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By Paul Muyskens
Contributing: Mark Tennis
Cathedral Catholic of San Diego is still ranked inside the state top 20 this week after a 2-1 loss last week to St. Augustine of San Diego at PETCO Park, but the Dons have had bigger issues as they are dealing with the suspensions of several players who violated undisclosed school rules last month when in North Carolina for the National High School Invitational.
While the names of those players who were suspended were not publicly released, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported “a number of Dons – including star players – have been scratched from at least five games since returning from the tournament.”
“The bottom line is that no one was expelled from school,” said head coach Gary Remiker to the Union Tribune before the team’s loss to St. Augustine. “There was, however, varying degrees of punishment. Some of the kids who aren’t with us today will be back. Some will not.”
Depending on who those players are, the Dons could still end up as the top team in San Diego and with a section championship. For now, though, they drop to No. 3 in the San Diego area and No. 18 in our new state rankings. It’s a far cry from being consensus top five in the nation to start the season.
Here are this week’s rankings (after games of Saturday, April 20; previous ranking in parentheses; Monday games of this week not included):
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 19-1
We expected the Monarchs to get tested more than a few times in Trinity League play and that was certainly the case last week as they barely avoided defeat with a pair of one-run wins over Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita. Jacob Erickson extended his streak to 24 1/3 innings without allowing a run after throwing the first 5 1/3 innings in their 2-1 extra-inning win over the Eagles. Santa Margarita even took a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth in that one, only to see Mater Dei score on a single by Brian Soper, then an infield single by Davis Tominaga. Up next will be a pair of road games against St. John Bosco of Bellflower this week. The boys will try not to look ahead to next week when they will play twice against Orange Lutheran.
2. (2) St. Francis (Mountain View) 22-1
It could have been quite the interesting week for rankings had the Lancers and Mater Dei not held on to one-run victories. St. Francis ended its week with a 2-1 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco. Tyler Deason came up big in the win as he pitched 1 1/3 innings for the save while also driving in the game’s winning run. Tied for first in the West Catholic Athletic League with Serra of San Mateo, after splitting a pair of games against the Padres this season, they will face off on Friday for the third and final time in the regular season.
3. (3) Fountain Valley 20-1
Undefeated in Sunset League play, that fact didn’t change after last week’s results. The Barons picked up a pair of wins against Newport Harbor of Newport Beach to move to 9-0 in league action. They scored in nine of their 13 innings while scoring a combined 21 runs in the two wins. Brock Lundquist hit a home run in each game while Daniel Patzlaff and John Shattles also homered last week. Fountain Valley faces Los Alamitos for two games this week.
4. (4) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 18-3
With a pair of seven-run wins over Alemany of Mission Hills last week, the Wolverines have now won six in a row and nine out of their last 10 with the loss coming against No. 1 Mater Dei. Scoring in double digits in both wins, the Wolverines were led by Arden Pabst as he hit two two-run home runs in their 12-5 win to end the week. Harvard-Westlake still trails Loyola of Los Angeles by one game in Mission League standings, but its overall body of work is far superior.
5. (5) Granada (Livermore) 16-0
With the team’s undefeated record on the line against defending CIF North Coast Section Division I champion De La Salle of Concord, it was no surprise that senior Jacob Payne was on the mound and he didn’t miss a beat. Payne struck out seven and allowed just five hits in a 4-0 complete-game shutout performance. With a two-game lead over three teams in the East Bay Athletic League, the Matadors should keep their undefeated record intact with games this week against Livermore and San Ramon Valley of Danville, which are tied for last place in the league.
6. (7) Buchanan (Clovis) 20-2-1
Two wins over Clovis East of Clovis has the Bears still two games ahead of No. 16 Clovis North of Fresno with six games to play in the Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference. The two wins also helped Buchanan move up to sixth in the state rankings this week since previous No. 6 Canyon of Anaheim lost twice. Connor Loeprich got the win, Tanner Truhett got the save and Colton Worthington had a big two-run single when the Bears beat Clovis East 3-2 to end the week.
7. (8) Serra (San Mateo) 19-3
The Padres made sure that they did their part to make this week’s game at St. Francis of Mountain View a big game for the WCAL regular season championship as they defeated St. Ignatius of San Francisco 3-0 and continued Valley Christian of San Jose’s slump with a 12-1 win. Handing the No. 2 Lancers their only loss this season, Serra would be in sole possession of first if not for a loss to an Arcbishop Mitty of San Jose squad that they will play first this week before facing the Lancers.
8. (10) Lutheran (Orange) 15-4
Extra innings were needed by Lancers to get a 5-2 win at Servite of Anaheim to open last week. In the next game, Servite took a 2-0 lead after two innings, but Orange Lutheran’s three-run rally in the fourth inning keyed an eventual 4-2 triumph. In two weeks, the Lancers will face No. 1 Mater Dei twice.
9. (11) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 17-3-1
As expected, the Lions rolled over Nordhoff of Ojai in a pair of wins last week before a 9-0 win over North of Torrance in a break from Tri-Valley League play. After a 12-3 win at Nordhoff, Spencer Voegelbach pitched six shutout innings of a 12-0 romp past the same team. Up next is a pair of games against St. Bonaventure of Ventura before a big game against No. 12 Bonita of La Verne at the Redondo Tournament.
10. (12) Granite Hills (El Cajon) 15-4
For the second week in a row, the Eagles move up one spot in our San Diego Section pecking order. This time it had to happen after Cathedral Catholic, a team they have defeated, suffered another loss while they themselves defeated West Hills of Santee 17-4 and Helix of La Mesa 7-4. Two games this week against Grossmont of La Mesa will tell us more.
11. (13) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 18-3
With the Palomar League well underway, the Broncos doubled their league win total from three to six with a dominating three-game sweep over Canyon Crest Academy of San Diego. They won by a combined score of 35-1. Standout junior Alex Jackson homered and drove in five runs while Matt Jervis went 4-for-6 with four runs batted in during a 19-0 win. In the same game, Rancho Bernardo led 9-0 after the first inning.
12. (14) Bonita (La Verne) 19-2-1
With 10-2 and 7-2 wins over West Covina, the Bearcats kept one game in front of Diamond Bar for first place in the Hacienda League with six games left to play. They ended last week with a 3-1 win over Centennial of Corona at the Redondo Tournament that gets them a matchup this week against No. 9 Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.
13. (15) Elk Grove 15-3
Thundering back from a 2-1 loss to Davis that saw them drop in the rankings, but remaining as our top team in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, Elk Grove picked up three wins last week to help them move back up this week. Max Hull and Dylan Carson each drove in three runs in their 14-1 win over Monterey Trail of Elk Grove that ended the week after 5-0 and 12-4 wins over Grant of Sacramento. Currently trailing Davis by one game in the Delta Valley League, Elk Grove won’t have a chance to avenge that loss until its final two games of the regular season.
14. (17) Turlock 20-1
Three more wins and all by shutouts for the Bulldogs gives them a three-spot bump in this week’s rankings. The triumphs were 9-0 and 8-0 over arch-rival Pitman of Turlock and then 3-0 over Escalon in the Windemuth Easter Classic championship game. Dakota Edwards allowed just two hits while striking out six in the triumph over Escalon. Entering this week, Turlock has a 20-game win streak.
15. (18) El Toro (Lake Forest) 15-5
Taking control of the South Coast League, the Chargers posted two wins last week over Mission Viejo, winning 9-1 at home before going on the road and getting a 7-4 win. In the road win, El Toro saw a 3-0 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit after six innings before scoring a run in the top of the seventh forced extra innings. This week’s home-and-home series will be against Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo.
16. (20) Clovis North (Fresno) 19-5
After a few weeks in which the second spot in the CIF Central Section was up in the air, the Broncos have taken that position and don’t want to let go. They won twice last week over Clovis to avenge their loss to the Cougars from earlier this season. Jack Labosky allowed just three hits and moved to 7-0 on the mound in the 3-1 week-ending win at the “Play for the Cure” day.
17. (6) Canyon (Anaheim) 15-4
A bad two days saw the Comanches’ loss total for the season double as they lost 2-1 at El Dorado of Placentia before returning home the next day and losing to Esperanza of Anaheim 3-0. In addition to still having just four losses overall on the season, Canyon saved itself from dropping all the way out by beating Esperanza 15-3 to end the week.
18. (9) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 14-5
We’ve gone over the Dons’ struggles on and off the diamond already. On the field last week, they defeated Scripps Ranch of San Diego 2-1 before losing to St. Augustine of San Diego by the same score at PETCO Park. Depending on how the suspensions work out, Cathedral Catholic could very easily find its way back up the rankings or fall completely out.
19. (NR) Redlands 15-3
Our lone newcomer to the rankings this week is the top team in the new CIFSS Division II poll. The Terriers have won seven straight games after two wins over Cajon of San Bernardino last week to avenge one of their losses this season. Their other losses came against No. 16 Clovis North of Fresno and Santiago of Corona, a team they also defeated. Other quality wins this season have come against La Quinta, Clovis and Redlands East Valley. Redlands and REV will play twice this week.
20. (16) Lincoln (Stockton) 15-2-1
This team drops a few spots but not completely out after splitting a pair of games against league rival Lodi. The Flames took the first game of the week 6-3 and also moved two games in front of Lincoln in league standings. Hanalei Kalua-Adams then hit a game-winning sacrifice fly to give Lincoln a 5-4 road win later in the week. Lodi is still one game up in the league, but has seven losses overall. Lincoln’s wins over Turlock and Jesuit of Carmichael also come into play for this ranking. On Saturday, the Trojans play St. Mary’s of Stockton and even though the Rams are 9-11 they are showing signs that they will be ready to make a run at a fourth straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title.
Team That Dropped
Previous No. 19 Amador Valley (Pleasanton).
Teams On The Bubble
Agoura (Agoura Hills) 16-8, Alemany (Mission Hills) 16-6, Beckman (Irvine) 17-3, Bellarmine (San Jose) 17-6, Benicia 20-3, Campolindo (Moraga) 9-6-1, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 16-9, Carlsbad 16-4, Casa Grande (Petaluma) 17-1, Clovis 17-7, Cypress 16-6, Davis 15-5, De La Salle (Concord) 10-5, Diamond Bar 16-3, El Dorado (Placentia) 13-7, Granite Bay 11-6, Grossmont (La Mesa) 15-5, Jesuit (Carmichael) 13-4, La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 14-5, Lodi 13-7, Loyola (Los Angeles) 15-8, Marina (Huntington Beach) 13-7, Mission Viejo 15-7-1, Moorpark 18-6, Nogales (La Puente) 16-4, Northview (Covina) 16-4, Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 16-4-1, San Clemente 19-5, San Dieguito (Encinitas) 18-4, Serra (Gardena) 17-5, South (Torrance) 13-7, St. Augustine (San Diego) 14-5, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 9-11, West Ranch (Valencia) 12-7.
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