First Look: State Baseball Div. Ranks

Sammy Gonzales of D4 state No. 1 Winters crosses home plate after a home run earlier this season vs. Colusa. Photo: Eric Lucero / WintersExpress.com.


Simply doing State Top 20 rankings in any sport has never been enough for us, and besides the Cal-Hi Sports five-division state rankings in five sports have been going on for more than 40 years. The main question for this year in baseball for the divisional state rankings is what to do with Winters? Should the Warriors be moved up to Division IV after being No. 1 in Division V last year? We said yes and it didn’t matter. They’re now No. 1 in the higher division and likely will stay there. Other No. 1 teams are Harvard-Westlake (Division I), Beckman of Irvine (D2), Arcadia (D3) and unbeaten St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma (D5).

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(Records through games of Wednesday, May 9)
(These rankings may not match the State Top 20 from earlier in the week since some teams have already lost this week)


DIVISION I
1. Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood) 25-3
2. Eastlake (Chula Vista) 22-3-1
3. Valley Christian (San Jose) 25-3-1
4. Lutheran (Orange) 21-7
5. Serra (San Mateo) 22-7
6. Huntington Beach 24-5
7. Torrey Pines (San Diego) 23-5
8. La Mirada 24-3-1
9. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 27-2
10. De La Salle (Concord) 19-4
11. Poway 24-4
12. Palm Desert 23-4
13. Clovis West (Fresno) 23-6
14. Corona 21-7
15. Bellarmine (San Jose) 22-7
Teams On The Bubble: Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 20-7, Buchanan (Clovis) 17-8-1, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 20-9, Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 16-8, Elk Grove 17-6-1, El Toro (Lake Forest) 21-8-1, Foothill (Pleasanton) 18-4, Foothill (Tustin) 21-8, Franklin (Elk Grove) 21-6, Palo Alto 21-6, Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 22-6, San Benito (Hollister) 21-5, South Hills (West Covina) 19-7, St. Francis (Mountain View) 20-8.
Notes & Comments: Teams that have lost already this week are Huntington Beach, De La Salle and Bellarmine. We don’t have any L.A. City teams on the bubble this week or for D2. The Open Division teams from that section will be considered D1 for these state rankings while the teams that are in that section’s D1 playoffs will be D2.

Beckman’s Matt McLain has signed a letter of intent with UCLA. Photo: BeckmanBaseball.com.


DIVISION II
1. Beckman (Irvine) 21-3-1
2. Alameda 20-1-1
3. Mission Hills (San Marcos) 23-6
4. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 20-6-1
5. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 19-5
6. Tesoro (Las Flores) 21-9-1
7. Yucaipa 25-4
8. Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) 22-4
9. Willlow Glen (San Jose) 21-4
10. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 23-3
Teams On The Bubble: Casa Grande (Petaluma) 16-6, Drake (San Anselmo) 18-5, Francis Parker (San Diego) 17-8, Fresno 20-4-1, Lincoln 23-4, Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 17-5, Norco 18-9, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 17-3, Pleasant Valley (Chico) 19-5, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 20-6, San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 20-8, Santa Cruz 20-5, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 18-5, Yuba City 22-5.
Notes & Comments: Beckman is the only one of these teams that was in the State Top 20 so the Patriots were an easy choice to be No. 1 for D2 statewide for this first look. St. Mary’s is looking like a D2 team from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section under a new playoff format in that section. Previously, the Rams were in D1 and recently won three straight section titles in the top division. Beckman and Corona del Mar are in the same league and split in their two meetings. Both should be seeded high in the CIF Southern Section D2 playoffs.

Zach Jacobs of San Dimas was MVP of the St. Paul tourney earlier this season. Photo: @_SaintsBaseball / Twitter.com.


DIVISION III
1. Arcadia 23-1
2. El Dorado (Placerville) 24-3
3. Chino Hills 18-9
4. South (Torrance) 24-4
5. Temecula Valley (Temecula) 22-5
6. San Dimas 24-4
7. Grand Terrace 24-2
8. Montebello 21-4
9. Encinal (Alameda) 16-6-1
10. San Luis Obispo 23-6
Teams On The Bubble: Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 20-5, Coronado 18-9, Eureka 19-5-1, Garces (Bakersfield) 15-12-1, Highland (Bakersfield) 18-7-2, Imperial 22-4, Lowell (San Francisco) 22-9, Maranatha (Sierra Madre) 21-4, Monrovia 18-4-1, Oakdale 16-10, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 19-5, South Gate 18-10.
Notes & Comments: Arcadia, which was No. 4 in this week’s State Top 20 to start the week, suffered its first loss of the season on Tuesday 2-1 to Crescenta Valley and was playing the Falcons again on Thursday as these rankings were being done. Obviously, if Crescenta Valley were to go 2-0 for the week, then that would change the rankings quite a bit (both for D3 and for D2 where the Falcons would go up). For the divisional rankings, we place all of the CIFSS D1 schools in D1 and all of the CIFSS D2 schools in D2. For our D3, we combine both CIFSS D3 and D4. South of Torrance is No. 1 in the CIFSS D4 rankings, followed by Grand Terrace.

DIVISION IV
1. Winters 28-1
2. Linden 22-4-1
3. Escalon 22-3
4. Ontario Christian 23-3
5. Sierra Pacific (Hanford) 22-1-2
6. Garey (Pomona) 21-2
7. Rancho Christian (Temecula) 19-4
8. Dixon 20-4
9. Gridley 24-3-1
10. Capital Christian (Sacramento) 22-5
Teams On The Bubble: Bakersfield Christian 17-11, Fort Bragg 14-5, Fowler 16-10, Holtville 19-4-1, King’s Academy (Sunnyvale) 19-6-1, King City 19-5-1, Mary Star (San Pedro) 18-8, Middletown 15-3, Oakland Tech (Oakland) 18-5, Rancho Alamitos (Garden Grove) 20-3, Roybal (Los Angeles) 24-3, Silverado (Victorville) 16-5, Soledad 20-4-2.
Notes & Comments: We very rarely move up a school to a higher division on our own, in other words without that team moving up within its section playoffs. For Winters this year, which is loaded with numerous returnees after last year’s team was No. 1 in the state in Division V, we decided we would. As usual, head coach Tom Ingles’ team has played numerous large schools with its only loss coming 11-8 to Laguna Creek of Elk Grove. With no other D4 schools unbeaten or looking dominant within their sections, we pulled the trigger on Winters being D4 and being No. 1. The Warriors will be in the CIF Northern Section Division IV playoffs and are heavy favorites. That section’s top seed in Division III, Gridley, is unbeaten on the field vs. all opponents it has played this season but is 0-3 vs. Winters. That’s just another indication of how strong the Warriors are in 2018. Escalon started out like gang-busters and was unbeaten long into April. Heading into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D4 playoffs, the Cougars have a head-to-head loss to Linden and Linden has four losses in all.

Head coach Stan Switala of St. Vincent de Paul has the only unbeaten team still going in any of the divisional state-ranked teams. Photo: ConstantContact.com.


DIVISION V
1. St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 20-0
2. Poly (Pasadena) 21-3
3. Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) 22-3
4. Carnegie Schools (Riverside) 18-2
5. Turlock Christian 18-2
6. Faith Baptist (Canoga Park) 15-1
7. Fremont Christian 18-4
8. Minarets (O’Neals) 19-5
9. Mt. Shasta 14-5
10. Arvin 21-5
Teams On The Bubble: Delano 15-11, de Toledo (West Hills) 17-3, Modoc (Alturas) 19-2, Mountain Empire (Pine Valley) 16-5, Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 11-3, Rancho Dominguez (Long Beach) 16-4, St. Thomas More (San Jose) 23-2, University Prep (Victorville) 13-3-1, Woodland Christian 20-6.
Notes & Comments: In his first season since taking over Gary Galloway, one of the winningest head coaches in CIF North Coast Section history, new head coach Stan Switala has St. Vincent de Paul unbeaten at 20-0 with three games left in the regular season. The Mustangs are on track to be top seed for the NCS D5 playoffs. While we moved up Winters to D4, we kept the rest of the teams in its Northern Section D4 bracket in D5 for these rankings. Mt. Shasta is the second seed in that bracket and just handed Northern Section D5 top seed Modoc its first two losses of the season. For the CIFSS teams that are D5 for our rankings, keep in mind that both the CIFSS D6 and D7 teams are the ones we look at. Some of the bigger CIFSS D6 schools like Pomona, Savanna of Anaheim and Moreno Valley are just too big to be D5 for us so we have to move those teams to D4.

Mark Tennis is the editor and publisher of Cal-Hi Sports. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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