OVERALL STATE TOP 20 BASEBALL RANKINGS

La Costa Canyon and Chatsworth end the regular season with one loss and start their section playoffs with hopes of being No. 1 for the season in the state and nation. This week's lone newcomer to the top 20 is Lincoln of Stockton.

(After games of May 24; last week's rank in parentheses)

1. (1) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 28-1

Michael Kenney spun a two-hitter as the Mavs ended the regular season with a 2-0 triumph over Mt. Carmel of San Diego. La Costa Canyon, ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Student Sports FAB 50, opens the CIF San Diego Section Div. I playoffs against either Fallbrook or Chula Vista.

2. (2) Chatsworth 29-1

This whole La Costa Canyon vs. Chatsworth debate also will be national in scope as well as statewide due to USA Today's ranking of the Chancellors in the top spot. In Chatsworth's regular season finale, Keith Renno's three-run homer backed up the strong pitching of Justin Cassel (10 strikeouts) in a 8-1 win vs. Granada Hills.

3. (3) La Quinta (Westminster) 26-2

Cole Garner smashed his 10th home run of the season and Ian Kennedy pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts as the Aztecs opened the CIF Southern Section Div. IV playoffs with a 5-0 blanking of El Monte Arroyo.

4. (4) Edison (Huntington Beach) 24-4

A second-round game in the CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs against Servite of Anaheim awaited the Chargers early this week. They won their first playoff game, 3-1, over Claremont behind David Huff's two-hit, 11-strikeout pitching. Servite beat the Chargers, 3-0, in Edison's first game of the season.

5. (6) Serra (San Mateo) 30-4

Coach Pete Jensen's club is the highest ranked team that gets to move up this week due to previous No. 5 Fairfield Armijo's collapse (two losses) in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs. Serra advanced to the Central Coast Section Div. I semis with a 9-5 win in the quarterfinals over Bellarmine of San Jose. If the Padres win the title this weekend and finish 32-4, they'll be the leader in the clubhouse, so the speak, in the race to be No. 1 in the state for the season.

6. (8) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 24-3

The Cougars impressed in their first CIFSS Div. I playoff outing with a 14-0 rout of Oxnard Hueneme. The major hitting was provided by Matt Cox (2-for-3 with a homer) and John Kennedy (grand slam).

7. (7) Buchanan (Clovis) 27-4

Jeremiah Laponardo, Jason Donald and Dallas Kawakami all roped doubles in a five-run second inning that lifted the Bears past Central of Fresno, 6-3, in the CIF Central Section Yosemite Division Large School semifinals. Buchanan will play Clovis in the title game for the third straight season.

8. (10) Camarillo 23-3

The streaking Scorpions made it 23 wins in a row with a 6-1 victory over Cajon in the first round of the CIFSS Div. I playoffs. Delmon Young hammered a triple and a single and sophomore Eric Komatsu pitched a four-hitter with nine strikeouts to lead the way. Camarillo advanced to a tough second-round matchup vs. Arlington of Riverside, which also has been a top 10 team this season.

9. (11) Canyon (Anaheim) 22-5

Vinnie Pestano spun a four-hitter and Chris Morinello homered as the Comanches blanked Woodbridge of Irvine, 4-0, in their first game of the CIFSS Div. II playoffs. If Canyon runs the table, a mythical Div. II state title may be in the cards, too.

10. (12) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 22-5

The Monarchs had one of the closest calls among top-ranked teams in the first week of the CIFSS playoffs as they survived, 4-3, in a Div. I first-rounder against Diamond Bar. Mike Torres had a game-winning RBI in the late going and finished with three hits for the day.

11. (9) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 24-5

The Broncos took a slight rankings hit for a 3-2 loss to Torrey Pines, although in the big picture the result was pretty meaningless since the Palomar League crown had already been sewn up. They ended the regular season by pounding Poway, 14-2, as Tristan Gale and David Morehead both cracked grand slam homers.

12. (15) Quartz Hill 21-3

Alex Massari led a 17-hit attack with a three-run homer and a two-run homer as the Rebels began their quest for a CIFSS Div. II crown with a 13-2 win over Atascadero.

13. (16) Foothill (Tustin) 24-3

The Knights had one of the toughest first playoff opponents you can find, but they came through for a 4-2 win over Calabasas. The CIFSS Div. II game featured junior Phil Hughes of Foothill improving to 12-0 on the mound with eight strikeouts. He also had the key hit of the game with a grand slam homer.

14. (17) St. Francis (Mountain View) 27-7

Alex Perkins tossed a four-hitter and Jon Lieberman drove in five runs (including a homer) in a 10-0 win by the Lancers over Hollister in the CCS Div. I quarterfinals. St. Francis drew defending champ Wilcox in the semis and would meet either Serra or Mitty of San Jose in the final.

15. (14) Clovis 22-7

We had to make a slight ranking adjustment for the Cougars to account for a seventh loss that we didn't have on their record. That won't matter much if they win another Central Section title this week, though, since to do it they'll have to beat Buchanan. In the team's 3-0 Yosemite Division Large School semifinal, Brandon Miller pitched a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over Madera.

16. (18) El Dorado (Placentia) 21-6

Jeff Flaig made a running catch of a low liner that he turned into a critical double play during the Golden Hawks' 4-2 victory over Laguna Hills in the CIFSS Div. II playoffs. The all-state candidate also had the major hit of the game with a home run.

17. (13) Clayton Valley (Concord) 23-5

We handled Clayton Valley's league loss to De La Salle much like Rancho Bernardo's to Torrey Pines as it came after the team had already cemented its league title. The Eagles also were still seeded No. 1 in the CIF North Coast Section Class 3A East Bay playoffs.

18. (19) Marina (Huntington Beach) 20-7

Jacob Luque jacked up a home run in the sixth inning and J.J. Valicenti picked off a runner in the seventh as the Vikings won their CIFSS Div. I playoff opener, 2-1, in a thriller over Rancho Cucamonga.

19. (20) Leland (San Jose) 24-3

The Chargers advanced to the CCS Div. II semifinals with a 9-1 thumping of San Mateo Aragon. Taylor Foos pitched well for six innings and Adam Lara had a home run to lead the offense.

20. (nr) Lincoln (Stockton) 27-5

Armijo's spot in the top 20 has been taken over by the Trojans, who won the southern region Div. I playoffs in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Elk Grove, which vanquished Armijo in the northern regional, would be the No. 2 team out of the Sacramento area behind Div. II section champ Casa Roble of Orangevale. Elk Grove has eight losses and plays Lincoln in a best two-of-three series for the title. Lincoln has been rolling for the past two months behind standout senior Chris Errecart.


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