S.F. BAY AREA TOP 20 BASEBALL (FINAL)

In support of our weekly Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show that airs on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. on KRON TV Channel 4 (San Francisco), here's the final top 20 rankings for S.F. Bay Area baseball for the 2003 season. Note: These rankings are for all schools in the CIF Central Coast Section, all schools in the CIF North Coast Section (except Humboldt-Del Norte) plus schools in Solano and Napa counties of the Sac-Joaquin Section.

(After games of June 7; last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. (3) Mitty (San Jose) 25-9

2. (2) Serra (San Mateo) 30-5

3. (4) Armijo (Fairfield) 28-4

4. (6) Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 23-4

5. (7) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 29-8

6. (8) St. Francis (Mountain View) 27-8

7. (14) Deer Valley (Antioch) 24-8-1

8. (1) Clayton Valley (Concord) 26-6

9. (15) Monterey 27-9

10. (10) Leland (San Jose) 24-4

11. (9) De La Salle (Concord) 21-10

12. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 23-10-1

13. (12) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 22-7

14. (13) Castro Valley 26-5

15. (5) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 25-3

16. (16) El Cerrito 20-6

17. (17) Skyline (Oakland) 20-7

18. (18) Benicia 18-7-1

19. (nr) Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 17-10

20. (19) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 18-12

Notes & Highlights

Mitty becomes the No. 1 team by virtue of its being the CCS Division I champ and previous No. 1 Clayton Valley losing in the NCS East Bay Class 3A final. True, the Monarchs had nine losses on the season, but they won the toughest title to win in the Bay Area and one of the three or four toughest in the state, too. Serra has a legitimate argument it should be ahead of Mitty despite what happened in the playoffs, but No. 1 teams in any ranking really do need to have won their last game. It's the old hardware rule, as we call it. If you're not lifting championship hardware after your last game, no No. 1 ranking for you. If Clayton Valley had won, we could have still gone with Serra ahead of Mitty since that wasn't for No. 1 but would have been for No. 2. Mitty's last two wins in the CCS playoffs weren't achieved on funny hops of the ball, either. They were games in which the offense jumped all over the opposing pitcher and the Monarchs won easily, 12-7 over Serra and 9-1 over Wilcox.

Las Lomas was a No. 1 contender after winning the NCS East Bay Class 2A crown with a dramatic 2-1 victory over El Cerrito. The Knights trailed ace pitcher Greg Murray and the Gauchos by 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, but won it on a one-out, two-run double by Jeff Wilkerson. Las Lomas pitcher Tyler Davis came out on top in the duel and finished with a 20-3 career record. For Las Lomas to be No. 1 for the entire region, though, we would have liked to have seen a stronger showing when the Knights stepped up to play at the San Luis Obispo Easter tourney. The schedule played by Mitty, Serra and Armijo of Fairfield in our analysis was simply stronger. Las Lomas needed to be a two-loss team or less to be even higher in the final rankings.

Deer Valley ruined the plans of Clayton Valley with a 4-1 victory in the NCS East Bay Class 3A final. Junior pitcher Matt Baugh tossed a three-hitter into the seventh inning before giving way to Travis Shahan, who got a strike out to end the game with two runners on base. Clayton Valley, which had two wins over Deer Valley earlier in the season, lost in the NCS finals for a second straight season.

In the NCS Redwood Empire Class 3A final, Maria Carrillo won its second straight title after a 4-0 upset win over Casa Grande of Petaluma. If Casa had won, it would have possibly had an even stronger argument than Las Lomas for a No. 1 ranking in the region. Pat Rodriguez pitched a five-hitter for Maria Carrillo, which was only 11-10 in the North Bay League before catching fire in the playoffs.

Erik Egide lashed a lead-off triple and later homered over the left field fence at Network Associates Coliseum to lead San Marin past Windsor, 8-1, in the NCS Redwood Empire Class 2A title game. It is the first section baseball title in 21 years for the Mustangs. Windsor has only been open for two years and was going for the school's first section crown in any sport.

Thanks to all who sent e-mails in support of their teams in the Bay Area throughout the school year in football, boys & girls basketball, baseball and softball. Look for the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area preseason football rankings in just a little more than two months. Gee, wonder who will be No. 1?


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