It’s a good thing that Cathedral Catholic began with a win on Tuesday, otherwise Harvard-Westlake and St. Francis would be in a close battle for the No. 1 ranking. Highest-ranked newcomer is Serra of San Mateo.
By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Paul Muyskens
(After games of Tuesday, March 5; preseason ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 1-0
The Dons opened their season on Tuesday by topping La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad 7-3. Senior Gabe Simpson went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and two runs batted in. Big-time pitching prospect Stephen Gonsalves also pitched five scoreless innings and allowed one hit.
2. (5) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 5-0
We’ve already had a pretty big game this week as the Wolverines beat Chaminade of West Hills 11-0 in the title game of the Easton tourney. Chaminade also was 4-0 entering the game and even with the loss went in as a newcomer to this week’s top 20. Connor Cuse pitched six shutout innings for Harvard-Westlake with eight strikeouts and four hits allowed.
3. (6) St. Francis (Mountain View) 6-0
A victory on Tuesday over Aptos already added to an impressive start for the Lancers. Among their early victims have been defending CIF North Coast Section champions Campolindo of Moraga and De La Salle of Concord.
4. (8) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 1-0
The Broncos and their usual power-packed lineup began the 2013 season on Tuesday with a 6-2 triumph over Granite Hills of El Cajon. They had to rally from a 2-0 early deficit.
5. (9) Elk Grove 1-0
We got several emails from coaches after the preseason rankings were done that the Thundering Herd were too low. They might be right. Elk Grove opened its season with a win against Ponderosa of Shingle Springs.
6. (4) Campolindo (Moraga) 1-1
The Cougars don’t drop far in these first regular season rankings because their loss is to St. Francis of Mountain View. They also have a win over Serra of San Mateo, which is that team’s only loss.
7. (19) Cypress 5-0
In another important game played Tuesday, Trevor Hall tossed five shutout innings and gave up just two hits as the Centurions defeated Long Beach Poly, which came into the contest at 6-0. The highlight of the season for them so far, though, still may be the doubleheader sweep of preseason ranked El Toro.
8. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 1-1
After losing the first game of a doubleheader last Saturday to St. Mary’s of Stockton, the Monarchs had no trouble in the second game, winning 13-2 as standout Ryan McMahon collected three hits, including one homer and two doubles.
9. (NR) Serra (San Mateo) 4-1
Yet another perennial power from the famed West Catholic Athletic League, the Padres have already succeeded against a strong schedule. Their only loss is to No. 6 Campolindo, while wins have come against Logan of Union City, De La Salle of Concord, Palo Alto and Tuesday against St. Mary’s of Stockton.
10. (2) Vista 0-1
We’ll continue to go with the Panthers in the top 10 despite them losing in their first game 1-0 to La Jolla Country Day. They were, after all, last year’s No. 1 team in the state.
11. (NR) Lutheran (Orange) 4-1
An impressive doubleheader sweep over three-time Sac-Joaquin Section champ St. Mary’s of Stockton started the season strongly for the Lancers. They also have a win over Esperanza of Anaheim with a loss to Palm Desert.
12. (11) Clovis 7-1
CIF Central Section teams always start with more games in early March and late February than other teams in the state. Clovis was the section’s preseason No. 1 team. Although there has been one loss to Bullard, that isn’t enough for there yet to be a change at the top.
13. (18) Valley Christian (San Jose) 4-1
After dropping their first game to San Benito of Hollister, the defending CIF Central Coast Section Division I champs got right back on track with wins over Monte Vista of Danville, Santa Clara, Homestead of Cupertino and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.
14. (NR) Chaminade (West Hills) 4-1
If the Eagles had won in their game against No. 2 Harvard-Westlake on Tuesday, these rankings would have been much different. Even with the defeat, Chaminade’s early-season wins over preseason ranked Chatsworth and Agoura of Agoura Hills is enough to merit a big jump this week.
15. (16) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 6-1
Before their loss to No. 7 Cypress on Tuesday, the Jackrabbits were 6-0. They still have to be happy about their start, which includes wins over Capistrano Valley, Tesoro, Villa Park and Servite.
16. (NR) West Ranch (Valencia) 4-1
The highlight so far the Wildcats has been a win against defending CIF Southern Section Division I champ Newbury Park.
17. (NR) Woodcreek (Roseville) 3-0
A win on Tuesday over Rodriguez of Cordelia keeps the Timberwolves on a roll. They won in their first two outings over Yuba City and Del Campo of Fair Oaks.
18. (NR) Clovis West (Fresno) 7-1
Coach Kevin Patrick’s team has two wins already over defending CIF Central Section champion Bullard of Fresno. Its only loss is to Edison, which is a team the Golden Eagles also have defeated. They’ll only get better, too, since a couple of players on the team are still playing basketball.
19. (17) Lakewood 2-1
The Lancers topped Pacifica of Garden Grove on Tuesday, otherwise they would have had to drop out from this week’s top 20.
20. (14) De La Salle (Concord) 1-2
Both losses by the Spartans are to higher-ranked teams (Serra of San Mateo and St. Francis of Mountain View).
Teams That Dropped:
Previous 7 El Toro (Lake Forest); No. 9 Agoura (Agoura Hills); No. 12 El Camino Real (Woodland Hills); No. 13 St. Mary’s (Stockton); No. 15 Chatsworth; No. 20 Bullard of Fresno.
Teams on the Bubble:
Agoura (Agoura Hills) 3-2, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 4-1, Buchanan (Clovis) 7-0-1, Chatsworth 2-2, El Toro (Lake Forest) 2-3, Fountain Valley 5-0, Madera 4-0, Rocklin 1-0, San Benito (Hollister) 4-1, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 1-4, Valencia 4-1, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 5-1.