finished in second-place in the West Valley League behind Cleveland, a team they had a 3-1 record against. Chatsworth also traveled to Nevada and played in the Blazer SportCo Spring Bash. There they faced Las Vegas High, home of Sports Illustrated coverboy Bryce Harper, and won 8-3 and held the slugger to just one hit in three at-bats. Winning their sixth championship this decade, the Chancellors are definitely the state team of the decade.
3. (1) Edison (Huntington Beach) 23-6
For a No. 1 and No. 2 pitching combo, the Chargers were almost the equal of Capo Valley. In their case, it was senior Kurt Heyer and sophomore Henry Owens. It was Heyer who took the 1-0 loss to the Cougars in the final, but in that game he only allowed four hits. It’s just that one of them was a homer. It was Owens who took the win in the semifinals when Edison edged Mater Dei of Santa Ana, 2-1. The game-winning hit in that one came in the bottom of the seventh inning by Kyle Jones. Earlier playoff wins were against Lakewood (11-1), West Ranch of Santa Clarita (13-1) and Dana Hills of Dana Point (3-2). Coach Steve Lambright’s team was led offensively by Josh Leshinski, who hit .360 with 12 doubles and 28 RBI, and Donald Sneed, who hit .344 with seven homers and 21 RBI.
4. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 24-6
The Monarchs entered the CIFSS Div. I playoffs after finishing with a 10-5 record in Trinity League play. Their only loss outside of league came at the hands of Huntington Beach Edison in the Southern Section semifinals at Blair Field. They played in the National Classic this year and topped No. 11 El Toro in the finals at Goodwin Field. Coach Burt Call’s team got off to a hot start as well, winning all five of their games in the Newport Elks Tournament, including a 4-3 win over eventual Southern Section Div. I champ Capistrano Valley. In that game against the Cougars, the Monarchs topped Kevin Chambers, the same pitcher who threw a gem of a game against Edison of Huntington Beach at Angel Stadium. Mater Dei’s own ace, Aaron Northcraft, pitched a number of gems as well.