(For the purposes of our TV show, which does not reach many cities beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, we define Northern California for these rankings as not to include schools from the CIF Central Section. For our own geographically-based rankings, we include the CIF Central Section as Northern California)
Here's the up-to-date baseball rankings after Sat night games and final rankings for 2002 season:
1. Wilcox (Santa Clara) 34-3 (1)
2. Newark Memorial (Newark) 26-4-1 (5)
3. Mitty (San Jose) 26-6* (3)
4. Clayton Valley (Concord) 22-6 (4)
5. Valley Christian (San Jose) 28-7 (9)
6. Elk Grove 29-7 (2)
7. Woodland 26-8 (6)
8. Folsom 28-5-1 (7)
9. Serra (San Mateo) 26-9 (8)
10. Merced 24-14 (15)
11. Bellarmine (San Jose) 27-8 (10)
12. St. Francis (Mountain View) 26-9 (11)
13. California (San Ramon) 21-5 (12)
14. Davis 24-7-1 (13)
15. Hollister 24-6 (14)
16. Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 27-8 (16)
17. Lincoln (Stockton) 25-8 (17)
18. Rio Linda 25-5 (18)
19. Miramonte (Orinda) 23-4 (nr)
20. Monterey 29-5 (20)
Newark Memorial was able to angle up to the No. 2 slot behind Wilcox after winning the NCS Class 3A East Bay crown with a 12-7 win over Clayton Valley last Saturday at Network Associates Coliseum. It also helped the Cougars that previous No. 2 Elk Grove was upset by Merced in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I title series.
Dan Reeves entered the game as a pitcher for Newark Memorial in the third inning with his team trailing Clayton Valley, 5-0. He proceeded to shut down the Eagles and in the bottom of the third sparked a six-run rally with a two-run laser over the big league wall. Jason Tweedy, one of the top sophs in the Bay Area, also stepped up for Newark Memorial with the game-winning RBI and a three-run triple in the seventh.
Even though Merced beat Elk Grove by 7-4 in the third and decisive game of the series, it's too tough to rank a team with 14 losses that didn't win its league that high. The Bears do make the top 10, but Elk Grove, Woodland and Folsom are three Sac-Joaquin squads that all had much stronger overall seasons than Merced.
Newark Memorial also wasn't the only team to be crowned an NCS champ last week. Miramonte earned its second Class 2A East Bay title in four years with a 2-1 win in the final over Northgate of Walnut Creek. Haley Winters sizzled with a one-hitter on the hill for the Matadors, who finished 23-4. St. Bernard of Eureka won the Class A title for the second straight year with a 6-0 win over Justin-Siena of Napa and Drake won top honors in Class 2A Redwood Empire with a 9-3 triumph over Fortuna.
Here's the final 2002 softball rankings:
1. Brookside Christian (Stockton) 32-1 (1)
2. Notre Dame (Salinas) 28-3 (2)
3. Sheldon (Sacramento) 29-4-1 (3)
4. Freedom (Oakley) 23-4 (4)
5. Vanden (Travis AFB) 28-1 (5)
6. College Park (Pleasant Hill) 23-4 (7)
7. Campolindo (Moraga) 23-2 (8)
8. North Salinas (Salinas) 24-6-1 (9)
9. Deer Valley (Antioch) 23-4 (6)
10. Fairfield 29-9 (10)
11. Carlmont (Belmont) 27-6 (11)
12. Ceres 24-2 (12)
13. Valley Christian (San Jose) 25-4 (14)
14. Mitty (San Jose) 28-6 (13)
15. Pleasant Valley (Chico) 25-7-2 (16)
16. St. Francis (Sacramento) 26-9-1 (15)
17. Petaluma 19-3 (17)
18. Merced 28-7 (18)
19. Del Oro (Loomis) 23-11-1 (19)
20. East Union (Manteca) 27-5 (20)
A number of NorCal and Bay Area squads will move up significantly in this week's final Cal-Hi Sports state rankings thanks to a series of upsets in the CIF Southern Section semifinals and finals. Even though the season ended in the CCS, NCS and Sac-Joaquin sections two weekends ago, Brookside Christian, Notre Dame of Salinas, Sheldon of Sacramento and Freedom of Oakley all moved up 2-3 spots in the state rankings.
Matchups we'd love to see next season would involve Vanden of Travis AFB (with pitcher Anjelica Selden), Campolindo of Moraga (with pitcher Becky McCullough) and North Salinas (with pitcher Monica Abbott). If the coaches of those teams could somehow hook up and play, the results would sure make doing the rankings a whole lot easier.
Congratulations to all baseball and softball players of this spring. Be sure to check this site over the next two weeks for final state rankings, all-state teams, state school of the year and state athlete of the year selections.