2008 Boys Baseball Rankings: May 22
For the first time this season, the No. 1 high school baseball team in the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 rankings upheld that position.
Top-ranked Plano West (Texas) improved to 34-0, sweeping a pair of best-of-three series in the Texas Class 5A playoffs. The Wolves play in the Class 5A region semifinal series this weekend.
Kudos to 10 state champions in the Elite 25, including three from Florida: No. 2 American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.); No. 5 Owasso (Okla.); No. 6 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas); No. 10 Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs, Fla.); No. 11 Barbe (Lake Charles, La.); No. 17 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.); No. 20 Fayetteville (Ark.); No. 21 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Fla.); No. 22 Sperry (Okla.); and No. 23 Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
Six teams debut in the Elite 25 rankings, headed by No. 13 Rowlett (Texas).
Most of the nation is in the postseason or finished with their seasons. The California sections will conclude over the next two weekends, with four teams vying in the Southern Section and one in the San Diego (California schools do not play for a state championship).
No. 8 Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) will wrap its campaign this week in the Class AAA double-elimination tournament.
Texas still has three rounds of playoff series to go, culminating June 6-7 in Austin.
The Elite 25 rankings, which appear bi-weekly, have 13 teams from the Southland Region, while the West contributes six. The next rankings are June 5, with the final ones on June 19.
Player of the week: First baseman Daniel Zaunbrecher of No. 11 Barbe (Lake Charles, La.) sizzled in Louisiana's large-classification (5A) postseason, hitting .616 with a .643 on-base percentage.
Zaunbrecher, a 6-0, 170-pound senior, added two home runs and nine RBI in five games as the Buccaneers won the 5A state championship. Zaunbrecher was an integral part of an offensive-oriented club that batted .379 in 42 games. He will enroll at national powerhouse Louisiana State, looking to make the roster as a walk-on.
Pitcher of the week: Right-hander Ryan Doiron of No. 11 Barbe (Lake Charles, La.) proved invaluable in five Class 5A playoff games. Doiron went 4-0 with a save and three complete games, striking out 31 and allowing 21 hits in 23 innings as Barbe captured its fifth state championship since 1998. He also pitched five innings in the final, picking up the victory and producing the game-winning run against Jesuit (New Orleans). Doiron, a 6-0, 175-pound Tulane signee, went 11-1 (11-0 as a starter) with two saves and a 1.17 earned run average. He allowed 44 hits and 16 walks and struck out 95 in 72 innings this season. He batted .303 with eight home runs and 42 runs batted in and scored 45 runs. He is expected to be selected in the upcoming First-Year Player Draft.
Must-see: To get a taste of big-time prep baseball in a major-league setting, head to Washington's Class 4A and 3A state tournaments Friday at Safeco Field in Seattle.
A 4A semifinal doubleheader includes regionally-ranked Richland (23-1) against Kentlake (Kent) at 7 p.m. ET. Snohomish and Olympia tangle in the other semifinal at 10 p.m. The 4A final Saturday at 10 p.m.
Jeremy Barwick and Kevin Lathim each homered and Cody Sheppard recorded the victory as Richland crushed Redmond 11-5 in the 4A quarterfinals.
Additionally, the 3A tournament opens Friday morning at Safeco, with two matchups: Issaquah-Kennewick and Meadowdale (Lynnwood)-Kelso. The final is also Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. -- Christopher Lawlor
|ESPN HIGH Elite 25 High School Boys Baseball Rankings|
|RANK (PREV. RANK)||TEAM||RECORD||COMMENT|
|1 (1)||Plano (Texas) West||34-0||Recap: Texas' top-ranked Class 5A team received a boost from senior right-hander Drew Johnson, who improved to 12-0 after picking up two wins against Rockwall in the Class 5A, Region 2 best-of-three quarterfinal series. In the opener, Johnson recorded two outs in a 3-2 win. He then pitched seven innings and Ryan Ford had a two-run single in a 6-4 win. The Wolves also swept Longview 10-0 and 16-3 in the Area series. Next up is a semifinal series against Cedar Park at Baylor University in Waco. Game 1 is Friday, with the next two games on Saturday afternoon.|
|2 (2)||American Heritage, Plantation, Fla.||31-2 (3)||Recap: The Patriots stopped John Carroll (Fort Pierce) 8-2 in the Class 3A final. Catcher Adrian Nieto assured the Patriots of their first title when he drilled a two-run homer in the first for a 3-1 lead and then added a three-run shot in the sixth. Eric Hosmer, likely a first-round draft pick, went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and struck out the side in the seventh. Greg Conver (7-1) earned the win relief. In the semifinals, the Patriots unleashed a torrid hitting performance as four players had at least two hits, coupled with 12 stolen bases during an 11-6 blowout of Pensacola Catholic. The Patriots led 7-0 after one inning. Starting pitcher Juan Carlos Sulbaran went to 11-0 and Eric Acevedo went 3-for-4. Season complete.|
|3 (3)||Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.||24-0||Recap: The win streak hit 24 games after an 8-2 win over Bloomfield. Anthony Gomez cracked a grand slam and Eric Pfisterer (7-0) went the distance. The Ironmen drubbed Ridgewood 6-1 in the second round of the Bergen County Tournament. Bryan Struk's solo home run in the second tied it at 1 and Steve Proscia drove in two runs with a double. Boston College-bound Mike Dennhardt (7-0) fired a one-hitter, striking out 11 with two walks. He has not allowed an earned run this season. The Ironmen play New Milford in the county quarterfinals Saturday and open the Non-Public North A state tournament on May 27 against Hudson Catholic (Jersey City) or Pope John (Sparta).|
|4 (7)||Los Alamitos, Calif.||26-3||Recap: Edged Canyon (Anaheim) 7-6 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section, Division I playoffs. The Griffins rallied from a 6-2 deficit in their final at-bat to score five runs. Joey Boney missed hitting for the cycle, needing a single. They defeated Poly (Long Beach) 2-0 in the opening round. Junior lefty Beau Wright fired a three-hitter, striking out eight. The Griffins scored twice in the third as Brian Tripp ripped an RBI single and then scored on a wild pitch. Next up is Mater Dei (Santa Ana) Friday in the quarterfinals. The final is May 30 at Dodger Stadium.|
|5 (8)||Owasso, Okla.||35-3||Recap: The Rams are champions of the Class 6A tournament for the second straight year after a gritty 5-2 win over Moore in Norman. Brandon Bargas nailed down his third save in four state games, whiffing two batters in the seventh inning and lefty Brian Flynn (9-1) went six innings allowing four hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Jarrod Huneryager and Joe Spring run-producing hits in the three-run fourth when the Rams took a 3-1 lead. It was the 10th overall title and the 11th time in 12 seasons the Rams have reached the state final. Season complete.|
|6 (12)||Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas||41-3||Recap: The Gaels won their third consecutive Class 4A state championship, defeating Green Valley (Henderson) 8-3, scoring five times in the bottom of the sixth. Johnny Field's RBI single broke a 3-3 tie. They defeated Reno 13-0 in the semifinals and Bishop Manogue (Reno) 7-6 in the quarterfinals. The Gaels led 4-1 in the quarterfinals but needed seventh inning rally to win. Brandon Garcia's two-run triple tied it at 6. He then scored the winner via wild pitch. Coach Chris Sheff's club was dominating, outscoring opponents 530-125 while closing on an eight-game win streak. Season complete.|
|7 (13)||Orange (Calif.) Lutheran||24-5||Recap: The Lancers opened the CIF-Southern Section, Division I playoffs eliminating J.W. North (Riverside) 8-1 as UCLA-bound right-hander Gerrit Cole (8-1) threw a two-hitter, striking out 10 with two walks and drove in a run helping his cause. They also stopped El Modena (Orange) 6-4 in the second round and now play Norco Friday in the quarterfinals. Josh Doyle had three hits and a homer and Aaron Gates (7-2) registered the win going five innings with eight strikeouts against El Modena. The section final is May 30 at Dodger Stadium. Cole was named the Mission League pitcher of the year and sophomore Chase Harmon was tabbed co-MVP of the circuit. Aaron Gates, Brandon Maurer, Willie Shaw and Pierce Bily are first team all-league.|
|8 (14)||Farragut, Knoxville, Tenn.||40-3||Recap: After a one year absence, the Admirals returned to the Class AAA double elimination tournament in victorious fashion, blanking Lincoln County (Fayetteville) 8-0 in the opening round. They played Ravenwood (Brentwood) Wednesday in Murfreesboro. Tennessee's AAA final is Friday. In the section final, freshman Phillip Pfeifer struck out 10 in four innings and Joey Delmonico went 3-for-3 with six RBI as the Admirals sunk South Sullivan 13-0. Coach Tommy Pharr's team batted 11 hitters in the first inning, taking a 6-0 lead.|
|9 (21)||Poway, Calif.||26-5||Recap: The Titans continued their dominance in the Palomar League, sweeping a three-game set from rivals Torrey Pines (San Diego) to close the regular season on an eight-game win streak. The team is batting .337, led by Alex Dickerson (.434, five homer, 33 RBI), Jason Brunansky (.350, four homers, 28 RBI) and Brett Thomas (.429, 37 runs scored, 29 RBI). The pitching staff is bolstered by Drew Leininger (6-0, 1.86 ERA) and Keegan Yuhl (7-1, 2.72 ERA). The Titans opened the CIF-San Diego Division I playoffs against league rivals Rancho Bernardo (San Diego).|
|10 (25)||Lake Brantley, Altamonte Springs, Fla.||30-4||Recap: The Patriots won their third state championship (first since 1997), stopping then-No. 9 Park Vista (Lake Worth) 4-1 in the Class 6A final. Nick Franklin paced the offense with three hits and an RBI, while Derrick Shaw added two hits and two RBI and Ted Blackman scored twice. Righty Josh Ledford (6-1) fired a three-hit complete game. In the semifinals, D.J. Hicks homered and spun a four-hit five-inning complete game in an 11-0 blanking of Goleman (Miami). Ledford's grand slam in third fueled a five-run stanza. Season complete.|
|11 (25)||Barbe, Lake Charles, La.||35-7||Recap: Right-handed pitcher Ryan Doiron was simply brilliant as the Buccaneers topped Jesuit (New Orleans) 7-5 for its second Class 5A state championship in three seasons. Doiron was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Defensive Player after throwing five innings in the final, striking out four. Doiron, catcher Nick Doty and Hommy Rosado each had RBI hits in the fifth when the Bucs rallied from a 5-4 deficit. The Bucs defeated Airline (Bossier City) 8-7 in the semifinals and Ponchatoula 10-2 in the quarterfinals. Season complete.|
|12 (17)||Malvern (Pa.) Prep||37-1||Recap: The Friars played Episcopal (Merion) Wednesday in the opening round of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools tournament. They beat Inter-Ac rivals Penn Charter (Philadelphia) 6-2 as Rick Kazigian picked up the win. The Friars have clinched the Inter-Ac regular season crown and allowed only six runs in their last four games.|
|13 (NR)||Rowlett, Texas||33-1||Recap: The Eagles continued their dominance in the Class 5A, Region 2 playoffs, topping Allen 6-3 and 14-0 in the quarterfinals series. In Game 2, the Eagles scored 11 runs in the third inning to advance. David Jackson and Andrew Johnson each slugged homers and had three RBI to pace the offense. Next up is Georgetown in the semifinals series, with Game 1 Thursday at Baylor University. If Rowlett advances to the region final, top-ranked Plano West could await.|
|14 (5)||Brookwood, Snellville, Ga.||29-3||Recap: Beat East Coweta (Sharpsburg) 14-3 in the opening game of the Class 5A state quarterfinal best-of-three series. Second baseman Ross Heffley went 5-for-5 with two homers and Georgia-bound left-hander Chase Hawkins (12-1) earned the victory. Game 2 is Thursday. The Broncos had been shaky in two previous series, needing the full three games to advance. In the second round, junior lefty Matt Adams (6-0, 1.75) spun a four-hitter with eight strikeouts and no earned runs during a 7-2 Game 3 win over Norcross. The Broncos eliminated Alpharetta in the opening round after losing the first game. Right-hander Alex Beebe is 8-1 with a 1.82 ERA heading into the quarterfinal series after winning Game 2 against Norcross.|
|15 (NR)||Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif.||24-4||Recap: Despite dropping their final two of the regular season, the Knights advanced to CIF-Southern Section quarterfinals. Coach Tom Dill's team ousted Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana) 11-1 in the Division III tournament second-round. Trevor Gee slammed a solo shot and Kelly Dugan went 3-for-4 with an RBI. The Knights defeated Garey (Pomona) 7-2 in the first round. Next up is Paloma Valley (Menifee) Friday.|
|16 (NR)||Lakota West, West Chester, Ohio||23-1||Recap: The Firebirds defeated Talawanda (Oxford) 10-3 in a Division I sectional final for their 23rd victory. The game was delayed in the fourth inning by rain on Monday and completed on Tuesday afternoon. They have outscored opponents 51-19 during a current five-game win streak. The Firebirds continue their quest for a second straight state title Friday against Sidney in the opening round of the district playoffs.|
|17 (24)||Paul VI, Fairfax, Va.||27-3||Recap: The Panthers won their second Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association title in five years, defeating St. Christopher's (Richmond) 4-3 in nine innings. Mike McMenamin's single scored Reed Bromley with game-winning run. Mike Mitchell fired a no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over Collegiate School (Richmond) in the quarterfinals and Tyler Costello tossed a four-hitter in a 4-0 win against St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (Alexandria) in the semifinals. The Panthers closed the season outscoring opponents 266-73. Their three losses were by a total of only four runs. Season complete.|
|18 (22)||James Monroe, Bronx, N.Y.||40-4||Recap: The Eagles captured their 10th straight PSAL division title, beating Dewitt Clinton (Bronx) 4-1 in Bronx East A play. Juan Arroyo (.325, 28 RBI, .577 slugging percentage) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jesus Vasquez went four innings to earn the victory. Melvin Garcia is batting .364 with 36 runs scored and 30 RBI and has a .437 on-base percentage. The Eagles opened the PSAL A playoffs Wednesday against Long Island City (Queens).|
|19 (11)||Park Vista, Lake Worth, Fla.||32-2||Recap: The Cobras saw their 32-game win streak stopped in the Class 6A final. Coach Larry Greenstein's club could not solve Josh Ledford of No. 10 Lake Brantley in a 4-1 loss. Park Vista closed the gap to 2-1 in the fourth inning when Kamm Washington scored on R.J. Neal's sacrifice fly but that was it. Washington, Neal and Ryan Lashley had hits in the final. The Cobras beat Lakeland 9-4 in the 6A semifinals. Right-hander Chris Matulis improved to 11-0 and Neal drove in two runs. Season complete.|
|20 (NR)||Fayetteville, Ark.||30-3||Recap: Arkansas' top-ranked Class 7A club won its third straight state championship, defeating Har-Ber (Springdale) 7-2. It was the Bulldogs' fifth state title and the program's first 30-win season. Tournament MVP Taylor Shaddy (9-0) struck out four, allowing six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Christian Allen went 2-for-4, including a clutch two-run single in the sixth inning to break open a close game. Season complete.|
|21 (NR)||Bishop Kenny, Jacksonville, Fla.||28-4||Recap: The Crusaders are state champions for the second time in seven years after crushing Riverside (Fort Myers) 9-4 in the Class 4A final. Sophomore Weston Hoekel (9-1) settled down to throw a complete game, scattering six hits with seven strikeouts. The Crusaders took a 4-0 lead in the second when Kurtis Mullaney and Jimmy Howick each laced two-run singles. Second baseman Lou Amargo hit a solo homer to close out the scoring. Coach Tommy Edwards' club defeated Rockledge 4-2 in the semifinals. Season complete.|
|22 (NR)||Sperry, Okla.||35-3||Recap: The Pirates won their sixth state championship and second in three years following a 15-2 lopsided victory over Beggs in the Class 3A final. Arkansas-bound righty Bobby Bundy went the distance and led a 20-hit assault going 3-for-3 with three RBI. Byron Teel went 4-for-4 with three RBI and first baseman Shane Bay added three RBI as the Pirates built a 12-0 lead after three innings. The Pirates also stopped Eufaula 4-1 in the semifinals and Coalgate 7-0 in the first round. Season complete.|
|23 (NR)||Chaparral, Scottsdale, Ariz.||26-6||Recap: The Firebirds won their fifth state championship in six seasons, sweeping four opponents, including O'Connor (Glendale) 8-6 in the Class 4A, Division I final. Tied 5-5, the Firebirds scored three runs as Trey Ford's double plated the go-ahead run in the fifth inning. Jordan Weymouth and Landon Joost followed with run-producing hits. Coach Jerry Dawson's team also beat Agua Fria (Avondale) 8-0, Prescott 14-5 and Cactus (Glendale) 6-2 along the way. Season complete.|
|24 (4)||Opelika, Ala.||42-4||Recap: The Bulldogs were upset by Hoover (29-13) in the Class 6A best-of-three championship series, dropping the decisive game 7-6. Hoover scored five runs in the seventh after trailing 6-2. The teams split the first two games, with the Bulldogs winning the first game 4-3 in nine innings. In the 6A semifinal series, coach Barry Hightower's club swept Prattville 5-4 and 6-5. Season complete.|
|25 (20)||Pleasure Ridge Park, Louisville, Ky.||30-4||Recap: The Panthers won their first two 21st District games by a combined score of 40-1 over Louisville schools Holy Cross and Valley. Coach Bill Miller's club is only 6-3 in their last nine contests and had a 16-game win streak stopped in an 8-6 loss to Bowling Green. They also lost to Louisville powers Eastern and St. Xavier earlier this month. Next up is the Region 6 tournament.|
1. Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. (24-0) 2. Malvern (Pa.) Prep (37-1) 3. James Monroe, Bronx, N.Y. (40-4) 4. St. Albans, Washington, D.C. (30-2) 5. Shawnee, Medford, N.J. (17-1) 6. Calvert Hall, Baltimore (26-7) 7. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (28-7) 8. Sacred Heart, Vineland, N.J. (24-1) 9. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (17-10) 10. Seymour, Conn. (20-0)
1. Owasso, Okla. (35-3) 2. Lakota West, West Chester, Ohio (23-1) 3. Sperry, Okla. (35-3) 4. Brother Rice, Chicago (29-6) 5. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic (27-6) 6. St. Ignatius, Cleveland (24-5) 7. Bixby, Okla. (28-9) 8. New Trier, Winnetka, Ill. (29-2) 9. Penn, Mishawaka, Ind. (20-2) 10. Lawrence (Kan.) Free State (19-2)
1. Plano (Texas) West (34-0) 2. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (31-2) 3. Farragut, Knoxville, Tenn. (40-3) 4. Lake Brantley, Altamonte Springs, Fla. (30-4) 5. Barbe, Lake Charles, La. (35-7) 6. Rowlett, Texas (33-1) 7. Brookwood, Snellville, Ga. (29-3) 8. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (27-3) 9. Park Vista, Lake Worth, Fla. (32-2) 10. Fayetteville, Ark. (30-3)
1. Los Alamitos, Calif. (26-3) 2. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (41-3) 3. Orange (Calif.) Lutheran (24-5) 4. Poway, Calif. (26-5) 5. Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (24-4) 6. Chaparral, Scottsdale, Ariz. (26-6) 7. Richland, Wash. (23-1) 8. North Medford, Medford, Ore. (25-2) 9. La Cueva, Albuquerque (25-3) 10. Rocky Mountain, Fort Collins, Colo. (23-4)
Records through May 19.
About the rankings: The ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school baseball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com, who consults with a national network of sports writers, professional scouts and high school coaches. Criteria considered are a team's strength of schedule with an emphasis on national games especially those played against teams in the Elite 25 rankings; the superiority of competition in its state, district or league; the program's history and tradition; and the quality of its personnel with an emphasis on First-Year Player Draft prospects. Records do not include ties.