JSerra’s three-game sweep of previous No. 2 Orange Lutheran causes a lot of changes at the top, but it also strengthens Buchanan’s grip at No. 1. This week’s highest newcomer is Vista while joining the top 10 are J.W. North, El Toro and La Costa Canyon. Kudos also to fast-rising Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills for getting back-to-back no-hitters last week.
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(After games of Saturday, April 30)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Some writeups by Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) BUCHANAN (CLOVIS) 23-1
If there was an award for pitcher of the year in the state so far this year, then Grant Gambrell of the Bears might be it. He continued to roll with more shutout innings in a 10-0 win to get last week started over Clovis West of Fresno. Gambrell also drove in the first run. It was a closer game later in the week vs. the Golden Eagles, but Buchanan still won 5-2. J.T. Arruda got the scoring started with a solo homer in the first inning, then later helped build the lead with an RBI single. Hunter Reinke was the winning pitcher. Both Gambrell and Reinke will be hoping for more of the same this week when the Bears play state-ranked Clovis in a pair of games.
2. (3) REDONDO (REDONDO BEACH) 18-1*
*Two forfeit wins not included. The schedule so far remains on the weak side, but the two-game set vs. Mira Costa is one week closer and Costa could be coming off of a Boras Classic championship (that game is this weekend). Following a 2-1 win in eight innings over Peninsula (Rolling Hills Estates), the Seahawks blanked the Panthers 8-0 on a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts by Danny Zimmerman. Sean Reynolds also went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and four RBI. The week then ended with a 4-0 victory over Bishop Amat of La Puente. Connor Riley tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts in that one. Up next for head coach Jeff Bomback’s squad is a series against Palos Verdes of Palos Verdes Estates, which beat Mira Costa once in a two-game series two weeks ago.