It’s not a list any of these teams want to be on, but San Dimas is perhaps the best of them all. These would be top teams in state history that were unbeaten, then lost in a section playoff. Almost all of them lost in CIF Southern Section contests.
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It all ended for the San Dimas baseball team in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday afternoon to Walnut in the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals.
Entering the game, the Saints were 31-0 and were No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings and were No. 1 in one national poll.
Walnut may have come into the day with seven losses, but won its 18th straight game and played San Dimas on its home field.
Junior pitcher Christian Longoria held the Saints to just one run, while the Mustangs plated all they would need in the fifth on RBI hits by Andre Alvarez and Brennan McKenzie. San Dimas starting pitcher Jacob Castillo had only allowed one earned run the entire season.
With the result involving San Dimas, the state’s final No. 1 ranking and State Team of the Year honor will probably come down to either St. Francis of Mountain View (27-5 and already done with a CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title) or College Park of Pleasant Hill. College Park is starting this week 24-4 but could avenge one of its losses this week, could end up 26-4 with a CIF North Coast Section D1 title and holds a head-to-head to win over St. Francis. The Lancers, in addition to winning the CCS title, also won this year’s Boras Classic “state” title.
It’s also not the first time a top-ranked team with a perfect record could not complete its quest to win a section title and end with a perfect record. Here is a list of them from the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book:
Best Records In State History To Start
A Season Without Winning A Section Title
31-1 – San Dimas, 2015
27-1 – Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 1984
27-1 – La Puente Bishop Amat, 1993
27-1 – Sonoma, 1999
26-1 – Newhall Hart, 1988
26-1 – La Puente Bishop Amat, 1994
26-1 – Escalon, 2008
26-1-1 – Lakewood, 1974
25-1 – Calabasas, 1995
25-1 – Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, 2005
Notes: Notre Dame, Bishop Amat’s 1993 team, Hart and Lakewood were all considered No. 1 in the state overall at the time those teams lost for the first time in playoff games. Many of these teams also were led by prominent players, including MLBers Jack McDowell of Notre Dame, Michael Young at Bishop Amat and Tyson Ross at Bishop O’Dowd. In 1978, Merced won its first 28 games and then lost in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game to Yuba City. Unlike the Southern Section, however, the SJS has had a double-elimination format for many years. Merced was able to play Yuba City again, won and finished 29-1 with a section crown.
Longest Winning Streaks
In State History
54 – Chatsworth, 2003-2005
48 – Maxwell, 2010-2012
42 – Napa Justin-Siena, 2004-06
39 – Pacific Grove, 2012-14
38 – Linden, 2004-05
36 – Lompoc, 1970-71
31 – San Dimas, 2015
30 – Concord De La Salle, 1985-86
30 – Santa Maria St. Joseph, 1997-98
30 – Clovis, 1998-99
Most Wins (Perfect Season)
35 – Chatsworth, 2004 (35-0)
31 – Pacific Grove, 2013 (31-0)
30 – Maxwell, 2011 (30-0)
29 – Santa Maria St. Joseph, 1997 (29-0)
27 – Napa Justin-Siena, 2005 (27-0)
26 – Ontario, 1991 (26-0)
26 – Linden, 2005 (26-0)
25 – Temecula Linfield, 1991 (25-0)
Note: If San Dimas had been able to win its section title, its final record would have been 33-0. Clear Lake of Lakeport is taking a 26-0 record into Wednesday’s CIF North Coast Section Division V semifinals against Head-Royce of Oakland.