OC Top 10 (5/1/17)


With the playoffs fast approaching teams are jockeying for post season positioning with some huge games still to be played. 

Last week saw some surprising results while the top team in the county continues to roll. 

Below is how I voted in this weeks OC Top 10. 

1. Huntington Beach: The Oilers are the best team in the county. Can Hagen Danner win County Pitcher of the Year and MVP? 

2. El Dorado: Aside from HB nobody is playing better than the Golden Hawks right now. 

3. Mission Viejo: The Diablos have a streak stopping ace in Tanner Bibee, and junior Will Levine should take that role next year. 

4. El Toro: The Chargers are deep on the mound, if there offense clicks these last couple weeks look out. 

5. JSerra: Coach Kay is doing a phenomenal job this season with the Lions. It hasn’t been easy, but with two series left they’re right there in the Trinity League. 

6. Servite: after winning their first ever series against OLu, the Friars have their biggest week of the season as they face Bosco three times. 

7. OLu: despite losing a series to Servite, the Lancers can still make a playoff push with two series remaining. 

8. Mater Dei: the Monarchs will be tested these final two weeks, will their pitching help them pass? 

9. CdM: what a response after losing to a very good Woodbridge team. Consistency will be the key for their pitching. 

10. Beckman: the Patriots keep winning and  hanging around in the PCL. They have the depth the postseason requires. 

Others:

Woodbridge

Dana Hills

Cypress

Foothill

Los Alamitos

OC Top 10 (4/24/17)


It was a great week of baseball last week with some quality league games and the playing of the fifth annual Boras Classic. Most teams held serve in terms of rankings, others moved in the polls. 

Below is how I voted in the OC Top 10 this week. 

1. Huntington Beach: The Oilers won the south bracket of the Boras Classic last week. Hagen Danner was on another level. 

2. Orange Lutheran: the Lancers ended in third place of the Boras Classic going 3-1. Head back into league against Servite this week. 

3. El Toro: the Chargers got a phenomenal pitching effort from Jake Jackson in the opening round of the Boras Classic where they went 3-1. They’re in a good spot heading back into league. 

4. Mater Dei: The Monarchs also went 3-1 in the Boras Classic and got a big boost from the return of Emilio Rosas. They also unveiled a future star in 6’8″ pitcher Hunter Cope. 

5. El Dorado: the Golden Hawks just keep winning. Kyle Luckham is having a pitcher-of-the-year type season. Lucky for him he’s a junior giving him a chance to win it next year. 

6. Mission Viejo: the Diablos are cooling off a little bit, but with their pitching they’ll always have a chance to win games. 

7: Corona del Mar: the Sea Kings are in the drivers seat in the always-tough Pacific Coast League. Preston Hartsell is beginning to find his groove. 

8. Beckman: the Patriots appear to be snapping out of their rough patch. Coach Lavalle is one of the best in Orange County. 

9. Servite: the Friars had the week off and will face #2 Orange Lutheran in a huge three-game series this week. Winner is still alive in league. The loser, not so much. 

10: Sage Hill: Coach Campeau probably wishes Chona could pitch every game. The sophomore collected his fourth no-hitter of the season last week. 

Others:

Crean Lutheran

Capo Valley

Canyon

Cypress

Laguna Beach

Woodbridge

Boras Classic Championship Set


The championship game of the Boras Classic south bracket is set as Huntington Beach will face defending Boras Classic state champ Mira Costa tomorrow at JSerra at 6:00 PM. 

The winner of the south bracket will face north bracket winner Bellarmine Prep of San Jose in the state championship game on May 6th at UCLA. 

Huntington Beach advanced to the finals with an 11-9 win over Santiago. 

Josh Hahn pitched five innings with three   strikeouts while only giving up two hits and allowing one earned run. He was also 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk at the plate. 

Hagen Danner continued his impressive week with a solo home run, an RBI single and two runs scored. 

Ben McConnell blew the game open for Huntington Beach with a three-run home run in top of the third giving the Oilers a 5-2 lead. 

Trevor Windisch and Corey Moore went back-to-back homers in the fourth to put the game out of reach. 

Santiago added two in the fifth and five in the seventh. 

In other semifinal action, Mira Costa beat Orange Lutheran 3-1 to advance to the championship game. 

The Mustangs got a great pitching performance from Jesse Storey who went six innings allowing two hits while striking out five and giving up one run. 

Bash Alexiades was the offensive star for the Mustangs as he was 3-for-4. Jared Karros added an RBI for the Mustangs who seem to have found their stride in the tournament after coming scuffling a bit. 

Merrick Baldo pitched two shutout innings of relief as the Mustangs move to their second straight south bracket championship game. 

Boras Classic Semis Set


Orange Lutheran advanced to the semifinals of the Boras Classic with a 6-5 win against a pesky El Toro team. 

The Lancers scored three in the fourth to tie the score at four before adding two more runs in the sixth and holding for the win. 

Zach Busalachi was impressive in four innings of relief for Orange Lutheran who spoiled a pretty impressive outing by Eric Tolman of El Toro. 

Brandon Aventino was 1-for-2 with two RBI, a walk and two runs scored. 

Tyler Lasch led the way for El Toro going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. 

The Lancers will face off against reigning Boras Classic champs Mira Costa who beat a streaking Vista Murrieta 3-0 in a game at JSerra. 

The two teams will play at JSerra Thursday at 6:00 PM. 

Mira Costa plated three runs in the fourth after two walks to start the inning and base hits from Chase Meidroth and Jared Karros. 

Joey Acosta gave the Mustangs a great outing going six strong innings with three strikeouts. 

It’s a big win for Mira Costa who came into the tournament scuffling and defeated one of the hottest teams on the Souhland. 

On the other side of the bracket Huntington Beach looks like the best team in tournament. Of course it helps to have two potential first rounders start the first two games of the tournament. 

Hagen Danner was magnificent in his outing today striking out 10 in six innings pitched. For good measure he added a no-doubter home run to left field. 

Logan Pollock was a bright spot for Notre Dame as he hit his second home run for the Knights. 

The Oilers will square off against Santiago who defeated host Mater Dei 8-4 in the final quarterfinal game. 

The two teams will play at Mater Dei on Thursday at 6:00 PM. 

Cruz Barrios was brilliant for the Sharks as he went 4.2 innings with six strikeouts abd four hits. On offense Jacob Shanks was the star going 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. 

Brice Turang, Cole Cummings, Casey Dykstra, and Jacob Thornburg all added RBI for the Sharks. 

Max Foxcroft 1-for-2 RBI, and Emilio Rosas 2-for-4 two RBI were standouts while Blake Hunt homered for the Monarchs. 

Notre Dame Moves On At Boras Classic

Freshman Lucas Gordon pitched a gem for Notre Dame as he led the Knights to a first round victory in the Boras Classic. 

Sitting 84-86 with his fastball and showing good feel for the changeup, the southpaw kept a scuffling Aliso Niguel offense off balance throughout the game en route to a complete game shutout. 

Gordon had a perfect game into the fourth before yielding an infield single to Connor Kokx. It was the only hit the freshman would allow in the game.

Hunter Greene got the Knights on the board in the third when he drove in two runs with a line drive through the box to give the Knights a lead they would not relinquish.

In the fourth, Logan Pollock, a Michigan signee, added a solo home run in the fourth inning to make it 3-0. 

In the sixth, freshman Noah Taylor laced a two-run standup triple to right center field that caromed around the outfield. He would score on a sac fly by Greene to make it 6-0 Knights. 

The Knights will next play tomorrow at JSerra at 3:00 PM. They will face the winner of the Huntington Beach – Damien game.

OC Top 10 4/17/17

Another week, another Top 10 vote. Below is how I voted in this week’s Orange County poll.
Huntington Beach: The Oilers continue to be the best team in OC. Nick Pratto and Hagen Danner each lost a no-hit bid late in their starts against Edison last week.
Orange Lutheran: The Lancers had last week off and will play in the Boras Classic for a second consecutive year this week.
Mission Viejo: Losing in the semifinals of the National Classic is nothing to hang your head about. The Diablos are good and are built to make another deep postseason run.
Mater Dei: I like this Mater Dei team and getting shortstop Emilio Rosas back to full strength should only boost the Monarchs.
 
El Toro: The Chargers have quietly bounced back from an inconsistent start. A good showing in the Boras Classic could spring them to a strong finish.
Corona del Mar: The Sea Kings just keep winning and control their destiny in the Pacific Coast League. Lots of talent on their roster.
El Dorado: The Golden Hawks are a talented team and with Kyle Luckham on the mound they have an outstanding shot at victory.
Beckman: The Patriots bounced back nicely from a pair of losses to CdM by going 4-0 in their spring break tournament including wins over Servite and Laguna Hills.
Servite: The Friars are scuffling a little bit right now, but they’re still one of the 10 best teams in OC in my opinion.

 

Sage Hill: The Lightning just keep winning and until they stop doing that they’ll be on this list for me despite what some people may think.

–Les Lukach
Email me at socalhsbaseball@gmail.com

2017 Boras Classic Preview

The 5th annual Boras Classic is back in SoCal this week with the event running Tuesday, April 18th through Friday, April 21st. JSerra and Mater Dei will once again serve as host sites for what has quickly become on the top tournaments in the country from a prospect and competition standpoint.

The winner of the south bracket will face Bellarmine Prep of San Jose in the State Championship on May 6th at site that is to be determined.

Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach is the defending champion having defeated Davis High School in the state final game at Cal Berkeley last May.

This years incarnation of the southern tournament features five players that are widely considered Top 75 MLB Draft prospects led by Hunter Greene of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, who many considered the potential number one overall pick. Royce Lewis (JSerra), Nick Pratto (Huntington Beach), Hagen Danner (Huntington Beach) and Garret Mitchell (Orange Lutheran) are all expected to be taken in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft in June.

There are other players who will likely be selected in this years draft as well. Players like Jeremiah Priddy (Corona), Sam Glick (El Toro), Jayson Gonzalez (Bishop Amat), and Isaiah Paige (Damien) are just a few of the “other” prospects scouts will be tracking this week.

In addition to the marquee prospects playing this week, the Boras Classic has always been about having top teams from the region and this year is no different as 10 of the 16 participating teams are either in first place or share first place in their respective leagues.

With that said, let’s take a look at the first round matchups.

Corona vs El Toro –  @ JSerra 9:00 AM

In a matchup we generally are exposed to in the postseason, this game features two of the hottest teams in SoCal to kick off the tournament.

Corona comes into the Boras Classic winners of 8 of-their-last 10 and in the mix in the BigVIII League with a 6-3 record. El Toro has won 9 of-their-last 10 including wins over Gahr, a double header sweep of Mater Dei (both in the Boras Classic) and a big league win over Mission Viejo. The Chargers have a one-game lead in the South Coast League.

For Corona, the Panthers are getting incredible pitching from seniors Jeremiah Priddy, Michael Hobbs and Brenden Beck that lead a staff that carries a 2.11 ERA on the season. Meanwhile, El Toro has their own Big Three in Sam Glick, Jake Jackson, and Noah Fluman. All six players are committed to Division I schools.

This game could come down to the team that makes the least mistakes and with a 9:00 AM start – and dozens of scouts in attendance – there will be plenty of nerves.

Orange Lutheran vs Gahr – @ JSerra 12:00 PM

Two teams that are pretty familiar with each other from having played several fall/winter games against one another over the last few years, the noon game will give pro scouts their first look of the week at Garret Mitchell of Orange Lutheran.

The Lancers were riding high after winning the NHSI two weeks ago before coming back into Trinity League play and being swept by St. John Bosco. Adding to the frustration for OLu was the loss of Jasiah Dixon, a speedy outfielder who will likely be a high draft pick when he’s eligible.

After starting 2-8, the Gahr Gladiators have gone 6-1 since aided by some league games. Outfielder JeVon Ward has seen his stock dip a little bit, but should still have the opportunity to have his name called in the upcoming MLB Draft. Junior Shortstop Mikey Perez is a very advanced player and one who has the attention of scouts.

On paper this is a game OLu should roll, but as we know the game isn’t played on paper.

Chatsworth vs Vista Murrieta – @ JSerra 3:00 PM

The best team in the City Section goes against the best team in the Temecula area.

Chatsworth hasn’t lost in one month, a streak of 14 games. Vista Murrieta has won 8 of-their-last 10. This is a matchup of strength against strength with Vista Murrietas offense against Chatsworth’s pitching. The Broncos have seven hitters batting over .325 while the Chancellors have four pitchers with at least four wins led by Thomas Gutierrez who sits at 7-0.

Vista Murrieta is making their fifth appearance in the Boras Classic, while Chatsworth is making their third appearance, meaning the moment won’t be too big for either.

If this is a Brandon Ross (VM) against Thomas Gutierrez (Chatsworth) pitching matchup, scouts will have plenty to pay attention too.

Mira Costa vs JSerra – @ JSerra 6:00 PM

The final game of Day One of the Boras Classic will give scouts what they came to see in the form of Royce Lewis of JSerra.

JSerra is coming off the National Classic in which they played in the championship game. After a slow start it appears the Lions have begun to gain some momentum, and with the quirky schedule of the Trinity League, JSerra has plenty of matchups left in league to make some noise. For that to happen, the Lions are going to need players like David Le Bioda, Colin Townsend, and Michael Curialle to break out offensively.

Mira Costa is the defending Boras Classic State Champion, but the Mustangs are defending their title without a lot of key parts from last years team. Sitting at 10-7, Mira Costa has lost 5 of-their-last 7 games with four of them by two runs or more.

Notre Dame vs Aliso Niguel – @ Mater Dei 9:00 AM

Notre Dame comes into the Boras Classic as one of the favorites having won 9 of-their-last 10 games and vaulting to a first place position in the always tough Mission League. The Knights are proving to be more than a one-man show although scouts will all be at this game to see that one man. Hunter Greene is expected to be off the draft board by the third pick overall in June, but it appears he is taking the role of mentor very seriously. Freshman Lucas Gordon (4) and sophomore Carter Kessinger (3) have combined for 7 wins with zero losses on the mound. Kessinger is also batting .500 on the season.

Despite having a talented roster, Aliso Niguel limps into the Boras Classic with an 8-9 record with losses in 4 of-their-last 6 games. The Wolverines are getting good pitching from Ethan Hoopingarner (0.44 ERA) and Hunter Ash (1.35 ERA), but seem to be scuffling at the plate where they’re hitting .240 as a team and on defense where they’ve committed 23 errors.

Aliso Niguel has nothing to lose in this tournament and everything to gain. They’re young and very talented and a strong showing in this event can be the type of boost that springs them into a big second half of league.

Damien vs Huntington Beach – @ Mater Dei 12:00 PM

Scouts will have just enough time to grab a quick snack before assuming their positions once again for this game which features both Hagen Danner of Nick Pratto. The pair of teammates are familiar with the swarm of scouts at their games, so the setting shouldn’t be anything unusual for them and their teammates. The same can not be said for Damien who lost many of their talented roster from last years playoff run.

Isaiah Paige is arguably the Spartans best prospect and he’ll have a great opportunity to show scouts the improvement and development he’s made on the mound in recent months. The Michigan commit is also a legitimate outfield prospect.

Huntington Beach is the best team in Orange County for a reason. It helps to have two future first round talents, but the Oilers have a pair of sophomores – Josh Hahn and Garrett Runyan – who could develop into MLB Draft picks in due time. They also have depth at just about every position.

This tournament sets up nicely for Huntington Beach who had a less-than-standard performance at the NHSI a couple weeks ago.

Corona Santiago vs Bishop Amat – @ Mater Dei 3:00 PM

Bishop Amat is riding high after winning the National Classic last week while Corona Santiago comes in one the heels of a big non-league win over Vista Murrieta. These two teams have loaded rosters as usual which will be a treat for fans in attendance.

Bishop Amat features shortstop Jayson Gonzalez a Vanderbilt commit that will likely have to make a decision between college and pro ball this year. Santiago has unquestionably the best middle infielder in the country in next years draft class in Brice Turang who is committed to LSU.

These teams are more than those individuals though. Bishop Amat features Isaac Esqueda on the mound and Jesus Maldonado behind the plate. Both are very talented players that will thrive on the next level. Santiago is built for the future as they have only three seniors in their starting lineup. Jacob Shanks, Taylor Steig, and Cole Jordan are all players college coaches and pro scouts will notice.

La Mirada vs Mater Dei – @ Mater Dei 6:00 PM

Third-year head coach Jimmy Zurn took over a La Mirada program he was very familiar with. After having starred for the Mats and coached under legendary coach Kim Brooks, Zurn was tasked with taking the program to the next level. Well, consider their participation in the Boras Classic a good first step.

The Mats feature two big-time seniors in RJ Lan, a TCU signee, and Kevin Kendall, a UCLA signee. They also have seven regulars batting over .300 on the season. Seniors Eddie Salcido and David Olson are a perfect 12-0 on the mound, while freshman Jared Jones may be the best freshman pitcher in the Southland.

For Mater Dei it’s business as usual. Despite their 10-6 overall record, the Monarchs stand in second place in the brutal Trinity League with series against the top four teams remaining giving them the opportunity to control their own destiny.

Jonathan Schiffer, a Washington signee, is having the type of senior season we all anticipated when we saw him as a freshman. The right handed pitcher is 4-0, 1.17 ERA while also hitting .388 when not pitching. As a team the Monarchs are hitting .310 and feature a 2.21 team ERA. In other words, just another Burt Call coached team.

For the complete brackets, click here.

–Les Lukach
Email me at socalhsbaseball@gmail.com

SoCal Baseball Notes 4/11/17

After a one-week hiatus I’m back and just in time for some tournament action. There are a several tournaments underway already this week that feature some of the top teams not only in the SoCal region but also teams from out of state.

Locally, the National Classic is getting back to its national roots with seven teams from out of state. In Florida, Harvard Westlake is participating in the IMG Academy National Classic where the Wolverines are the defending champs. In Vegas, local teams like Banning and Chatsworth are participating in the Blazer Spring Bash.

Before we look ahead, let’s look back at the wild week that was.

Trinity League Madness

Many people felt Servite had finally arrived with the start the Friars got off too. And while Coach Gilbert’s club still has a lot to play for, they ran in to a buzz saw last week against Mater Dei. The Monarchs pulled off the sweep against a Top 5 Servite winning two one-run games and the third by two. Mater Dei is getting it done with excellent pitching led by senior University of Washington signee, Jonathan Schiffer who is a perfect 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA. For good measure, the future Husky is hitting .404 on the season.

If you know Don Barbara of St. John Bosco, you know that you always know where you stand with him. The same can be said for his baseball team. So when Barbara told me last year that he felt his Braves were a year away from being really good, I didn’t doubt him. Two weeks into Trinity League play and he’s proven himself prophetic. The Braves took two-of-three from Mater Dei before sweeping Orange Lutheran last week. Sophomore David Hays (.471) and junior Kameron Ojeda (.444), both future high round draft picks, lead an offense that has no holes in it 1 through 9. Then there’s the pitching rotation that sports a 1.29 ERA led by Johnny Kuhn’s 4-0 0.46 record. Read that again, not a typo.

JSerra appears to be hitting their stride after starting their season a little later than most teams. The Lions won their first series against Santa Margarita and are beginning to show they’re a team with more than just one big-time prospect. After playing in the National Classic and the Boras Classic, the Lions have series with Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, and close out the season against St. John Bosco. Those nine games will make-or-break the Lions season.

Corona del Mar

The Sea Kings are playing some great baseball right now as evidenced by their two victories over league favorite Beckman last week. CdM is loaded with talent and its a trio of juniors – JT Schwartz, Preston Hartsell, and Garin Friedman – and senior Conor Buchanan leading the way. The four hitters are all batting over .400 on the season. Sophomore Tommy Wilcox and Junior Chaz Martinez give CdM a pair of aces that set them up well for the postseason. Dylan Heckle and Nolan Dunn provide quality depth in the rotation.

Two big series – Woodbridge and Northwood – await, get past those and the Sea Kings can expect a high seeding come playoff time.

La Mirada

The Mats are off to a great start at 14-2 under third-year head coach, Jimmy Zurn and this may be his best roster yet. I wrote about them a few weeks back but with their only losses coming to two good teams that should be in the playoff hunt (Aliso Niguel, Los Al), I wanted to note the way they’re winning games. La Mirada eight wins of two runs or fewer proving they have a knack for winning the close ones. Their other six wins are by five runs or more proving they can get up on teams and stay there.

The Mats will face their toughest tests next week as they participate in the Boras Classic for the first time. This is an incredible honor for a program not many people consider to be one of the tops in the area. But if you look at their fall and winter schedule of recent years – and the results of those games – you’ll know they are just that, one of top teams in the area.

Academy League

This league has been dominated the last couple years by Sage Hill and Crean Lutheran but this year there’s another team looking to stake its claim on the league title. St. Margarets improved to 5-0 with a win over Oxford Academy, and if they can win again on Thursday they’ll control their own destiny as they’ll face off against the leagues aforementioned top dogs in back-to-back weeks.

Scott Wallis has his team rolling right now, and while the Academy League isn’t one of the better known top leagues in the area, the league is producing baseball – some of it Division I level – on an annual basis. With Sage Hill having won a CIF Championship last year, this league deserves a little more respect.

Desert Valley League

The desert region is annually one of SoCal’s prime areas for prospects and has one of the best baseball leagues nobody talks about. The Desert Valley league, home of powerhouse programs like Palm Desert and La Quinta, is once again as competitive as ever with two games in the loss column separating the top three teams.
 
Palm Desert has righthanded pitcher Jeremiah Estrada, who many consider a high round draft pick in 2017, and for good measure he’s hitting over .350 on the season. The Aztecs sit atop the league standings with a big two-game week against second place Shadow Hills looming the last week of the season.

The Desert Valley league is always a two-bid league for playoffs, but with the restructuring done by CIF you can expect one or two others to get in as well. 

The National Classic

There’s been a recent emphasis on behalf of tournament coordinators to get back to its national roots and with 7 of its 16 teams coming from out of state, I’d say mission accomplished. Add to that two of the top teams from the Fresno area and this tournament has put itself back at the top of quality tournaments in the country.

Matt Lucas of El Dorado serves as a tournament coordinator and has busted his butt in an effort to bring this tournament back to the prestige and caliber event that it once was. In my opinion, Lucas hit the nail on the head this year with the roster of teams.

Commentary

Florida, Georgia, and Texas get it right. Their high school baseball championships are decided not by a single game, but by a series of them. At the highest levels, Georgia plays a best-of-three series in both the semis and finals. The same holds true in Florida and Texas.

For us in California this seems like a dream. And that’s because in California, a place many consider the best region for high school baseball, a champion is crowned with a single-elimination playoff bracket. It seems unfair, and if you ask any number of coaches, they’d agree.

There’s a simple solution, in my opinion. While playing in Dodgers Stadium is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most players, moving the finals to Blair Field would allow for a best-of-three series.

You see, the official start of the season can be moved up a few days – most teams are already playing winter ball games and practicing anyway – and even move to a three-game week like a few leagues have already done. This would cut off several days on the back end of the season.

Additionally, instead of beginning the playoffs on Thursday/Friday, begin them on Monday/Tuesday and you can get two games in that first week. What this does is allow for the finals to be a best-of-three series the final week of the season.

Imagine a packed Blair Field for a winner-take-all championship game in early June. The late sunset setting on Recreation Park golf course behind the left field wall; the slight ocean breeze coming in around the scoreboard; the smell of hot dogs wafting through the stands. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately for high school baseball fans in SoCal, it is.

Until next time…see you at the ballpark.

Email me at socalhsbaseball@gmail.com

OC Top 10 4/10/17

It was a crazy week last week in Orange County High School baseball. A couple of Top 10 teams were swept in league play while others had a tough time against what would be considered lesser competition.
In other words, just another week in SoCal baseball.
Below is how I voted in this week’s Orange County Top 10 Baseball Poll.
Huntington Beach: The Oilers returned from the NHSI and went 2-1 in league play to keep their top spot in the rankings. The Sunset League is proving once again to be one of the top leagues in Orange County.
Mission Viejo: The Diablos did what they had to do against Laguna Hills beating them twice before losing to a very good El Toro team in dramatic fashion. The class of their league in my opinion.
Mater Dei: All the talk going into last week was that Servite was a team to reckon with, and they are. Well then it’s about time people start recognizing the Monarchs as a top team after sweeping Servite in Trinity League action last week.
OLu: The Lancers were swept at the hands of St. John Bosco – a team that would be #1 in this poll if they qualified for the Orange County poll. Despite that, OLu still has a chance to make a lot of noise in league.
El Dorado: All the Golden Hawks continue to do is rack up non-league wins while battling Foothill for the top spot in league. Matt Lucas’s club is talented.
JSerra: The Lions appear to be hitting their stride heading into this week’s National Classic after winning a series against Santa Margarita in league play. Coach Kay’s young guys are learning quickly.
Servite: It’s never good to be swept in league, but when it happens to the #3 team in the county you’re given some slack. I fully expect the Friars to be in contention for a playoff spot in the brutal Trinity League.
Corona del Mar: The Sea Kings are a very good team that nobody ever talks about. They’re loaded with Division I talent and beat a very good Beckman team twice last week to stake a claim of the Pacific Coast League race.
El Toro: The Chargers scored a huge win against Mission Viejo last week and appear to be gaining momentum and consistency just in time for the second round of league play.
Sage Hill: I get a lot of grief from people for ranking a Division 3 club in the Top 10, but when they win as consistently as the Lightning do and do it against teams in higher divisions, you’re going to get my attention.
NEXT FIVE:
Foothill
Dana Hills
Los Alamitos
Marina
San Clemente

Email me at socalhsbaseball@gmail.com

OC Top 10 4/3/17

Below is how I voted for the Orange County Top 10 this week.
Before you lose your mind on me about putting Huntington Beach ahead of Orange Lutheran after the Lancers won the NHSI last week, keep in mind that the Oilers won the only head-to-head matchup these two have had. Additionally, Huntington Beach is still undefeated in play inside the state of California.
With that said, here’s my Top 10.
1. Huntington Beach: The Oilers went 2-2 last week at the NHSI as they couldn’t defend their title. The Oilers return to face off against Los Alamitos twice this week.
2. Orange Lutheran: The Lancers, fresh off their NHSI championship, get right back into Trinity League action against a streaking St. John Bosco team.
3. Mission Viejo: The Diablos are one of the best teams people aren’t talking a whole lot about outside of Tanner Bibee. Coach Aschbach has them primed for a deep run this season.
4. Servite: The Friars scored a huge series win against JSerra last week. Do it again this week against Mater Dei and they must be considered a league favorite along with OLu and Bosco.
5. Beckman: A tough loss to a good Woodbridge last week just goes to show the depth of the Pacific Coast League. A tough matchup with CdM awaits this week.
6. El Dorado: Coach Matt Lucas is quietly winning games with the Golden Hawks roster that has plenty of juniors you’ll hear a lot about soon.
7. Foothill: Coach Vince Brown continues to have the Knights in the Top 10 proving he’s one of the best coaches in Orange County.
8. Mater Dei: After losing two games in walk-off fashion last week, the Monarchs have a chance to make a big statement against Servite this week.
9. Sage Hill: Their winning streak ended at 40, but don’t think for a second that the Lightning can’t play with teams at higher levels.
10. El Toro: The Chargers appear to be headed in the right direction after beating Los Alamitos and splitting a double header with Cypress. This coming after beating Mater Dei in a double header the week before.

Email me at socalhsbaseball@gmail.com