In addition to overall No. 1 and Division I No. 1 College Park, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2015 are San Ysidro (Division II), Christian of El Cajon (Division III), Sutter (Division IV) and Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento (Division V).
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Congratulations to these five baseball teams for being added to the list of all-time state teams of the year according to our traditional Cal-Hi Sports five division format (writeups by Paul Muyskens & Mark Tennis):
College Park (Pleasant Hill)
Head coach Andy Tarpley’s squad was No. 1 in last year’s final rankings in Division II and moves up to the top spot for the top division this season. College Park also was preseason No. 1 for the nation according to more than one media group.
Head coach Ken Canche’s Cougars started off the season 1-2 before losing just once over the final 31 games of the season. A final 22-game win streak ended with a 7-2 win over La Jolla in the CIF San Diego Section Division II finals.
The tricky aspect of this division is that we considered CCS Open Division finalist Los Gatos as D2. And despite the Wildcats losing in that game to overall State Team of the Year runner-up St. Francis of Mountain View, we didn’t want to start a precedent for ranking a non-section champion No. 1 for this season. It was easier just to give San Ysidro (31-3) the bump. During the season, the Cougars also defeated all four of the teams that reached the semifinals of the CIF San Diego Section Division I playoffs. In addition, it was their second section championship in three seasons.
Christian (El Cajon)
The big loss last week by San Dimas to Walnut not only knocked out the Saints from consideration for the final overall No. 1 ranking, but it also opened the door for the Patriots in this division.
For the third time in the last six years, they ended the season as a section champions as they defeated Del Norte of San Diego 5-4 in the CIF San Diego Section Division III championship last Saturday.
In that championship game, the Patriots (29-2) gave up three runs in the top of the 7th and trailed 4-3 with three outs to go but the No. 9 batter in their order, Nate Cazares, led off the bottom of the 7th with a game tying home run and Kyle Stowers later hit the game-winning walk-off sacrifice fly.
El Cajon Christian’s only losses on the season came against La Jolla Country Day in the second game of the season and in extra innings to Parker of San Diego, a loss that was quickly avenged. The Patriots also ended the season on an 18-game winning streak.
While the man in charge changed from Mark Renfree to Stewart Peterson, the end result did not change for the Huskies as they captured their fourth straight section championship with a 6-4 win over Lassen of Susanville in the CIF Northern Division III championship game.
Sutter (28-6) did lose six times this season, but two were to out-of-state opponents and the only two to schools their size were easily avenged.
Leading the offense was a pair of juniors as Brendon Nelson hit .343 with 41 runs batted in and Logan Wurm hit .460 with 30 runs batted in. Nelson also was dominant on the mound as he went 10-1 with a 1.89 ERA and should give the Huskies a good chance to capture their fifth straight section championship next season.
Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento)
With last week’s No. 1 team, unbeaten Clear Lake of Lakeport, going down in the CIF North Coast Section D5 semifinals, the Pride became primed to move up. They also benefitted with Branson of Ross (18-11) and Flintridge Prep (15-12) winning CIFNCS and CIFSS titles, respectively.
Bradshaw Christian (23-5) also captured its third straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a 7-6 win in extra innings over Mariposa County. Winning 17 out of the final 18 games, the Pride had a balanced offensive attack that saw six players drive in at least 20 runs this season. All-State nominee Grant Dragmire led the pitching staff going 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA while also providing a big bat for the offense with five homers, 32 RBI and a .593 average.