Having the No. 1-ranked team in the country lose a game has been a rather common occurrence this year, but for the first time this season that loss will not drop the team from the top spot in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 High School Baseball National Rankings presented by Milk. Here's why:
Rockwall-Heath had a 38-game win streak come to an end with a 4-3 loss to Cleburne in the Texas 4A Regional Semifinals last week, but the Hawks managed to win the third game of the series and advanced to the regional finals. Normally a loss would drop a team in the rankings, but because Rockwall-Heath is still alive in the postseason and because the 4A division is loaded with top-notch teams (Brenham and Calallen are two other 4A teams ranked in the top 50), it makes sense to keep Rockwall-Heath in the top spot for at least another week.
The logic here is that if the Hawks continue to win and capture the state crown, they should be rewarded for that accomplishment. It would be unfair to a team like Sumrall or Pace to drop Rockwall-Heath and then possibly move the Hawks back to the No. 1 spot if they win the 4A championship.
This is not to say that the Hawks would remain No. 1 if they lost again and continued to advance. Serious consideration would then have to be given to Sumrall, the 2009 MaxPreps No. 1 team, as the No. 1 team for 2010.
Other teams that could play their way into consideration include a pair of Ohio teams and a team from New York. Walsh Jesuit is 29-1 and is in the semifinals of the Ohio Division II playoffs. Meanwhile, Archbishop Moeller is in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs.
Monroe Campus of New York, meanwhile, has a 39-game win streak going and has reached the PSAL quarterfinals. Monroe Campus is 46-1 on the season.
MAXPREPS XCELLENT 25 HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL NATIONAL RANKINGS
1. (1) Rockwall-Heath (Texas), 39-1
The Hawks saw their 38-game winning streak come to an end in Game 2 of their three-game Texas 4A Regional Semifinal series with Cleburne (Texas), but closed out Game 3 with a 6-2 win to advance to the regional final. Rockwall-Heath topped Cleburne 4-1 in the first game, with Jovan Hernandez and John Branum each hitting doubles and Drew Baxter ripping a triple. Cleburne won the second game 4-3 before the Hawks won the third 6-2 on a pair of doubles by Hernandez, who also got the pitching win.
2. (2) Sumrall (Miss.), 35-1
The Bobcats won their third straight Mississippi 3A state championship with a pair of convincing wins over Water Valley (Miss.) in the finals. Sumrall won the first game 12-2, with Jackson Posey blasting a home run and posting three RBI. Luke Lowery got the win, striking out seven and allowing four hits. Connor Barron and Chad Guice each had three RBI in an 11-1 win for the title. Posey got the win to finish 12-0 on the mound.
3. (3) Pace (Fla.), 29-2
Pace averted possible forfeiture of the Florida 5A state championship to defeat Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) 6-5 for the state crown. The Patriots were in danger of forfeiting the final when it was determined that over 40 percent of their games were against out-of-state opponents. However, a scheduled game against Pensacola Catholic had been rained out and if that game had been played, Pace would have been in compliance. Pace was reinstated by the FHSAA nine hours prior to the start of Tuesday's championship game. David Casey had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning against Armwood with a bases-loaded single down the third-base line. Pace finished the year with 25 straight wins.
4. (4) Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), 29-1
The Warriors won three times during the week, defeating Berkshire (Burton, Ohio) 14-2, Lake Catholic (Mentor, Ohio) 4-1 and Marlington (Alliance, Ohio) 10-5. Patrick Ammar had a three-run homer against Berkshire, and Tim Faix improved to 7-0 on the season with the win. Tyler Skulina got the victory against Lake Catholic, throwing a three-hitter with seven strikeouts. He is 6-0 for the year and has won 26 straight games in his career. With the win over Marlington, the Warriors advance to the Division II semifinal against Lakewood on June 4.
5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 31-3
The Monarchs came out strong against Bellarmine (San Jose, Calif.) in the CIF Central Coast Section Division I final, scoring 12 runs in the first three innings en route to a 12-0 five-inning rout of the Bells. Alex Balog got the win while Brett Fuller was 3 for 3 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Mitty also defeated Serra in the semifinals, 9-1.
6. (7) Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), 29-3
Florida 3A state champions. Season over.
7. (8) La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.), 28-2
New Mexico 4A state champions. Season over.
8. (9) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 33-3
Nevada 4A state champions, Season over.
9. (10) White Knoll (Lexington, S.C.), 32-2
South Carolina 4A state champions. Season over.
10. (12) Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.), 28-4
11. (13) Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio), 29-1
The Fighting Crusaders edged Centerville (Ohio) 8-4 and topped Mason (Ohio) 11-1 to advance to the Ohio Division I semifinal against Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio), which is ranked No. 2 in the Ohio Division I state coaches rankings. Moeller got five RBI from Patrick Jones in the win over Mason, and Robby Sunderman got his ninth win of the season (9-0). David Whitehead (9-0) also got his ninth win of the season in the Centerville game.
12. (20) Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.), 42-6
The Admirals defeated Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 3-1 for their third straight Tennessee AAA state championship. Philip Pfeifer threw a complete-game one-hitter with 14 strikeouts while Nick Delmonico had a two-run homer to give Farragut the lead. During the state tournament, Farragut beat Clarksville (Tenn.) 4-0 and Columbia Academy (Tenn.) 4-2, lost to Collierville (Tenn.) 4-0, but came back to beat Collierville 6-5 and then topped Houston. Delmonico had three home runs during the state tournament while Pfeifer finished the season 16-0 on the year and was named the tournament MVP. Ethan Bennett finished the tournament with a grand slam against Collierville to end the year with a state-record 27 home runs.
13. (22) Monroe Campus (Bronx, N.Y.), 46-1
Monroe Campus won their first two PSAL tournament games, knocking off New Dorp (Staten Island, N.Y.) 11-1 and Kennedy (Bronx, N.Y.) 5-0. The Eagles will meet No. 8 seed Lehman on Tuesday. Monroe Campus is working on a 39-game winning streak.
14. (15) Desert Ridge (Mesa, Ariz.), 30-4
Arizona 5A-I state champions. Season over.
15. (18) Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas), 35-3
The Wildcats won their 18th game in a row by knocking off Hendrickson (Pflugerville, Texas), 7-1, in Game 2 of their Texas 4A regional semifinal. Wyatt Mathisen picked up the win, striking out seven. Rob Zastryzny picked up a shutout win in Friday's 8-0 three-hit victory.
16. (21) Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), 23-2
Florida 6A state champions. Season over.
17. (25) Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 24-6
Florida 4A state champions. Season over.
18. (14) Elk Grove (Calif.), 28-4
The Thundering Herd lost a playoff game to Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.), 12-0, on Monday, but fought back through the loser's bracket to beat Franklin (Elk Grove, Calif.) 7-6 and Pleasant Grove in a rematch, 5-3, to advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section North Division final against Jesuit. Elk Grove defeated Franklin in nine innings on a single by Joe Bettencourt. Jake Rodriguez had a three-run homer in the win over Pleasant Grove.
19. (31) Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.), 26-2
The Lobos won the Colorado 5A state championship with a 9-4 victory over Ralston Valley (Arvada, Colo.). The Lobos also defeated Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.) 7-4 during the week to reach the final. The title was the fourth in a row for Rocky Mountain. Marco Gonzales pitched the Lobos to the win, striking out 11 and allowing six hits. Gonzales became the first pitcher in state history to be the winning pitcher in four straight state championship games. He also had a three-run home run.
20. (33) Petal (Miss.), 30-3
The Panthers won the Mississippi 6A state championship with a 15-7 win over Madison Central (Miss.) in the third game of the three-game series. Petal won the first game of the championships series 2-1, but fell in the bottom of the seventh, 6-5, in the second game.
21. (28) Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.), 28-3
The Patriots won four times last week, defeating West-Mont Christian Academy (Pottstown, Pa.) 15-0, Friends' Central (Wynnewoode, Pa.) 10-0, Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 13-1 and Germantown Friends (Philadelphia) 14-4. Sean Coyle was 4 for 4 with four RBI and a home run in the win over Friends' Central. He also homered in the win over Mercersburg Academy to finish with 13 home runs.
22. (40) St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), 23-3
St. Edward topped Medina (Ohio) 8-4 and Mayfield (Ohio) 7-6 and will meet Olmsted Falls (Ohio) in an Ohio Division I semifinal game on June 4. Stetson Allie picked up the win against Mayfield and also went 5 for 5 at the plate with a double and two RBI. Ross Kivett added a 4 for 5 effort with two doubles.
23. (45) Memorial (Houston), 36-6-1
The Mustangs advanced to the Texas 5A Region III finals with a 2-1 series win over Brazoswood (Clute, Texas). Memorial won the first game 16-5, lost the second 2-1 and won the finale 5-4.
24. (46) Klein (Texas), 29-6
Defeated Lee (Baytown, Texas) 9-2 and 7-3 to advance to the Texas 5A Region II final.
25. (47) Washington (New York), 40-4
The Trojans earned the No. 2 seed for the PSAL tournament and won their first two games of the postseason, defeating Port Richmond (Staten Island, N.Y.) 15-4 and Francis Lewis (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 1-0. George Washington will play Grand Street Campus (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on Tuesday.
The Next 25
26. (29) Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.), 29-4
Florida 4A state runner-ups. Season over.
27. (NR) Churchill (San Antonio, Texas), 30-8
Churchill knocked off previous Texas 5A No. 1 ranked McAllen (Texas) with a 5-4 win in extra innings in Game 3 of the Texas 5A Regional Semifinal. Churchill lost the first game of the season 6-0 but won the second game 5-3.
28. (6) McAllen (Texas), 35-5
Churchill ended McAllen's season with a 5-3 win in Game 2 and a 5-4 extra innings win in Game 3 of the Texas 5A Regional Semifinal. McAllen, which was ranked No. 1 in Texas, had won the first game 6-0 on an Alexis Garza two-hitter. Garza also had eight strikeouts and finished the season 11-0.
29. (42) Glendora (Calif.), 25-2-1
The Tartans advanced to the Southern Section Division 2 semifinals with a 5-3 win over Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) on Tuesday and a 2-1 victory over Valencia (Placentia, Calif.) on Friday.
30. (11) Madison Central (Miss.), 31-4
The Jaguars fell to Petal in a three-game series in dropping the Mississippi 6A state final. Petal won the first game 2-1 before Madison Central won the second game 6-5 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Petal easily won the third game 15-7. Madison Central had swept Petal in last year's 5A state final.
31. (NR) Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) 29-5
The Bears captured the Central Section Division I championship with a 7-5 win over Clovis West.
32. (16) Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.), 29-4
The Golden Eagles fell to Buchanan in the Central Section Division I championship game 7-5. Eric Karch suffered his first loss of the season (11-1) for Clovis West.
33. (37) Auburn (Ala.), 32-10
Alabama 6A state champions. Season over.
34. (38) Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 26-6
Arizona 4A-I state champions. Season over.
35. (NR) Union (Tulsa, Okla.), 23-10
Oklahoma 6A state champion. Season over.
36. (NR) Owasso (Okla.), 32-7
Oklahoma 6A state runnerup. Season over.
37. (35) Grand Ledge (Mich.), 33-1
The Comets saw their perfect season come to an end with a 14-7 loss to Midland (Mich.) in nine innings after winning the first 33 games of the season. Grand Ledge beat Midlands 8-3 earlier in the day for the 33rd win in a row. Grant Householder had a big game in the loss, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI.
38. (39) Canyon del Oro (Tucson, Ariz.), 28-3
39. (44) C. Milton Wright (Bel Air, Md.), 23-0
The Mustangs won twice last week, topping Atholton (Columbia, Md.) 2-0 and Huntingtown (Md.) 4-1 to win the Maryland 3A state championship. Brad Markey (8-0) struck out seven and allowed five hits to gain the win and the championship, the school's first baseball title.
40. (NR) Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), 23-3
The Dons advanced in the North Coast Section playoffs with two wins last week, defeating San Leandro (Calif.) 7-0 and Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.) 3-2.
41. (49) Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.), 29-3
Won three games last week, defeating McHenry (Ill.) 5-3, Deerfield (Ill.) 10-0 and Fremd (Palatine, Ill.) 11-0.
42. (50) Indianapolis Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.), 26-1
Defeated Heritage Christian 7-1 to open the first round of the sectional playoffs.
43. (NR) Royal (Simi Valley, Calif.), 25-6
The Highlanders advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs with a 3-2 win over San Clemente. Royal also defeated Esperanza 9-4 in the second round.
44. (NR) Brenham (Texas), 30-4
The Cubs advanced to the Texas 4A Region III final with a 6-1, 4-0 win over Texas City.
45. (48) Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), 33-7
Louisiana 5A state champions. Season over.
46. (NR) Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), 26-10
The Hoyas defeated Lassiter 3-1 and 8-6 to capture the Georgia AAAAA state championship.
47. (NR) Kentwood (Covington, Wash.) 22-4
The Conquerors defeated defending state champion Richland 8-0 to claim the Washington 4A state championship.
48. (NR) Marist (Atlanta), 29-6
The War Eagles topped Lakeside 11-7 and 5-0 to capture the Georgia AAAA state championship.
49. (NR) Columbus (Ga.), 30-5
The Blue Devils advanced to the Georgia AAA state finals with a 21-7, 2-6, 8-4 series win over Thomson. Columbus meets Ringgold this week for the championship.
50. (NR) Rio Rancho (N.M.), 28-4
New Mexico 4A state runner-up. Season over.