State Baseball Team of Year: Clovis

Clovis players knew they had a good chance they'd be State Team of the Year after they won the CIF Central Section Division I title. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Clovis players knew they had a good chance they’d be State Team of the Year after they won the CIF Central Section Division I title on May 24. Photo: Mark Tennis.


In the end, it wound up as an easy selection for the CIF Central Section Division I champions due to their own finish and the failure of just about any other front-runner this season to win a section title.

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When we last checked in on the race for the 2014 State Team of the Year honor in baseball, the possibility of a difficult choice was looming.

Rancho Bernardo of San Diego was still going in the double-elimination CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs and still had a chance to finish 33-4.

But after all of the state’s section playoffs were completed – with San Diego, L.A. City and Southern Section over the weekend – there was no question about which team should be No. 1. It clearly wasn’t going to be Rancho Bernardo after it suffered a second playoff loss, the final one to La Costa Canyon.

It’s Clovis and the 33-5 Cougars are finishing No. 1 in the state for the third time in school history. It’s also the second time in four years that a Clovis school has ended as State Team of the Year following Buchanan of Clovis in 2011.

Jacob Gatewood of Clovis stood out at last summer's Area Code Games. Photo: Scott Kurtz (Courtesy Student Sports).

Jacob Gatewood of Clovis stood out at last summer’s Area Code Games. Photo: Scott Kurtz (Courtesy Student Sports).

Clovis had to beat Buchanan to win the CIF Central Section Division I title and got it done with a 3-2 win on May 24 in Visalia. It was the third win during the season over the Bears (which beat Clovis once) and while the Cougars didn’t have as strong a record as they did in 1997 and 1998 when they went back-to-back as State Team of the Year the other teams in the section and in Clovis Unified weren’t as strong, either.

Of the team’s five losses, two others were to Clovis North (the Cougars beat that team as well), one was to Frontier of Bakersfield and the other was to The First Academy of Orlando, Fla., in the finals of the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C. They also beat Clovis West four times against no losses.

This year’s edition of the Cougars also had a premier player that the 1997 and 1998 teams didn’t have in Jacob Gatewood, who was the 41st player taken in last week’s MLB Draft and the final player chosen in the first round.

“We didn’t have that one dominant arm, but we were able to piece it together and our lineup was great,” said Clovis head coach James Patrick after the recent title game. “Tatum McCarthy was our best pitcher even though he’s going to play third base in college. All our guys were focused in on the art of pitching.”

Prior to the section playoffs starting around the state, there was a long list of possible contenders to be State Team of the Year. But just about all of them were eliminated – Elk Grove, St. Francis of Mountain View, Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Norco and Loyola of Los Angeles to name a few.

So many of those other front-runners lost that a different set of questions arose after all results were final. Where would Buchanan have ranked, for example, if it had won that last game instead of lost in the bottom of the seventh? At 27-7, the Bears definitely would have been in the argument with College Park of Pleasant Hill (27-3), Granite Hills of El Cajon (26-7) and Temecula Valley of Temecula (24-8).

Patrick, who won his 600th game during the season, also was the head coach when Clovis was No. 1 in the state previously. His son, Kevin, is now the head coach at Clovis West and another son, Chris, is the head coach at Clovis North.

Congratulations to Coach Patrick, Jacob Gatewood, Tatum McCarthy, Alan Crowley (who got the game-winning RBI in the section final) and the rest of the coaches and players at Clovis, the 2014 State Team of the Year.

CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-TIME
STATE BASEBALL TEAMS OF THE YEAR

2014 — Clovis (33-5)
2013 — North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (28-4)
2012 — Vista (31-4)
2011 — Clovis Buchanan (30-2)
2010 — San Jose Archbishop Mitty (31-3)
2009 — Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley (26-6)
2008 — Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (27-4)
2007 — Long Beach Wilson (31-3)
2006 — San Jose Bellarmine (34-4)
2005 — Woodland Hills El Camino Real (28-4)
2004 — Chatsworth (35-0)
2003 — Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (32-1)
2002 — La Puente Bishop Amat (28-2)
2001 — La Puente Bishop Amat (27-2)
2000 — San Diego Rancho Bernardino (30-3)
1999 — Riverside Arlington (29-2)
1998 — Clovis (33-2)
1997 — Clovis (32-2) (plus one win by default)
1996 — Granada Hills Kennedy (31-3)
1995 — Fountain Valley (26-3-1)
1994 — Fountain Valley (27-3-1)
1993 — Fresno Bullard (26-3-1)
1992 — San Diego Mira Mesa (26-5)
1991 — Ontario (26-0)
1990 — Cupertino Monta Vista (27-3)
1989 — Fresno Bullard (28-2)
1988 — Fresno Bullard (29-1)
1987 — Lakewood (25-7)
1986 — Santee Santana (26-2)
1985 — Oxnard Rio Mesa (27-3)
1984 — Rancho Cordova (33-5-1)
1983 — El Cerrito (27-1)
1982 — San Diego Mt. Carmel (24-2)
1981 — Westminster (23-4)
1980 — Fresno Bullard (29-2)
1979 — Visalia Mt. Whitney (20-3)
1978 — Larkspur Redwood (30-5)
1977 — West Covina Edgewood (29-1)
1976 — Lakewood (22-4-1)
1975 — Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-3)
1974 — Torrance North (26-6-1)
1973 — El Segundo (30-5)
1972 — Venice (19-3)
1971 — El Segundo (33-2)
1970 — Lompoc (27-1)
1969 — Sacramento Grant (16-1)
1968 — Fresno Hoover (27-3)
1967 — Long Beach Millikan (20-4)
1966 — El Segundo (24-4-1)
1965 — San Diego Crawford (22-4)
1964 — Lynwood (23-2)
1963 — Long Beach Poly (21-4)
1962 — Sacramento Bishop Armstrong (22-2)
1961 — S.F. Sacred Heart (32-2-1)
1960 — Fresno Roosevelt (20-2)
1959 — S.F. St. Ignatius (28-3)
1958 — Fresno (25-1)
1957 — Fresno (22-2)
1956 — Ontario Chaffey (21-5)
1955 — South Gate (17-2)
1954 — L.A. Loyola (22-5)
1953 — Compton (23-2)
1952 — S.F. Sacred Heart (29-5)
1951 — Sacramento McClatchy (22-0-1)
1950 — Long Beach Wilson (24-3)
1949 — San Diego (29-3)
1948 — San Diego (26-3)
1947 — S.F. Mission (12-1)*
1946 — San Diego (24-7)
1945 — S.F. Mission (10-0, League)
1944 — S.F. Mission (9-0, League)
1943 — L.A. Fremont (13-1)
1942 — San Diego Hoover (13-0 vs. prep teams)
1941 — S.F. Galileo (12-1)*
1940 — S.F. Mission (11-1)*
1939 — San Diego (20-5)
1938 — Glendale (4-0, Playoffs)
1937 — S.F. Commerce (12-2, League)
1936 — Long Beach Poly (23-2)
1935 — Sacramento (20-1)
1934 — S.F. Mission (7-0, League)
1933 — Fresno Roosevelt (20 -2)
1932 — San Diego (11-4)
1931 — S.F. Mission (8-0, League)
1930 — San Diego (19-3)
1929 — San Diego (31-5)
1928 — San Diego (22-8-1)
1927 — Fullerton (29-5-1)
1926 — Alameda (21-1)
1925 — Los Angeles (6-0, League)
1924 — S.F. Sacred Heart (6-0)*
1923 — San Diego (15-4)
1922 — S.F. Mission (6-1)*
1921 — San Diego (18-5-2)
1920 — San Diego (13-1)
1919 — Oakland Technical (8-0)*
1918 — San Diego (12-6)
1917 — San Diego (12-1)
1916 — S.F. Poly (7-0, League)
1915 — S.F. Sacred Heart (5-0)*
1914 — S.F. Lowell (6-0)*
1913 — Long Beach Poly (19-3-1)
1912 — Long Beach Poly (17-5)
1911 — S.F. Sacred Heart (5-0)*
1910 — S.F. Sacred Heart (8-0)*
1909 — Alameda (5-0)*
1908 — Palo Alto (4-0)*
1907 — Alameda (5-1)*
1906 — S.F. Lick (1-0 League)**
1905 — S.F. Lick (9-1-1)*
1904 — Palo Alto
1903 — Berkeley
1902 — S.F. Lowell
1901 — Berkeley
1900 — S.F. Cogswell
1899 — Palo Alto (5-0)
*Record for league and playoff games only.
** Playoffs and remainder of league schedule were cancelled due to earthquake.
Lick’s 1906 team was regarded as being better than its 1905 team.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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2 Comments

  1. Manuel Gallegos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to the accomplishments of this year’s baseball best.

    At this time, it is worth recognizing that the 1978 Merced High School (Merced, CA) varsity baseball team went 29-1, featuring a 28-game season-opening win streak, 15 total shutouts, a 3-0 win over defending champ Bullard High (with Rex Hudler) in the championship game of the Fresno Easter Classic; also, shutout wins over St. Mary’s of Stockton (a near-perfect game/one-hitter) and Rancho Cordova, a 4-3 win over a Steve Sax-led Marshall High (now River City) in the Sac-Joaquin Section championships. After losing their only game of the season 6-5 to Yuba City High, the Merced Bears came back to immediately dominate that same Yuba City team 9-3 to win the 1978 Sac-Joaquin Section Championship.

    I would be curious by what metric the 1978 Larkspur Redwood team is considered superior, and where Merced was placed in the rankings of that year. Two runs away from perfection, coupled with an immediate and decisive redemption in an all-or-nothing section championship game, certainly merits historical consideration.

  2. James Sullivan #11
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    As a member of the 1978 Merced Bear team, I would like to say that we did have an incredible season. With coach Juarez leading us. Me and my teammates had a blast and I’m sure they would join me in congratulating all of these “champs” as they will always be know as for now and in the future. It’s cool to still be mentioned 47 years later!

    Sully

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