We have had final state divisional rankings in baseball for more than 40 years and will be continuing the tradition this season. Here’s a look at where they stand after the CIF released its regional playoff pairings last Sunday and then after the first-round games of those playoffs on Tuesday. No. 1 teams entering the last few days of the season are JSerra (D1), Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa (D2), San Marcos of Santa Barbara (D3), Castaic (D4) and Ripon Christian (D5). There are nearly 100 teams listed in these rankings.
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Note: Divisional placement for these rankings are based on a combination of CIF section divisions plus the CIF regional playoffs divisions. We also use our own longtime experience of placing teams according to more traditional factors such as enrollment, small towns being in small schools (D4 & D5). They are not going to completely match CIF regional divisions due to those reasons. Adjustments could still be made for the final division rankings, which will have more time to examine since everyone will be done playing for the season. For the upcoming all-state teams, players from D4 & D5 teams will be considered small schools, players from D3 medium, players from D2 split between medium and large and all in D1 will be large.
(Through results of Tuesday, May 30)
*Indicates season complete.
1. JSerra (SJ Capistrano) 24-9*
2. Valley Christian (San Jose) 30-3
3. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 26-6
4. Franklin (Elk Grove) 30-4
5. De La Salle (Concord) 25-5
6. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 25-6
7. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 28-4*
8. Eastlake (Chula Vista) 29-5
9. Huntington Beach 21-9*
10. Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood) 21-9*
11. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 22-9
12. Corona 22-11*
13. La Mirada 22-8*
14. Whitney (Rocklin) 26-9*
15. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 24-8*
16. Clayton Valley (Concord) 22-6*
17. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 18-11-1*
18. Cypress 22-8*
19. Etiwanda 19-8*
20. Villa Park 20-11*
Notes & Highlights: All four of the top seeds in the NorCal D1 playoffs won in their Tuesday first round games to set it up for Valley Christian vs. Cardinal Newman (D2 for these rankings) and De La Salle vs Franklin in Thursday’s semifinals. In the south, top seed and CIFSS D1 runner-up Santa Margarita won on Tuesday over Carlsbad, 4-3, but La Costa Canyon (defeated Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks), Eastlake (defeated Orange Lutheran) and Rancho Bernardo (defeated Corona) all had wins in a huge day for the CIF San Diego Section. Who knows how seriously the CIFSS teams approached the games, but if they didn’t use top players why bother showing up? Opt out. Rankings just have to be based on results and always will be the way we do it so that means in the final rankings the wins by the San Diego teams on Tuesday have to be used.
1. Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 28-1
2. Crespi (Encino) 22-7-3
3. South Hills (West Covina) 25-7
4. Bakersfield Christian 26-7
5. Casa Grande (Petaluma) 24-5
6. Santana (Santee) 20-10
7. Aquinas (San Bernardino) 25-6*
8. Calabasas 23-10
9. Pleasant Valley (Chico) 22-3
10. West Ranch (Valencia) 22-8*
Bubble: Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 19-13*, Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 23-9*, Capistrano Valley Christian (Mission Viejo) 21-11*, Gahr (Cerritos) 24-7-1*, Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 24-5*, Montgomery (San Diego) 20-6*, Redwood (Visalia) 24-6*, Rio Americano (Sacramento) 27-7*, Tesoro (Las Flores) 21-9*, Westlake (Westlake Village) 21-12, Yorba Linda 17-13-1*.
Notes & Highlights: Cardinal Newman may be D1 for the NorCal playoffs and should have moved up, but the team was D3 for the CIF North Coast Section and other than playing and beating some D1 schools at the Boras Classic has played a schedule more aligned to D2. That also is closer to where the school is placed traditionally in these rankings. Yes, the Cards could lose in the NorCal D1 semis to Valley Christian and still be No. 1 in the final D2 rankings. It’s also possible for a D2 team to be ahead of all of the other D1 teams like Valley Christian, De La Salle and Franklin in the overall rankings if they win out. In the CIF SoCal D2 playoffs, Crespi is playing Santana of Santee and South Hills is playing Calabasas in Tuesday’s semifinals.
1. San Marcos (Santa Barbara) 23-7
2. Central Catholic (Modesto) 22-8-1
3. Canyon (Anaheim) 22-12
4. Crean Lutheran (Irvine) 25-10
5. Oakmont (Roseville) 20-13
6. Kingsburg 28-6*
7. Los Gatos 20-8*
8. Sage Creek (Carlsbad) 21-12-1
9. Fallbrook 23-9-1
10. Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 22-8-1*
Bubble: Aptos 20-7*, Branham (San Jose) 22-8*, Cabrillo (Lompoc) 24-7*, Chico 18-8*, Hillsdale (San Mateo) 20-9, La Serna (Whittier) 23-6*, Liberty (Madera Ranchos) 26-7*, Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 16-10*, Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 23-7*, Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 26-4*, Patrick Henry (San Diego) 21-12, Pioneer (Woodland) 23-6*.
Notes & Highlights: There are several teams that are D3 for these rankings that are in lower CIF divisions, Canyon, Fallbrook, Crean Lutheran and Sage Creek are actually all in the semifinals of the D4 South playoffs on Thursday. All four schools have larger enrollments and/or strength of schedule plus other factors that make them D3 here. San Marcos opened the SoCal D3 bracket with a 6-0 win over Cabrillo of Lompoc and is playing Westlake of Westlake Village (D2) next. Bakersfield Christian (D2) also is in the SoCal D3 playoffs. Central Catholic and Oakmont are CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title teams that will be in Thursday’s NorCal D3 semifinals. We would rank both higher than top seed Carmel, which is usually D4 for these rankings and was put there again.
1. Castaic 25-7-1
2. Sutter 24-5-1
3. Ganesha (Pomona) 19-0
4. Dos Palos 26-3*
5. Carmel 18-12
6. Bloomington 26-4
7. Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 22-6*
8. Arcata 25-6
9. Hesperia Christian 18-3*
10. Colusa 26-4-1*
Bubble: Calexico 17-12*, Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) 22-3-1*, Colfax 21-6*, Fillmore 18-14, Gridley 16-5, Hughson 22-6*, Lincoln (San Diego) 22-10*, Linden 23-1*, Linfield Christian (Temecula) 23-8*, Maranatha Christian (San Diego) 24-8*, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 20-8-1*, Skyline (Oakland) 17-5, Stevenson (Pebble Beach) 20-4.
Notes & Highlights: As a new school playing with no seniors, Castaic was in a lower division of the CIFSS playoffs and is D5 for the SoCal playoffs. The Coyotes won their first-round game, 26-0. They also are from the same league as many D1 programs (Hart of Newhall, West Ranch, etc) and sure aren’t going to be D5 for these rankings. The team can still win out and end No. 1 in D4. Some very good runner-up teams in various section playoffs that aren’t in the regionals will get solid to very high final D4 state rankings. Dos Palos lost to Kingsburg (D3) in its section final. Bradshaw Christian lost to Sutter.
1. Ripon Christian 23-7
2. University (San Francisco) 22-8
3. Turlock Christian 21-4*
4. Etna 20-5-1
5. Trinity Classical (Valencia) 18-4*
6. Priory (Portola Valley) 16-2*
7. Riverside Prep (Oro Grande) 18-8-3*
8. Woodland Christian 21-5*
9. Kelseyville 18-6
10. Leroy Greene Academy (Sac.) 20-2*
Bubble: Firebaugh 17-17*, Los Molinos 18-5*, Rosamond 20-7, St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 20-5-1, Windward (Los Angeles) 14-8, Xavier Prep (Palm Desert) 18-11.
Notes & Highlights: Ripon Christian is still going in the NorCal D5 playoffs and will play Lowell of San Francisco (D4) on Thursday as top seed after a 15-7 win on Tuesday vs Firebaugh. University is playing Etna on the other side of the bracket. Turlock Christian was runner-up to RC in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, but for most of the season was ranked higher and as a runner-up didn’t advance to this week’s playoffs.