FINAL OVERALL TOP 30 BASEBALL RANKINGS

Marina of Huntington Beach wins the CIFSS Division I title and gets jumped ahead of Clovis but not ahead of Rancho Bernardo in last compilations of the season. We've expanded our overall list from 20 to 30 deep with writeups of each squad.

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

1. (1) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 32-1

What set the Mavericks apart was an offense that averaged nearly eight runs per game. The first three batters in the lineup -- Andrew Nacario, Joey Burke and Chris Fuller -- were quick, contact hitters who all had a knack for getting on base. The next batters -- Michael Scharbarth, Johnny Zepeda, Scott Clement and Nick Diehl -- were counted on to mash the ball and they all did with regularity.

2. (2) Chatsworth 33-1

From following the teams throughout the season, a matchup between Chatsworth and La Costa Canyon probably would favor the Chancellors at least in the pitching department. Not only did Justin Cassel finish 15-0, but super junior Jason Dominguez was nearly as dominant. And is there any team in the nation that has gone 170-18-1 in the last six seasons?

3. (3) La Quinta (Westminster) 30-2

It looked like it might be one of those frustrating days for the Mariners in their CIF Southern Section Div. IV title game against Pacifica of Garden Grove, but finally in the fifth inning a 0-0 tie was broken on a two-run double by Cole Garner. Pitching ace Ian Kennedy gave up a triple that led to a run in the sixth, but finished with a three-hitter and struck out nine in leading La Quinta to a 2-1 triumph. It is the third CIFSS crown for coach Dave Demarest.

4. (4) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 27-6

Since the Broncos took No. 1 La Costa Canyon to the brink of defeat several times in the CIF San Diego Section Div. I final and since the rest of the state's major division section champions finished with seven losses or more, it's really a no-brainer to leave them at No. 4 for the final rankings. Who knows how coach Sam Blaylock's club would have ended up had pitching-hitting standout John Peabody not suffered that sprained ankle? Sophomore Johnny Drennen has All-American written all over him.

5. (11) Marina (Huntington Beach) 24-7

Here's where the rankings start to get more messy, but we're slotting in the Vikings here out of respect for them winning the CIF Southern Section Div. I title. They scraped by for all four of their playoff victories, and needed a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth by Jacob Luque to give them a 1-0 win over Valley View of Moreno Valley in the final. Marina beat Arlington of Riverside 5-3 in the semis with Adam Rodriguez hitting a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning.

6. (7) Clovis 23-7

The Cougars won their sixth CIF Central Section Yosemite Division Large School title in the last nine years with a 3-0 win in the final over school district rival Buchanan.

7. (8) Buchanan (Clovis) 27-5

Coach Tom Donald's team was No. 1 in the Central Section for most of the regular season and gets to finish in the state top 10 because its playoff loss was to Clovis and Clovis wound up No. 6.

8. (9) Edison (Huntington Beach) 24-5

The final ranking for the Chargers has to get a lift because they won the Sunset League crown over a Marina team that eventually became the CIFSS Div. I champions.

9. (13) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 23-6

Going 10-2 in the same league as Santa Margarita (playoff win over Capo Valley), Servite (playoff win over Edison) and Bishop Amat (No. 1 in the state last year) and losing by just one run in extra innings to eventual champ Marina in the CIFSS Div. I playoffs were two good reasons why we moved up the Monarchs for the final rankings.

10. (10) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 25-4

Stanford-bound shortstop Adam Sorgi and junior pitching-hitting standout Jason Corder had the Cougars among the state's top ranked teams all season long. They were battling for the No. 1 spot before dropping a game to Canyon of Anaheim in the title game of the Irvine tourney.

11. (20) Mitty (San Jose) 25-9

This is the spot where the Monarchs land in the state rankings for finishing No. 1 in our Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area top 20. That's a lot of losses, but Mitty won one of the toughest section titles to win that there is -- the CIF Central Coast Section Div. I playoffs -- and the Monarchs did it convincingly by scores of 12-7 over Serra and 9-1 over Wilcox.

12. (16) Serra (San Mateo) 30-5

One major feather in the Padres' cap is that they were one of just four teams in the state this year to win 30 games or more. If they had gotten through in the CCS Div. I semis and then won in the final, it would have been 32-4 and a final state ranking of no lower than No. 4.

13. (17) Elk Grove 26-8

Despite losing 22-7 to Armijo of Fairfield in the early stages of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs, the Thundering Herd came all the way back to win the championship. They beat Armijo twice in one day to earn a berth in the title series and then swept a pair from Lincoln of Stockton. Sophomore Camryn Spears led the team in hitting with a .414 average and will be among the top underclassmen in Northern California next season.

14. (19) Valley View (Moreno Valley) 23-8

Steven Wright gave up just four hits and one run in 7 2/3 innings in an impressive outing against Marina in the CIFSS Div. I final. Unfortunately, the Valley View offense went scoreless and Marina won the title with a 1-0 triumph. Earlier in the week in the semifinals, Daniel Hawkins came up big with a five-hitter in a 3-0 win vs. Santa Margarita. He's normally the No. 3 pitcher and his effort allowed coach Matt Davis to go exclusively with Wright, the squad's ace, in the final.

15. (12) Arlington (Riverside) 24-6

Wins over Camarillo and Mission Viejo put the Lions into the CIFSS Div. I semifinals, where they lost by just 5-3 in eight innings to eventual champ Marina. This was another team that battled for the top ranking early in the season.

16. (nr) Armijo (Fairfield) 28-4

Coach Marcus Franco's bunch posted a win over Clovis at the Fresno Easter Classic and needed to be beaten twice by Elk Grove to be eliminated in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs. Shortstop Sean Henry will be missed, but a number of other key players will be back.

17. (nr) Casa Roble (Orangevale) 26-3-1

Senior outfielder Bill Rhinehart led the Rams to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II title and now he can say it also turned out to be for a mythical Div. II state championship. Casa Roble moved up after previous No. 1 Canyon of Anaheim, previous No. 2 Clayton Valley of Concord and previous No. 3 Valencia all lost in games last week. Other team leaders were junior 1B/P Mickey Weisser, senior P/OF Charles Smith and junior P Brent Furhman.

18. (nr) Thousand Oaks 25-6

The Lancers were only 10-14 last year, but completed their turnaround season with a bang. After downing previous No. 18 Valencia 6-2 in the CIFSS Div. II semifinals, they used a six-run fourth inning to propel them to a 7-3 victory over Canyon of Anaheim in the final. Chad Lundahl slapped a two-run double in the big inning that gave Thousand Oaks a 5-3 advantage.

19. (5) Canyon (Anaheim) 25-6

The Comanches contributed to their own demise in the CIFSS Div. II final vs. Thousand Oaks by making three errors in the pivotal fourth inning. Earlier in the week, Canyon blanked league rival Villa Park 5-0 in the semis behind junior pitcher Nick Casanova, who tossed a five-hitter and struck out 11.

20. (na) Camarillo 23-4

Delmon Young no doubt wished he was dealing with the distraction of also being in the CIFSS Div. I semis on the same day in which he was taken No. 1 in the amateur free agent draft. The Scorpions, who won that section crown a year ago, bowed out this year in the quarterfinals to Arlington. They started 0-3, then went on a 23-game winning streak.

21. (nr) Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 23-4

The Knights would have to get the nod to be the top-rated overall team this season from the CIF North Coast Section. They won the Class 2A East Bay crown with a 2-1 victory over El Cerrito on a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh by Jeff Wilkerson. They made headlines earlier in the season by smashing 10 home runs in one game.

22. (18) Valencia 23-7

The Vikings enjoyed some magical moments from Jared Clark and Matt Aidem, but it just didn't happen in a 6-2 playoff loss to Thousand Oaks that ended their season. Earlier in the playoffs, Valencia pinned a 6-4 loss on El Dorado of Placentia, which was a finalist earlier in the year at the prestigious National Classic.

23. (na) El Dorado (Placentia) 21-7

The Golden Hawks' record sounds more impressive when you factor in the knowledge of what league they played in (Century, same as Canyon and Villa Park) and what tournaments they were in (National Classic, Loara tourney).

24. (na) El Capitan (Lakeside) 27-8

It was one of those up-and-down seasons for the Vaqueros, but good for them that the down part came during the regular season. The up part was finishing third at the National Classic with a win over Mission Bay and the really up part was winning the CIF San Diego Section Division II title. El Capitan defeated Patrick Henry in the final, 5-4, with the game-winning RBI coming from Vern Wengeler in the fifth inning.

25. (na) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 29-8

The 2002 CCS Div. I champs got back to the title game this year with a 4-1 triumph in the semifinals over St. Francis of Mountain View. Junior pitcher Donald Brandt had a marvelous season, going 11-2 and setting a school record for strikeouts.

26. (na) St. Francis (Mountain View) 27-8

The Lancers were co-champions of the rugged West Catholic Athletic League for the regular season, lost a one-run game to Serra in the league playoff final and then fell in the CCS Div. I semis to Wilcox. Coach Chris Bradford won the 600th game of his career midway through the season.

27. (na) Deer Valley (Antioch) 24-8-1

Junior pitcher Matt Baugh took a three-hitter into the seventh inning, then Travis Shahon came on for a save as the Wolverines won their first-ever CIF NCS Class 3A East Bay crown with a 4-1 victory over Clayton Valley of Concord last Saturday at Network Associates Coliseum. Deer Valley downed De La Salle of Concord, 9-8, in the semifinals.

28. (6) Clayton Valley (Concord) 26-6

The Eagles were the Bay Valley Athletic League champs over Deer Valley, but in the one game that meant the most they couldn't get it done. Clayton Valley's semifinal game was a 10-3 win over Castro Valley.

29. (na) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 27-4

The Mariners were 27-1 against everybody they played that wasn't La Quinta. Leadoff hitter Travis Barnard went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base in the team's 6-2 victory in the CIFSS Div. IV semifinals over Cabrillo of Lompoc.

30. (na) Crespi (Encino) 27-6

Watch out for these guys next year. Only two seniors started, but the Celts wound up winning the CIFSS Div. IV crown with a 1-0 win over Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood. Junior Trevor Plouffe pitched the shutout and avenged his only loss in a 13-1 campaign.


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