In addition to overall No. 1 and State Team of the Year Concord De La Salle, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2022 are McClatchy of Sacramento (D2), Tesoro of Las Flores (D3), Estancia of Costa Mesa (D4) and St. Bernard’s of Eureka (D5).
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Congratulations to these five baseball teams for being added to the list of all-time state teams of the year according to our traditional Cal-Hi Sports five-division format:
De La Salle (Concord)
Three of De La Salle’s six losses this season came to opponents in the East Bay Athletic League and were against teams (San Ramon Valley, California of San Ramon and Foothill of Pleasanton) that the Spartans also defeated. They also lost in a one-run game to Buchanan of Clovis in an early-season showdown of top ranked teams in the state and by one run to Christian Brothers of St. Louis at a tournament in Las Vegas. The only other loss was in a late regular season non-league game (10-5) to Granite Bay (which played in the NorCal D2 final).
Both of the teams that won CIF D2 regional titles — Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the north and Torrey Pines of San Diego in the south — are from D1 leagues and play in Open Divisions or D1 in most seasons in their sections. Etiwanda was the CIF Southern Section D2 champion and got to the SoCal D2 final, but lost to Torrey Pines.
That left it open for other teams that have been D2 in our format but also lost in the regional playoffs. McClatchy was D1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section, but is from a D2 league and has only been up in D1 in its section since 2018.
It sure was a special season for the Lions, too. They reached their section D1 finals by winning twice against a Franklin of Elk Grove squad that was in the top 10 of the state rankings at the time and that wins over Stockdale of Bakersfield and Palo Alto in the NorCal Boras Classic. Whitney of Rocklin (D1) won in that final, which put McClatchy in D2 for the regionals. The team won in the first round, 11-7, over Pleasant Valley of Chico and then lost to Mitty, 3-0. Its final record was 29-5.
Senior catcher Malcolm Moore, who was just named Gatorade’s State Player of the Year for the second time, batted .500 with 13 homers and 51 RBI. But teammate Gabe Henderson is a candidate for top honors as well. He also was among the team leaders with a .437 batting average and 35 RBI, but he also pitched and went 10-1 with a 0.60 ERA.
Tesoro (Las Flores)
After winning the CIF Southern Section D4 title, the Titans also landed in the CIF SoCal D4 bracket. They are from a strong league with many D1 schools (South Coast), but for CIFSS schools we go by section playoff playoff placement (at least for now) so they counted as D3 for our divisions and they are finishing first.
Fullerton High was the opponent for Tesoro in both of its title game. The Titans won in the CIFSS final, 3-0, as Coleton Dahl pitched six shutout innings and struck out 11. In the rematch last Saturday, Joshua Ferry gave up two hits and one run in five innings as Tesoro beat Fullerton again, this time 6-4.
Jackson Freeman was the team’s other standout in the second title game win. He had a two-run homer and a two-run double. Tesoro (28-8) also had to play a 28-4 Moreno Valley squad in the SoCal semis and won that game, 7-2.
Estancia (Costa Mesa)
This was the closest call at the top among teams that were placed into state divisions last week. It was between the Eagles (31-5) and Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento (26-4). Estancia was No. 2 and won the SoCal D5 title with a 11-2 win against Baldwin Park. Bradshaw was No. 4, but in its final blanked previous No. 1 Colusa, 7-0, to win the NorCal D4 crown. Colusa also had its attempt to go 34-0 and move to No. 2 on the all-time state list for unbeaten records snapped one game short.
Estancia faced a Baldwin Park team that had won the CIFSS D7 title, but the CIFSS D6 champs were too much. They scored eight runs in the first inning and that was it. Jack Moyer led the way by going 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Trevor Scott also pitched a complete game and had two hits at the plate.
The Eagles, who started the season with 11 straight wins and ended it with 13 straight wins, topped Anaheim for the CIFSS D6 title, 2-1, in 11 innings. Sophomore pitcher Andrew Mits, named on Monday as the CIFSS D6 player of the year, gave up just two hits in 6 1/3 innings.
St. Bernard’s (Eureka)
Yes, we know that St. Bernard’s and Alpha Charter of Sacramento played for the CIF NorCal D3 title on Monday in a rain-delayed final from Saturday. But these are small schools in all of the factors we use in all sports. The Crusaders are less than 200 enrollment and are D5 or smaller in all sports in the CIF North Coast Section. Alpha Charter is a school of around 50 students that is closing after this school year.
St. Bernard’s took the Monday game, 7-6, with a four-run rally in the fourth inning. The story of the game, though, was pitcher Nick Dugan, the Stanford-bound legend of the North Coast who came into the contest in relief and struck out all 13 batters he faced to get the win. Dugan had pitched a one-hitter in the semifinals when the Crusaders blanked Central of Fresno, 6-0, which is a school of more than 4,000. Dugan also went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI in the final.
Aidan Dorsch was another standout for St. Bernard’s. He homered and went 3-for-4 with five RBI vs Alpha Charter. It’s a senior class at the school, not just because of Dugan, that will be missed and had a 27-4 final record.