OVERALL STATE TOP 20 BASEBALL RANKINGS

La Costa Canyon and Chatsworth continue to look like the two leading State Team of the Year contenders, but among those jockeying for position should both of them lose in section playoffs is Edison of Huntington Beach and Armijo of Fairfield. Both are now in the top five.

(After games of May 17; last week's rank in parentheses)

1. (1) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 26-1

It was a busy week for the Mavericks as they hit the diamond three times and won ‘em all, upping their current winning streak to 20 games. Andrew Nacario's two-run homer in the fourth inning was the key in a 6-4 win over Oceanside and Doug Konoske's two-hit pitching led the way in a 9-0 win over Carlsbad. The other win was by 5-2 over Carlsbad.

2. (2) Chatsworth 28-1

The Chancellors still have one more week to go in their regular season and will then open the L.A. City Section playoffs as the No. 1 seed. In a 10-0 win last week over Birmingham of Lake Balboa, Jason Dominguez hit a three-run homer and Justin Cassel pitched his sixth shutout of the season.

3. (3) La Quinta (Westminster) 25-2

Ian Kennedy tossed a one-hitter over five innings to set the tone for the Aztecs' two-game sweep of Garden Grove Pacifica that netted them their 11th straight Garden Grove League title. Kennedy's pitching came in a 4-0 win. La Quinta then won, 8-1, as Ian Stewart hammered his 15th homer of the year and drove in his 60th run.

4. (6) Edison (Huntington Beach) 23-4

The Chargers won the CIF Southern Section Div. II title just two years ago, but it's been since 1984 when they last won a Sunset League crown. That was taken care of with last week's wins of 6-1 and 1-0 over Los Alamitos. University of Oklahoma football recruit Tommy Grady (the quarterback) was the winning pitcher for Edison in the second of those games.

5. (8) Armijo (Fairfield) 25-2

If La Costa Canyon and Chatsworth both get upset in their section playoffs, don't look now but coming on strong as a possible State Team of the Year contender is Armijo. If the Indians finish out the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs with just two losses, they'd certainly be in a position to make a strong case for it. Armijo upped its current win streak to 19 games with a 2-0 win in its first-round game over Yuba City.

6. (11) Serra (San Mateo) 28-4

The Padres seem to be in yo-yo mode in the ratings, up to No. 4, then down to No. 11 and now back up to No. 6. That's more due to the single swings of a bat that can turn a win into a loss and vice versa in the West Catholic Athletic League than it is to any evaluations by rankers. In last week's WCAL tournament final, the latest swing went in Serra's favor as Chuck Lofgren sent a St. Francis offering deep into the night for a walk-off two-run homer in a 6-5 triumph.

7. (10) Buchanan (Clovis) 25-4

The ratings say it's the Bears who are No. 1 in the Central Section, although the Yosemite Division seedings say it's defending champ Clovis. It doesn't matter, really, because the two would decide it on the field in the final. Buchanan plays Bakersfield in this week's quarterfinals.

8. (12) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 23-3

Jason Corder smashed a three-run homer and struck out 11 on the hill to lead the Cougars past Dana Hills of Dana Point, 8-3, in their regular season finale. Capo Valley's first playoff game will be Friday vs. Hueneme of Oxnard (11-13).

9. (9) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 23-4

An 8-5 loss to Rancho Buena Vista spoiled what would have been a great week for the Broncos. Had they won, the 4-0 week would have jumped them to the No. 6 spot in the state rankings. It was still a good week as earlier wins over Rancho Buena Vista, San Marcos and Vista enabled the team to regain the Palomar League crown it lost to RBV last season. Super soph Johnny Drennan clubbed four homers, including two against San Marcos.

10. (14) Camarillo 22-3

It may have turned out to be a major benefit for the Scorpions that they lost those early games. It caused them to drop down in the rankings and they were able to operate below the radar screen, so to speak. Now the defending CIFSS Div. I champs are ready to start the postseason with a No. 2 seed behind Edison.

11. (4) Canyon (Anaheim) 21-5

Nick Casanova's three-hitter and a three-run double by Ryan Thompson salvaged the week for the Comanches. They won, 8-2, over El Modena of Orange after dropping a game to the Vanguards, 3-2. Canyon should be a force in the CIFSS Div. II playoffs.

12. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 21-5

The Monarchs had to be in the running with Edison for the top seed in the CIFSS Div. I playoffs, but they suffered a Serra League loss to Servite of Anaheim. If coach Bert Call's team can swing hot bats, it can cut a swath all the way to Edison International Field.

13. (7) Clayton Valley (Concord) 22-4

A 10-8 loss to Antioch dropped down the Eagles in this week's rankings, but the big picture still looks bright. They bounced back to beat Freedom of Oakley, 3-0, on a three-hitter by Jimmy Gilbert and they are still on track to be the top seed in the CIF North Coast Section Class 4A playoffs.

14. (16) Clovis 21-6

Like Buchanan, the Cougars had a bye in the first round of the CIF Central Section Div. I playoffs. Their quarterfinal opponent is Redwood of Visalia, which advanced with a 3-0 win over Sunnyside of Fresno.

15. (18) Quartz Hill 20-3

Brian Chavez clubbed a grand slam and a two-run homer as the Rebels wrapped up the first undefeated run through the Golden League since 1969 with a 14-5 triumph over Highland of Lancaster. Chavez also homered in a 6-1 win vs. Highland earlier in the week.

16. (19) Foothill (Tustin) 23-3

The Knights are entering the CIFSS Div. II playoffs with a team ERA of 1.68, which mostly is due to the emergence of junior ace Phil Hughes. He improved to 11-0 and lowered his own ERA to 0.64 with a 2-0 win last week over Newport Harbor.

17. (17) St. Francis (Mountain View) 25-7

Coach Chris Bradford's team had a 2-1 week in the WCAL playoffs and since the loss was by just 6-5 to Serra it didn't make sense to move the Lancers at all in this week's rankings. A Serra-St. Francis final in the CCS Div. I playoffs would surprise no one.

18. (20) El Dorado (Placentia) 20-6

Sweeping Villa Park in the last week of the regular season shows that the Golden Hawks can't be forgotten about in the CIFSS Div. II playoffs despite their recent mini-slump. Don Krause threw a four-hitter in the first win (4-1) and Kevin Rucker had a homer and a two-run single in the second (9-6 in eight innings).

19. (nr) Marina (Huntington Beach) 19-7

The Vikings made sure usual powerhouse Esperanza of Anaheim would end the season on a down note as they swept a pair from the Aztecs in Sunset League play. It was 3-1 in the first game and 6-1 in the second.

20. (15) Leland (San Jose) 22-3

A 4-3 loss to Leigh snapped some of the Chargers' momentum heading into the postseason, but they came back to beat Oak Grove, 10-0, and still won their league title anyway. Leland also is the top-seeded team in the CCS Div. II playoffs.


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