Buchanan State Team of the Year

Starting pitcher Grant Gambrell got the shutout with catcher Zach Presno calling the signals and driving in two runs in No. 1 Buchanan's final win. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Starting pitcher Grant Gambrell got the shutout with catcher Zach Presno calling the signals and driving in two runs in No. 1 Buchanan’s final win. Photo: Mark Tennis.


In the end, it wasn’t that close for the Bears in finishing as the No. 1 team in the state. It’s their second No. 1 ranking in five years and the third from the CIF Central Section in five years. They also posted the best record (30-1) of a No. 1 team in the state since that legendary 35-0 squad from Chatsworth in 2004.

For more on all five of our State Teams of the Year (by divisions), CLICK HERE.

We hope you like this free post on CalHiSports.com. Please help us out today by becoming a member of our Gold Club so you can see all of our great content, including expanded final State Top 40 team rankings. For more on special offer to get signed up for $9.99 for three months that started several months ago, CLICK HERE.

If any of the state’s media covering last weekend’s CIF state track meet were to wander over to Buchanan High’s sparkling, 3,000-seat baseball stadium, they see the home of one of the top programs in the state.

Inside that stadium on the scoreboard there’s a sign referring to Buchanan’s 2011 baseball team, which ended 30-2, won the CIF Central Section Division I title and was ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the national ESPN FAB 50.

Since this year’s team won its section title nearly one week ago and finished 30-1, there hasn’t been much suspense about which team would be No. 1 in the final state rankings. But today, it’s now official: the Bears are the 2016 Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year.

In addition to Buchanan being State Team of the Year in 2011, one of the team’s rivals, Clovis, was No. 1 in the state in 2013, giving Clovis Unified three No. 1 teams in the state in the last five years.

Buchanan head coach Tom Donald is surrounded by media after 2011 title game win. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Buchanan head coach Tom Donald is surrounded by media after 2011 title game win.


But the comparisons of the Bears for this season go even deeper. They were about as close to being undefeated as you can get since the only team they lost to, Clovis North, also was a team they beat three times.

And while some may complain that Buchanan didn’t go out of its area to play in any tournaments or showcases or that the team’s loss total is greatly influenced by the lack of very many weeks in which it didn’t have to play three times (thereby forcing the use of a No. 3 pitcher), the competition in the Tri River Athletic Conference is hard to beat. All one has to do is check through the record books to see how hard it is for TRAC teams to run up sterling records.

Buchanan head coach Tom Donald knows that many local fans will consider this year’s 30-1 team stronger than even the one that was No. 1 in the FAB 50.

“Each team does have a character of its own,” said Donald, who is expected to be able to put up another national title sign in the outfield since this year’s team also has been No. 1 in USA Today’s rankings. “This one stands out as the best group of grinders I’ve ever had. They grind out at-bats and grind every day.

“Our lineup from top-to-bottom also has been great. On a lot of teams kids who have been eighth or ninth for us would be four or five.”

Winning 15 of their 30 games by five runs or more, the Bears captured multiple championships on the year before their 4-0 section title win.

Buchanan opened the season with a Clovis Coca Cola Tournament title before also winning the Fresno Easter Classic and the TRAC.

Before league play, the Bears did play several top CIF Sac-Joaquin Section teams in local tournaments, including wins against playoff teams from Lincoln of Stockton, Granite Bay, Woodcreek of Roseville and Sheldon of Sacramento.

Grant Gambrell, a senior who has signed with Oregon State, led the way with a team-high 35 runs batted in and hit .363 with five home runs. Gambrell, who also is in the mix to be the Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year, also was 12-0 on the mound with a 0.69 ERA and 72 strikeouts while walking just 17 in 71 innings.

Three other talented juniors had banner seasons. Quentin Selma hit .443 with 29 runs batted in, Jamal O’Guinn hit .343 with 25 runs batted in and Zach Presno had a team-best six home runs while hitting .338 with 25 runs batted in.

Junior Hunter Reinke, committed to Oregon, was also undefeated on the mound as he went 11-0 with a 2.20 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.

Congratulations to all of the Buchanan players and coaches.

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

College Park players celebrate after winning 2015 section title. Photo: Mark Tennis.

College Park players celebrate after winning 2015 section title. Photo: Mark Tennis.


2016 — Clovis Buchanan (30-1)
2015 — Pleasant Hill College Park (26-4)
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


Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

    Latest News

    Insider Blog

    Cal-Hi Sports on Twitter

    Cal-Hi Sports on Facebook