Not the way we’d ever want to do this, but even with a very shortened season we did want to go through all of the scores and all of the info surrounding California’s best in baseball and release a final, expanded State Top 40 ranking package. Orange Lutheran ends at the top, but we aren’t going to be able to have a State Team of the Year and nor do we think it’s appropriate or correct for any team to claim some kind of championship. Teams coming up for the final rankings include Thousand Oaks, JSerra, Torrey Pines, San Joaquin Memorial, Buchanan and Corona. We also have added 20 more teams on an honorable mention list for a final group of 60.
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FINAL, EXPANDED BASEBALL
STATE TOP 40 RANKINGS
(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After all games of shortened 2020 season)
(Contributing: Orange County correspondent Chuck Nan & Northern California correspondent Daniel Poulter)
1. (1) Lutheran (Orange) 8-0
A storm brewed on Twitter when longtime L.A. Times prep editor Eric Sondheimer declared the Lancers as the best team in Southern California. This ranking backs that up, but beyond that nothing else can be declared. Not enough of the season clearly had been played for a State Team of the Year selection. Orange Lutheran was off to another solid season when play was halted and all of the wins were versus top-tier opponents. This included a double-header sweep of Cypress, a win over No. 23 ranked Valley Christian (San Jose) and No. 4 La Mirada and two over Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in abbreviated Trinity League play. Coach Eric Borba’s Lancers did it with pitching. Seniors Max Rajcic, an MLB Draft prospect, and Christian Rodriguez were virtually unhittable. The pair allowed 10 hits in 37 innings, while striking out 43. Senior Greysen Tarlow led the club in hitting (.304), while Tank Espalin put fear into pitchers. Four-year player Elijah Buries also departs.