NEW Baseball State Top 20

Pitching has been a huge reason for the success so far at No. 4 De La Salle, including Armani Smith, Connor Redmond, Conner Roberts and Nick Sparks. Photo: Berry Evans III/SportStars.

Pitching has keyed the success so far at No. 4 De La Salle, including Armani Smith, Connor Redmond, Conner Roberts & Nick Sparks. Photo: Berry Evans III/SportStars.

JSerra goes back to No. 2, but the Lions like everyone else is going to need there to be a big upset in the CIF Central Section playoffs where No. 1 Buchanan is the favorite for any thoughts about finishing No. 1. El Toro also has been given a bump from No. 6 to No. 3 while this week’s newcomers are Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills, Eastlake of Chula Vista and South Hills of Covina.

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(After games of Saturday, May 14)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) BUCHANAN (CLOVIS) 27-1
After the Bears clinched the Tri River Athletic Conference title with a 7-0 win over previous state No. 3 Clovis North early last week, they could have lost in the second game and at 26-2 still would have have been No. 1 in the state. But that didn’t happen, either. Buchanan completed the sweep with a 5-1 win and now heads into the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs with a top seed and three wins away from being No. 1 in the state for the season. In the 7-0 shutout, Grant Gambrell came off of a one-week layoff to spin yet another shutout win. The Oregon State commit improved to 10-0. In the second game, Zach Presno’s homer and more strong pitching from Hunter Reinke was the difference. Head coach Tom Donald’s squad will open the playoffs on Thursday against the winner of a first-round game between Clovis East and Liberty of Bakersfield.

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