Mater Dei, St. Francis strengthen hold on top two spots so much so that one loss may not change anything. Newcomers include Rancho Bernardo, Bonita of La Verne and Lincoln of Stockton.
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It was a pleasant treat for us this weekend as No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana came up north to play in the finals of the Boras Baseball Classic two blocks from our Stockton office near the University of the Pacific. The Monarchs defeated Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove by an 8-0 final score. For more on the game, click here to read our story from Saturday.
Once again, it was Jacob Erickson getting the call in the championship game but the team’s staff is deep.
“Davis Tominaga has pitched extremely well for us and has kinda set the pace for the pitching and we also have Aaron Cross pitching outstanding,” said Monarchs’ head coach Burt McCall about the rest of his pitching staff. “I think our pitching staff is deep but also very competitive with each other. I think each outing they want to out-do the next pitcher and they are kind of feeding off of each other’s success, which is also then making them stronger.”
“We have a big league-like rotation with four guys that can really pitch,” said standout catcher Jeremy Martinez after the Boras Classic victory.
Here are this week’s rankings (after games of Saturday, April 13; previous ranking in parentheses; Monday games of this week not included):
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 17-1
Before heading to Stockton for the title game of the Boras Classic, the Monarchs picked up a pair of Trinity League wins over Servite of Anaheim. The team takes a 17-game win streak into this week and with all of its tourney titles might stay No. 1 even if there’s a second loss. Davis Tominaga allowed just one run in seven innings while Aaron Cross pitched six shutout innings in the wins over the Friars. Midway through its league schedule, Mater Dei will face Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita twice this week with a pair of games against No. 10 Orange Lutheran looming in two weeks.
2. (2) St. Francis (Mountain View) 19-1
Not only did the Lancers ring up a pair of wins last week, but they did so in convincing fashion over two talented teams. First, they defeated Bellarmine of San Jose 11-0 and then went on the road and defeated previous No. 11 ranked Valley Christian of San Jose 10-0. Senior Mark Cardinalli doubled, homered and drove in four runs and Chris Baker hit three doubles in the win over the Warriors. Michael Strem also pitched a complete game shutout. The Lancers are as strong of a No. 2 team in the state as there can be, but they will need help in order to pass the Monarchs for the No. 1 ranking.
3. (3) Fountain Valley 18-1
After moving up one spot last week, the Barons were able to hold on for a pair of one-run wins last week against Huntington Beach. In both wins, they jumped out to a big early lead before holding for the wins of 12-11 and 9-8. Looking to remain undefeated in Sunset League play, they will play three games this week against Newport Harbor of Newport Beach. In just the last six games, the Fountain Valley offense has been coming up big with 84 runs.
4. (4) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 16-3
Like the teams ahead of them in the rankings last week, the Wolverines didn’t lose a game as they swept a doubleheader against South of Torrance before defeating Verdugo Hills 11-0. Unlike St. Francis or Fountain Valley, the Wolverines in a sense do control their own chances of ending the season as the state’s No. 1 team since they could face Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs. Jack Flaherty pitched a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts in a 3-0 win over South of Torrance. He also had an RBI triple in a 9-3 win over the same opponent.
5. (5) Granada (Livermore) 14-0
The Matadors remain the lone undefeated team in the state top 20 after they went on the road to start East Bay Athletic League play and returned home with shutout wins over No. 19 Amador Valley of Pleasanton and California of San Ramon. Jacob Payne continued his stellar pitching as he pitched six scoreless innings while striking out seven in their 5-0 win over the Dons. Helping to improve their strength of schedule this week will be a matchup on Wednesday against defending CIF North Coast Section Division I champ De La Salle of Concord.
6. (6) Canyon (Anaheim) 14-2
Winners of their final three games at the Boras Classic, the first place Comanches returned to Century League play and defeated Villa Park 2-0 in their lone game last week. Austin McGeorge picked up his fourth win of the season as he tossed six shutout innings while also going 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. Canyon has a head-to-head win over No. 3 Fountain Valley but also has one more loss, making the difference between those two very small and easy to flip-flop depending on how the season continues.
7. (7) Buchanan (Clovis) 18-2-1
With the other top teams in the CIF Central Section losing a game last week, the Bears have further distanced themselves as the No. 1 team after two low-scoring wins over Central of Fresno last week. Left-handed junior Jack Wheeless moved to 8-0 on the mound as he pitched a no-hitter in a 2-0 triumph. With Clovis losing to Clovis East, the Bears also are now in sole possession of first place in the Tri-River Athletic Conference. Despite going 5-1 in their last six games, Buchanan’s offense has been quiet with just one game in which more than two runs were scored.
8. (9) Serra (San Mateo) 16-3
Previous No. 8 Elk Grove’s loss to Davis made room for our first team to move up this week. The Padres defeated Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco and Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco in a pair of shutouts before heading to Stockton and defeating Monte Vista of Danville 11-5. Jordan Paroubeck homered and doubled twice while driving in four runs in their 9-0 win over the Fightin’ Irish. While they still have a win over No. 2 St. Francis of Mountain View, a win over Valley Christian of San Jose this season was hurt by the Warriors losing a pair of games last week that caused them to drop out of the top 20.
9. (10) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 13-4
We moved the Dons back into our top spot among CIF San Diego Section teams last week and they followed it up with two more wins. Will Law drove in two runs in a 5-3 victory over Patrick Henry of San Diego in the second of those two outings. Come playoff time, Cathedral Catholic will be a tough team to beat as it has Stephen Gonsalves (5-0, 1.53 ERA) and junior Brady Aiken (3-1, 0.00 ERA in 25 innings).
10. (12) Lutheran (Orange) 12-4
Winning the Hard 9 National Classic quickly jumped the Lancers into the rankings last week. Now a pair of wins over JSerra Catholic of San Juan Capistrano continues their upward movement as they are now back into the top 10 just two weeks after being unranked. Currently in second place in the Trinity League, OLu will have a chance in two weeks to move up even higher with two games against No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana.
11. (14) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 14-3-1
The Lions began this week with 12 wins in their last 13 games with that one loss coming to No. 1 Mater Dei. They started a new winning streak last week with a pair of triumphs over Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara. They are expected to continue to roll in other Tri-Valley League games. And since the league doesn’t have any other teams with 10 wins yet, a loss to one of them will hurt a lot more than it would if the Lions were in the nearby Marmonte League (which is the league they are in for football).
12. (17) Granite Hills (El Cajon) 12-4
With previous No. 13 San Dieguito losing twice to cause a shakeup in the San Diego Section, the Eagles took advantage to move up in the rankings after defeating West Hills of Santee and Steele Canyon of Spring Valley. With a split of games against Rancho Bernardo earlier in the season, we gave the nod to the Eagles to be one spot higher then the Broncos this week due to their win over No. 9 Cathedral Catholic of San Diego at the Hilltop-Lolita’s tournament.
13. (NR) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 15-3
You could argue that the Broncos could be ranked higher than Granite Hills, but even so they did get a major bump this week after sweeping three games against Torrey Pines. Their best win this season was over No. 12 Granite Hills, but they also have a loss to the same team.
14. (NR) Bonita (La Verne) 16-2-1
Ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Coaches Poll for Division III, the Bearcats go back into the top 20 after solid wins over Northview of Covina and J.W. North of Riverside last week. On the season, they also have quality wins over Carter of Rialto, Yucaipa, San Dimas and Cypress, which was recently ranked No. 15 in the state.
15. (8) Elk Grove 12-3
During the Boras Classic finals, there was a lot of talk between Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee and us about which team should be the top team in the Sac-Joaquin Section. The Thundering Herd might have been knocked out of the top spot in the section after losing to Davis if not for Jesuit of Carmichael losing a game at almost the same time to Lincoln of Stockton just a few miles away. Some thought was given to moving Lincoln or Turlock ahead of the Thundering Herd, but Elk Grove still has solid wins over St. Mary’s of Stockton, Valley Christian of San Jose and Stockdale of Bakersfield.
16. (NR) Lincoln (Stockton) 14-1-1
With Cal-Hi Sports in attendance, the hometown Trojans rallied in the seventh inning for a big 5-4 win over Jesuit of Carmichael last Saturday in the Banner Island Classic as Luke Tokunaga hit a walk-off double for the win. Raul Rizo tied the score one at-bat earlier with an RBI single. With Jesuit perhaps getting ready to go into the state top 20 itself by winning that game, Lincoln gets the nod instead. The Trojans also have a head-to-head win over 17-1 Turlock. Their stay in the top 20, however, could be short-lived because they play Lodi twice this week. On the other hand, Lodi is the only team to get a win against Lincoln so far this year so it’s an opportunity for an avenging win.
17. (20) Turlock 17-1
Since a 1-0 loss to No. 16 Lincoln of Stockton in their season opener, the Bulldogs have yet to lose again as they have now won 17 straight after two wins last week over Atwater. Hurting their ranking is a lack of strong wins, but after making their debut in the rankings last week they find their way up thanks to other teams ahead of them losing. They do have a win over Lodi, which is the lone team to defeat Lincoln of Stockton this season. Anybody in the southern part of the Sac-Joaquin Section, though, still will probably have to eventually get past St. Mary’s of Stockton. Even with all of those losses, we’ve all seen what the Rams can do in the playoffs.
18. (NR) El Toro (Lake Forest) 13-5
We had some unhappy people last week when we moved the Chargers out of the Top 20 but we said they were one of the best teams with five losses and that’s why they are back this week after a pair of wins over Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo last week. Undefeated in South Coast League action, the Chargers have gone 11-1 since a 2-4 start to the season with that lone loss in the last 12 games coming against No. 11 Oaks Christian of Westlake Village by a 2-1 final score at the Boras Classic.
19. (19) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 10-4
Not often can you lose two games in a row and stay put in the rankings but that is the case for the Dons as the second of those losses came against No. 5 Granada before they ended a two-game losing streak with a 10-9 win over Monte Vista of Danville. The first loss in that short streak was by a 1-0 against No. 2 St. Francis of Mountain View. Playing in the EBAL, they will get another chance to knock off undefeated Granada later in the season. Amador is currently tied for second with De La Salle of Concord, but has a win over the Spartans.
20. (18) Clovis North (Fresno) 17-5
Splitting a pair of games against Clovis West of Fresno almost knocked the Broncos out of the rankings but they were able to hold on thanks to wins earlier this season over No. 7 Buchanan of Clovis and Redlands, a squad that is knocking on the door to enter the top 20 from the bubble. Clovis North takes on Clovis twice later this week.
Teams That Dropped
Previous No. 11 Valley Christian (San Jose); No. 13 San Dieguito (Encinitas); No. 15 Cypress; No. 16 Clovis.
Teams On The Bubble
Agoura (Agoura Hills) 14-7, Alemany (Mission Hills) 15-4, Bellarmine (San Jose) 15-5, Benicia 19-2, Campolindo (Moraga) 7-6-1, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 15-8, Carlsbad 13-4, Casa Grande (Petaluma) 15-1, Chaminade (West Hills) 11-8, Clovis 17-5, Cypress 14-5, Davis 9-5, De La Salle (Concord) 9-4, Diamond Bar 15-2, Frontier (Bakersfield) 15-5-1, Granite Bay 9-5, Grossmont (La Mesa) 13-5, Jesuit (Carmichael) 10-4, La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 12-4, Moorpark 16-5, Nogales (La Puente) 14-3, Norco 14-3, Northview (Covina) 14-4, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 11-4, Redlands 13-3, Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 14-4-1, San Clemente 17-3, San Dieguito (Encinitas) 16-3, San Dimas 16-5, Serra (Gardena) 15-5, South (Torrance) 11-6, St. Augustine (San Diego) 13-4, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 14-6, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 7-11, Valhalla (El Cajon) 11-8, Valley Christian (San Jose) 13-6, West Ranch (Valencia) 11-6.
Mark Tennis contributed to this report