The 2002 high school baseball season is over, and Elkins (Texas) finishes as the top team in the final SchoolSports National Baseball Top 25. Bishop Amat (Calif.) and Madison (Va.) follow Lincoln in the rankings.

Final 2002 Rankings

1. Elkins (Missouri City, Texas) – (35-1) *1
It was very tough picking Elkins over No. 2 Bishop Amat. But after Elkins won the Class 5A state title with a 6-1 win over Westwood in the semifinals and an impressive 11-4 victory over then-No. 21 Bowie in the state finals, it was the logical choice to make. Not only did Elkins win the title in the state's highest classification, the Knights also finished with fewer losses than Bishop Amat. And considering that Elkins' only defeat came in a best-of-three playoff series in which the Knights eventually won anyway, they are our choice for national champ.

2. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) – (28-2) *2
Before Bishop Amat fans send us hate mail for knocking the Lancers from the top spot in favor of Elkins, consider this: If California had a true state tournament and had Amat been able to prove itself against the best from all across the state, the Lancers may very well have finished at No. 1. But since Elkins had fewer losses and had to beat the best teams from the entire state of Texas, the Knights get the nod. It was still a great season for Bishop Amat, which beat La Quinta, 2-1, in eight innings in the Southern Section Division IV championship game.

3. Madison (Vienna, Va.) – (29-0) *3
The Warhawks completed an unbeaten season by winning the Virginia AAA state championship with a dramatic 2-1 victory over J.R. Tucker in the state finals. Joe Lewin drove in the winning run with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Madison the state title, the school's first since 1971. The Warhawks tossed 11 shutouts and outscored opponents 249-38 this season.

4. Carlsbad (Carlsbad, N.M.) – (24-1) *4
Carlsbad captured the Class 5A state title with a 6-5, eight-inning win over La Cueva in the semifinals and an 8-1 victory over Los Lunas in the finals. Ryan French was the offensive star for the Cavemen, blasting a game-winning homer in the eighth inning in the semifinals and driving in two runs in the championship game.

5. Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) – (33-4) *5
All-American outfielder Jeff Francoeur led the Panthers to their second straight state title by registering one of the greatest championship series performances ever in a 5-4, 11-3 sweep of Lassiter. In the two wins, Francoeur went 6-for-7 with four homers (including a grand slam), seven RBI and 22 total bases. As if that wasn't good enough, he also picked up the win in both games while pitching in relief. Not a bad way to cap a high school career.

6. Picayune (Picayune, Miss.) – (35-3) *6
Picayune won the Class 4A state title by erasing an early 2-0 deficit and beating New Hope, 5-3, in the third and decisive game of the best-of-three state championship series. After losing the first game of the series, Picayune also had to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win Game 2, 6-3.

7. Central Catholic (Clearwater, Fla.) – (32-1) *7
Central Catholic won its first Class 2A state title since 1979 by blanking Miami Florida Christian, 5-0, in the state finals. Pitcher Justin O'Keefe went the distance to pick up the championship game win, allowing just three hits and striking out four.

8. Wilcox (Santa Clara, Calif.) – (34-3) *8
Wilcox won its first Central Coast Section Division I championship by beating Serra, 9-3, in the finals behind five RBI from Vincent Gutierrez. The Chargers advanced to the title game with a 4-3 win over Archbishop Mitty in the semifinals.

9. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Fla.) – (28-4) *9
Bishop Kenny captured the Class 4A state title with a 13-0 win over Ridgewood in the state finals, the first time in five years the mercy rule was needed in a Florida championship game. The win was especially impressive considering Ridgewood had knocked off then-No. 1 Dunedin in the semifinals.

10. Camarillo (Camarillo, Calif.) – (29-4) *10
Camarillo won the Southern Section Division I title thanks to an 8-1 rout of Lakewood in the finals. All-American junior outfielder Delmon Young got the party started for the Scorpions with a two-run double in the first inning, and Travis Sutton (14-0) picked up the win with a stellar pitching performance.

11. Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, Calif.) – (30-4) *11
Jesse English led the Longhorns to the San Diego Section Division I title with a 6-0 victory over three-time defending champ Rancho Bernardo in the finals. English went 3-for-4 with three RBI at the plate and allowed just two hits on the mound to earn the win.

12. T.C. Roberson (Asheville, N.C.) – (27-2) *12
Roberson swept then-No. 10 Glenn, 5-2 and 9-7, in the Class 3-A state championship series. Freshman Cameron Maybin was named MVP of the finals after hitting a three-run homer in Game 1 and a two-run double in Game 2. The state title was Roberson's second in the last three years.

13. Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) – (32-5) *13
Creighton Prep won its second straight Class A state title, beating Millard North, 13-3, in the championship game as lefty pitcher Brian Bull improved to 7-0 with a complete-game three-hitter.

14. La Quinta (Westminster, Calif.) – (29-3) *14
La Quinta suffered a 2-1, eight-inning loss to No. 2 Bishop Amat in the Southern Section Division IV championship game as Amat scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on an error. Still, a 29-3 record and an extra-innings loss to the nation's No. 2 team prove the Aztecs belong in the Top 25.

15. Canyon del Oro (Tucson, Ariz.) – (27-6) *15
Six losses is a lot for a team in the Top 25, but winning the Class 5A state title in Arizona is not easy. And that's exactly what Canyon del Oro did, beating Tucson High, 8-6, in the state finals.

16. Gainesville (Gainesville, Ga.) – (33-3) *16
Gainesville won its second straight Class AAA state title with a pair of 7-0 victories over Loganville in the finals. Superstar Micah Owings hit a solo homer in the first game and a three-run blast in the second to finish with 25 home runs on the year, besting his own single-season state record of 23. Owings also struck out 14 to pick up the win in Game 2 and finish the season with a 12-1 record on the mound.

17. Mission Bay (San Diego, Calif.) – (30-4) *17
Mission Bay proved its offensive superiority by pounding out 17 hits to annihilate Clairemont, 18-1, in the San Diego Section Division III championship game. The game was the most lopsided win in San Diego Section championship history.

18. Fuquay-Varina (Fuquay-Varina, N.C.) – (27-3) *18
Fuquay-Varina swept West Forsyth, 11-1 and 5-1, in the Class 4-A state championship series. Pat Stanley earned series MVP honors after going 6-for-6 at the plate in the two games.

19. Fort Mill (Fort Mill, S.C.) – (29-5) *19
Fort Mill captured the Class AAAA state championship in South Carolina, but the Yellow Jackets' most impressive victory of the year came against nationally ranked Southridge (Fla.) early in the season. Those two factors outweigh the five losses on Fort Mill's record.

20. Dunedin (Dunedin, Fla.) – (32-1) *22
Dunedin was only two victories away from clinching the national title, but a 3-1 loss to Ridgewood in the Class 4A state semifinals ended that dream. Although the Falcons didn't win the state title, their undefeated regular season is proof that they belong among the nation's elite teams. One loss can't overshadow an entire season.

21. St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) – (27-3) *NR
St. Ignatius won its first Division I state title with an 11-10 victory over Milford in the state finals. Junior pitcher Greg Moviel finished the season with a 10-0 record and a 1.56 ERA.

22. Covington Catholic (Covington, Ky.) – (40-3) *NR
The Colonels captured their first state championship thanks to a 5-3 win over Louisville Trinity in the state finals. Pitcher Mark Bogenschutz went the distance and allowed just four hits to pick up the win in the championship game.

23. Jesuit (New Orleans, La.) – (30-6) *23
Jesuit knocked off preseason nationally ranked Barbe, 2-1, in dramatic fashion in the Class 5A state title game. Corey Penedo drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

24. Southridge (Miami, Fla.) – (32-2) *25
Southridge is in the same boat as No. 20 Dunedin after having a fantastic season somewhat marred by a 5-4 loss to Hialeah in the Class 6A state championship game. But like Dunedin, Southridge still belongs in the Top 25 after a great overall season.

25. Moon (Coraoplis, Pa.) – (20-6) *NR
It's strange how things have a habit of coming full circle. In our preseason rankings, we had Moon at No. 25. And after winning its second straight Class AAA state championship with a 3-2 victory over then-No. 24 Liberty, that's where Moon finishes. The Tigers were the first team to win back-to-back AAA titles since the PIAA playoffs began in 1977.

Dropped Out:

No. 20 Minnetonka (Minnetonka, Minn.) – (24-3)

No. 21 Ridgewood (New Port Richey, Fla.) – (27-8)

No. 24 Liberty (Bethlehem, Pa.) – (23-5)

* previous ranking

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