It’s already the last week of the regular season for a lot of teams (especially in Southern California) with the highlight being a three-game series between top 10 teams Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks). In this week’s rankings, we kept Orange Lutheran on top despite losing one of three games in a series to Servite of Anaheim. Go inside to see why we did that and for why Ayala of Chino Hills jumped back to No. 12 and why Thousand Oaks jumped up from No. 23 to No. 17. The first 20 teams are broken down by writeups and highlights for the best state baseball rankings package that can be found anywhere.
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(Previous ranking listed in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Saturday, April 20)
(Results from any games played on Monday, April 21 or later not included)
(Thanks to correspondents Chuck Nan for Orange County, Daniel Poulter for Northern California & Bill Hutton for CIF Central Coast Section for providing writeups & information)
1. (1) Lutheran (Orange) 22-4
Yes, there was a loss pinned onto the record of the Lancers last week, but it was about as meaningless a loss you can get so we’re still going with them as the state’s No. 1 team. First, OLu already had a huge lead in the Trinity League standings. Second, it was one loss as part of a three-game series in which the Lancers won the other two games. And third, they still have a head-to-head win over Harvard-Westlake in earning the National Invitational High School tournament. In game one of last week’s series vs. Servite of Anaheim, the Friars pulled-off the 3-1 upset to saddle OLu with its first league loss of the season. OLu actually took a 1-0 lead and had the bases loaded and nobody out in the second, but couldn’t convert any more runs. The next night saw the two schools putting goose eggs on the scoreboard. Tied at zero after 7 1/2 innings, the Lancers loaded the bases. Jasiah Dixon came to the plate and delivered a single to end the game in walk-off style, 1-0. OLu received masterful pitching from starter Jonathan Guzman (5 1/3) and Evan Adolphus (2 2/3). The win also was head coach Eric Borba’s 400th career win (224 with the Lancers). The finale on Saturday saw another lengthy battle that wasn’t decided until the ninth inning. Servite scored two runs in the seventh to send it to extras. Dixon was the hero once again as he lifted a sacrifice fly in the ninth to drive home the game-winning run. Garrett Frechette and Caden Connor each had three hits leading the Lancers 12-hit attack. The Lancers close the regular season this week vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana).