Mater Dei heads to NHSI tourney in North Carolina with new No. 1 state ranking. St. Francis of Mountain View falls to fifth after hard-to-believe 10-9 loss to Serra of San Mateo. Highest rising newcomers are St. Augustine of San Diego (another CIF state hoops champ) and Agoura of Agoura Hills.
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(After games of Saturday, March 23 with Monday games indicated; previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 6-1
With previous No. 1 St. Francis of Mountain View and No. 2 Harvard-Westlake suffering losses last week, the Monarchs go up to the top spot prior to their trip to play later this week at the National High School Invitational tournament in North Carolina. They are the defending champions of that event and if they win it again and also can win the CIF Southern Section Division I title, that might be enough to get them national No. 1 consideration. In their 7-0 win last week over Lutheran of Orange, Davis Tominaga pitching six innings of one-hit ball and also collected two hits. Later, in a 14-4 romp past JSerra of San Juan Capistrano, Ryan McMahon hit a three-run homer as part of a 4-for-4 outing while Jeremy Martinez had three RBIs.
2. (4) Granite Hills (El Cajon) 8-1
The Eagles followed up their big week when they posted wins against Cathedral Catholic (No. 1 in the state at the time) and Rancho Bernardo (avenged earlier defeat) by getting two more triumphs. The first win was 8-2 over Mt. Miguel of Spring Valley, followed by 9-1 against El Capitan of Lakeside. Granite Hills was scheduled to play No. 20 Chaminade on Monday in the annual Mike Morrow Lions Tournament.
3. (5) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 7-1
The pitching-rich Dons hope they can make a statement at this week’s NHSI tournament in North Carolina. Even if they win the tourney title, they’d still need Granite Hills to lose to move in front of the Eagles in the local San Diego County rankings.
4. (6) Buchanan (Clovis) 12-0-1
Junior outfielder Trenton Kemp ripped a home run, went 3-for-3 and had four RBIs to lead the Bears past Clovis West of Fresno 15-1 in a big Tri-River Athletic Conference matchup. With the win, Buchanan moved up into the top five of this week’s rankings.
5. (1) St. Francis (Mountain View) 12-1
After taking a 6-0 and 8-1 lead in the early innings, the Lancers couldn’t hold on and dropped their first game of the season 10-9 to Serra of San Mateo in a West Catholic Athletic League game. Junior Tyler Deason led St. Francis with three hits and three RBIs.
6. (9) Fountain Valley 9-1
Wins over Newport Harbor of Newport Beach and Los Alamitos helped the Barons move up three spots in this week’s state rankings. They also are now a solid No. 2 behind Mater Dei in Orange County and are up to No. 2 in the L.A. Times’ top 25 that covers the Southern Section and L.A. City Section.
7. (10) Elk Grove 5-1
The Thundering Herd are the second highest-ranked team from this week’s rankings playing in the NorCal bracket this week of the first Boras Baseball Classic. Their first game was scheduled for Monday against Excel Academy of Stockton. No. 4 Buchanan of Clovis also is in the field. The SoCal bracket will be held next week with a championship game set for April 13 at the University of Pacific in Stockton.
8. (11) Serra (San Mateo) 10-2
Heroes for the Padres in their 10-9 comeback win over previous No. 1 St. Francis included Christian Conci and Sean Watkins. Conci conked a three-run homer in the third inning to get Serra to 8-7 while Watkins came on in relief to shut down the Lancers when they were threatening.
9. (7) Canyon (Anaheim) 7-1
Splitting a pair with El Dorado of Placentia cost the Comanches a pair of positions in this week’s rankings. After winning the first game 6-2, they were in position to win the second as well when a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh dealt them a 2-1 loss. Canyon plays Foothill of Tustin and Esperanza of Anaheim in this week’s games.
10. (2) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 10-2
For the second straight week, the Wolverines split a pair of games with a league rival. This time, it was against Crespi of Encino and this time they have to drop in the state rankings. Like No. 1 Mater Dei, Harvard-Westlake also is traveling later this week to the NHSI in North Carolina.
11. (15) De La Salle (Concord) 3-2
Despite the Spartans not playing, they get to go up four slots this week due to other teams losing. Their only two losses are to higher-ranked St. Francis and Serra, they have wins against Campolindo and Stockton St. Mary’s and they are the defending CIF North Coast Section Division I champions. DLS plays Foothill of Pleasanton and Amador Valley of Pleasanton this week.
12. (18) Granada (Livermore) 8-0
Ryan Kirby collected three hits, including a double and a homer, to lift the Matadors past Tracy 11-1 in a game that was part of the East Bay San Joaquin Showdown played at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton. Making the performance for Granada more impressive is that it came against UCLA-bound pitcher Jonah Wesely, one of the highest-regarded hurlers in the state.
13. (NR) St. Augustine (San Diego) 9-0
The Saints remained unbeaten with a win last week over University City and also have now become a solid No. 3 team for San Diego County. That’s also because of Rancho Bernardo suffering its second loss and previously unbeaten San Dieguito losing to La Costa Canyon. St. Augustine already was ranked ahead of San Dieguito before last week, too. The team opened play on Monday in this week’s Mike Morrow Lions tourney against Roosevelt of Los Angeles.
14. (NR) Agoura (Agoura Hills) 8-3
Noah Shearer rapped out a pair of hits and drove in two runs as the Chargers topped perennial power Lakewood 8-1 to cap a strong week. Earlier, they swept a pair from league rival Royal of Simi Valley. This week, Agoura plays Calabasas twice and then meets Valencia.
15. (NR) Bonita (La Verne) 9-1
The Bobcats plated five runs in the seventh inning to knock off previous No. 13 Cypress 6-5 at the Redondo tournament. Bonita’s only loss is to South Hills of Covina, but they have other solid wins, such as those against San Dimas and Yucaipa. This is a team that also is coming off of a spectacular 32-2 season from one year ago.
16. (8) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 6-2
A loss to Rancho Buena Vista of Vista causes the Broncos’ to fall eight positions in this week’s rankings. They are hoping for a series of strong outings this week in the annual Mike Morrow Lions tourney. Rancho Bernardo opened that event Monday with a game against Mira Mesa.
17. (NR) Clovis 12-3
Coach James Patrick, who won his 600th game earlier this month, directed the Cougars to big wins last week against Clovis North (4-3) and Central of Fresno (13-4). Against Central, which was No. 14 in last week’s rankings, USC-bound Jacob Gatewood went 3-for-4, including a home run and a double.
18. (20) Valley Christian (San Jose) 9-4
The Warriors rolled past Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 3-0 in their only outing of last week. Chris Manderson, a junior, allowed four hits and no walks in pitching the shutout. Valley Christian has a game this week at St. Mary’s of Stockton, which might only be 3-7 but also has handed No. 1 Mater Dei its only defeat.
19. (NR) Nogales (La Puente) 11-0
Veteran coach John Romano earned the milestone 600th win of his career a few weeks ago and his team hasn’t missed a beat. The Nobles won last week over Baldwin Park and Duarte. They haven’t played too tough of a schedule yet, otherwise they possibly could have debuted higher in this week’s rankings.
20. (12) Chaminade (West Hills) 7-2
The Eagles won 2-0 vs. Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, but then lost 13-5 to the same team and had to drop in this week’s rankings. One reason Chaminade didn’t fall out completely is because we knew it was playing No. 2 Granite Hills on Monday in the Mike Morrow Lions tournament.
Teams That Dropped Out:
Previous No. 13 Cypress; No. 14 Central (Fresno); No. 16 San Dieguito (Encinitas), No. 17 Valencia, No. 19 West (Torrance).
Teams On The Bubble:
Bellarmine (San Jose) 10-3, Benicia 13-1, Campolindo (Moraga) 3-4, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 10-3, Casa Grande (Petaluma) 9-1, Central (Fresno) 10-3, Clovis North (Clovis) 11-3, Cypress 7-3, El Toro (Lake Forest) 7-4, La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 6-0, Lincoln (Stockton) 8-0-1, Lutheran (Orange) 8-4, Madera 10-2, Northview (Covina) 8-2, Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 4-1, Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 11-1-1, San Dieguito (Encinitas) 8-1, South Hills (Covina) 7-2, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 3-7, Turlock 10-1, Valencia 7-2, Vista 5-3, West (Torrance) 9-2.
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Note: Paul Muyskens contributed to this report.