Champion Presents: Final Baseball Top 25

The 2005 baseball season is complete and Russell County (Ala.) finishes atop the National Top 25. Find out where everyone else ranks in the final installment of the baseball Top 25.

Final 2005 Rankings

1. Russell County (Seale, Ala.) – (38-1) *1
Russell County earned its first state title with a sweep of Pinson Valley. The Warriors won the first game, 5-1, and the second game, 7-0. Cory Rasmus went the distance for the Warriors in the second game, striking out 10. Rasmus' brother, Colby, an Auburn recruit, was named Gatorade state Player of the Year after he batted .484 with 24 homers and 66 RBI. Russell County finishes No. 1 in the Top 25.
Preseason Ranking: No. 4

2. Brownsburg (Brownsburg, Ind.) – (35-0) *2
The Bulldogs became just the second unbeaten state champion in state history when they defeated Evansville North, 6-4, in the Class 4A final. Senior pitcher Lance Lynn picked up the win, striking out 12 without walking a batter. Senior outfielder Sean Veza had a homer among his three hits.
Preseason Ranking: No. 15

3. Nova (Davie, Fla.) – (30-1) *3
Nova became the first Broward County team to win consecutive state titles with a 3-0 blanking of Tampa Gaither in the Class 5A final. For the Titans, it was their 15th shutout of the season and it allowed the pitching staff to finish with an amazing team ERA of 0.92. Junior right-hander Donnie Amos pitched six scoreless innings of two-hit ball and struck out five for the win. Amos also drove in two runs. Senior right-hander Pablo Lopez pitched a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Wolfson in the semifinals. Lopez finished the year 15-1 and went 28-2 over his last two seasons.
Preseason Ranking: No. 8

4. Niwot (Longmont, Colo.) – (25-1) *4
Niwot had its 45-game winning streak snapped in a 4-3 loss to Pueblo South in the Class 4A state championship series. The streak tied Eaton for the longest winning streak in state history. However, it was the Cougars' first loss of the double-elimination tournament and they were able to get some revenge with a 7-0 shutout of Pueblo South in the state final. For the Cougars, it was their second straight state title and fifth in the last eight years. Senior left-hander Sean Ratliff capped his career by hurling a two-hit shutout, while striking out 14 and walking only one. He helped his own cause by going 4-for-4 at the plate.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

5. Florida Christian (Miami, Fla.) – (29-2) *5
Florida Christian captured its second consecutive state title with a 7-5 victory over Arlington Country Day in the Class 2A final. Mitch Walker went the distance for the victory. The Patriots finished the season with a 26-game winning streak.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

6. Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – (31-3) *6
The Firebirds set a state record by winning their third consecutive Class 4A state title with a 10-0 victory over then-No. 23 Catalina Foothills in six innings. It was Chaparral's fifth state title in seven years. The Firebirds won all four of their tournament games by 10-run mercy rules. Ike Davis and Charlie Brewer combined for the shutout and Jason Jarvis went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Preseason Ranking: No. 9

7. Northwest Rankin (Brandon, Miss.) – (36-3) *8
Northwest Rankin swept Gulfport, 6-3 and 5-4, in the Class 5A state championship finals. It was the first state title for the Cougars. In the series clincher, sophomore reliever Ben Wylie struck out two in the seventh inning, including a game-ending punchout with the bases loaded.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

8. La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) – (28-1) *9
The Bears picked up their third straight state title with a 6-5 win in eight innings over Eldorado in the Class 5A final. Seth Johnson scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning on a passed ball.
Preseason Ranking: No. 24

9. Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (28-1) *10
Matt Klausing pitched a completed game, three-hit shutout in Elder's 3-0 win over Toledo Start in the Division I state championship. It was the Panthers' state-record 12th state title overall. Elder has won a state title in every decade since the 1940s.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

10. Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) – (35-0) *11
Millard North capped off an undefeated season with a 10-6 win over Omaha Westside in the state championship game. The Mustangs finished with the first unbeaten season in Nebraska since Omaha Northwest in 1984. Jason Jewell, an Illinois recruit, had three homers and 13 RBI in the tournament.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

11. Houston Christian (Houston, Texas) – (36-3) *12
Houston Christian defeated Second Baptist, 11-3, in the TAPPS 5A state championship. The Mustangs had lost to Second Baptist in the TAPPS 4A state title game last year.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

12. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, Calif.) – (31-5) *13
Rancho Bernardo defeated Granite Hills, 8-2, in the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship. It was the Broncos' fourth Division I title since 1999. Senior Brian Wilson pitched a four-hitter and helped his own cause by going 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and two RBI.
Preseason Ranking: No. 3

13. St. John's (Washington, D.C.) – (24-3) *14
St. John's defeated Paul VI Catholic, 4-0, to win its second Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in the past six years.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

14. Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) – (31-1) *15
Calvert Hall won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title with a 12-2 victory in six innings over Mount St. Joseph. Junior catcher Joe Velleggia had three hits, including two homers, while senior right-hander and Virginia Tech recruit Rob Waskiewicz scattered four hits to finish the season 10-0.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

15. Richland (Richland, Wash.) – (26-2) *16
Senior Tyler Cheney, a Washington recruit, slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning to help Richland edge Skyline, 2-1, in the Class 4A state championship. It was Richland's first state title.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

16. Lockport (Lockport, Ill.) – (40-3) *17
The Porters beat Mount Carmel, 8-4, in the Class AA state championship. Senior outfielder Eric Sternberg tied a state tournament record with 10 RBI during the tourney. He finished with a school-record 59 RBI on the season. Meanwhile, senior catcher Nick Mitidiero finished the year with a Class AA record batting average of .618.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

17. Mills Godwin (Richmond, Va.) – (23-1) *18
Mills Godwin had its hopes of an undefeated season ended in a 1-0 loss to Midlothian in the regional semifinals. The Eagles stay in the Top 25 based on a season in which they won their first 22 games.
Preseason Ranking: No. 21

18. Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) – (25-1) *19
The Dragons lost to Monte Vista, 10-7, in the North Coast Section Class 3A East Bay quarterfinals. Bishop O'Dowd remains in the Top 25 thanks to a remarkable season in which it earned its first undefeated regular season (23-0) in school history while capturing its third straight Hayward Area Athletic League title.
Preseason Ranking: No. 25

19. Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Mich.) – (41-2-1) *7
Senior Zach Putnam gave up just two hits and struck out nine, but it wasn't enough as the Pioneers fell to Sterling Heights Stevenson, 2-0, in the Division 1 state championship. Still, Pioneer, which won the Division 1 state title in 2004, finishes in the Top 25 because it was able to make it all the way back to the state final even with a bull's eye on its back
Preseason Ranking: No. 12

20. Moody (Corpus Christi, Texas) – (33-3-1) *20
Moody's quest for a second straight state title was ended in a 1-0 loss to Smithson Valley in the Class 5A Region IV final. The Trojans were the favorites to repeat as state champions. Still, the Trojans strong season overall keeps them in the Top 25.
Preseason Ranking: No. 2

21. Sarasota (Sarasota, Fla.) – (28-1) *21
The Sailors had their hopes of an undefeated season and a state championship ended thanks to a 6-2 loss to Palm Beach Central in the Class 6A, Region 2 semifinals. Despite the loss, Sarasota remained in the Top 25 after a terrific season in which the Sailors won their first 28 games.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

22. Wilmington (Wilmington, Ill.) – (41-1) *22
Wilmington won its second state title in the past three years with a 12-0 victory in five innings over Montini in the Class A state championship. Senior right-hander and Illinois recruit Tanner Roark pitched a two-hitter and struck out seven.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

23. Kingwood (Humble, Texas) – (35-6-1) *23
Critics may ask how a team with six losses can finish in the Top 25, but we answer with the fact Kingwood captured a state title in the highest classification of one of the most competitive baseball areas in the country. Kingwood defeated Rockwall, 10-5, in the Class 5A final as Kenneth Negron drove in four runs, including three on a triple, and was named tournament MVP.
Preseason Ranking: No. 23

24. Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) – (25-6) *24
Buchanan dominated then-No. 22 Clovis West, 8-1, in the CIF Central Section Division I championship. It was Buchanan's first baseball title in school history. Justin Wilson pitched a complete game, striking out eight.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

25. Catalina Foothills (Tucson, Ariz.) – (32-3) *25
Catalina Foothills lost to new No. 10 Chaparral in the Class 4A state championship. It was the second straight year the Falcons lost to Chaparral in the state title game. Catalina Foothills didn't drop from the rankings because it tied a Class 4A state record this season with 32 wins while advancing to the state title game.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

Dropped Out:


* previous ranking

Click here for the 2005 Preseason National Baseball Top 25

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