Much has been written about the fantastic pitching tandem of Harvard-Westlake's Lucas Giolito and Max Fried, but there is another outstanding duo in Southern California that had the upper hand against the Wolverines over the weekend.
Valencia, led by the hard-hitting combo of Trey Williams and A.J. Balta, hammered Fried through 3 1/3 innings of work en route to an 11-4 victory over Harvard-Westlake in the Easton Tournament.
Williams, rated No. 7 in the MaxPreps Individual Player Rankings
, is one of the top home run hitters in the Southern Section and against Fried he was 3-for-4 with a home run. Balta, a junior, was the league MVP last year as a sophomore and he is ranked No. 5 in the MaxPreps Class of 2013 Rankings
. He went 4-for-5 in the win with two doubles and six RBIs.
Despite the loss, Harvard-Westlake drops only a spot in this week's rankings. Valencia doesn't join the Top 25 just yet since it lost to Alemany at the Easton Tournament, which lost to West Ranch, which fell to Harvard-Westlake.
Defending national champion Broken Arrow made the biggest leap this week, moving from No. 25 to No. 15 after three straight wins to start the season.
Olympia (Orlando, Fla.) is the highest debuting team, coming in at No. 16. It replaces Bishop Amat, which dropped its first game to Mater Dei and then lost to Huntington Beach to fall out of the rankings.
Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) returns to the Top 25 after back-to-back wins over Bullard, a team the Bears lost to in the season opener, and previously undefeated Clovis West.MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings
1. (1 preseason) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 0-0
Season opens March 14 in the Desert Classic Tournament against Lincoln County.2. (2) Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.), 7-0
The shutouts keep piling up as the Tigers dropped Lennard (Ruskin) 10-0, Blake (Tampa) 12-0 and Lakeland 2-0 last week. Spencer Trayner
went four innings and gave up one hit while striking out nine against Lennard. Max Beermann
homered in the win. The Tigers cranked five home runs against Blake with Nolan Schultz
, Leland Saile
, Will Jennings
, Ricky Escobar
and Vincent Miniet
all knocking one out. Conor O'Brien
and Jordan Parnell
combined for a no-hitter, striking out seven and walking two in the process. Jesuit has allowed just one run in seven games this year.3. (3) Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas), 7-0
The Tigers claimed first place at the Miras Tournament with a 6-4 win over King (Corpus Christi) in the championship game. O'Shea Dumes
struck out 10 in the win. In the semifinals, Carroll dropped Ray (Corpus Christi) 11-3 with Dumes going 3-for-3 with an RBI and Michael Cantu going 2-4 with four RBIs. Cantu also picked up the win, striking out five. Courtney Hawkins
was 2-for-4. Earlier in the week, Carroll came from behind to edge Sharyland 3-2.4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 2-0
The Monarchs had a tough one right out of the gate as they took on defending Southern Section Division IV champion Bishop Amat last week in both teams' season opener.
went five innings and gave up two earned runs while Ty Moore
entered the game in the fifth inning and got the win. Jeremy Martinez
had a pair of doubles in the win while Brandon Perez
had a pair of triples. Mater Dei also topped Gahr, scoring seven runs in the second inning and pounding out 15 hits for the game. Martinez had five RBIs while hitting three doubles. Austin Grebeck
also had a double and four RBIs.5. (9) Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas), 9-0
The Wildcats captured the Comal ISD Tournament at Smithson Valley, holding off New Braunfels 14-11 in the championship game. Calallen also topped Canyon (New Braunfels) 5-0, Reagan (San Antonio) 7-2, O'Connor (Helotes) 11-6 and Boerne Champion 5-3.6. (5) Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), 0-0
Season opens March 31 at Georgetown Prep.
7. (6) Spanish Fork (Utah), 0-0
Season opens Friday vs. Layton (Utah).8. (7) Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.), 0-0
Season opens March 13 at Lenoir City.9. (8) Washington (New York City), 0-0
Season opens March 13 vs. Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.).
10 (10) Gloucester Catholic (N.J.), 0-0
Season opens March 17 at Audubon (N.J.)11. (11) JW North (Riverside, Calif.), 5-0
The Huskies won the Redlands Invitational behind Jack Johnson's
nine-strikeout blanking of Temescal Canyon (Lake Elsinore) in the championship game. North also topped Granite Hills (Apple Valley) 10-7 and Redlands East Valley 4-2 en route to the title.12. (12) Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), 2-0
The Panthers got a grand slam from Rob Youngblood
to edge Collins Hill 8-6 in their season opener. They followed that win with a 10-3 victory over Mill Creek. This week the Panthers face defending AAAA champion Marist on Saturday.13. (13) Owasso (Okla.), 3-0
The Rams got ready for this week's trip to Florida with a trio of impressive wins last week. Owasso opened the season with an 11-4 win over Jenks and then topped Edison (Tulsa) in a two-game set, winning 10-0 and 21-1.14. (15) Columbus (Ga.), 5-0
In a showdown with Florida powerhouse Pace, Columbus came out on top, holding on for a 4-3 victory to stay undefeated. The Blue Devils also defeated Harris County 7-2 and Wellington 10-0 to up their record to 5-0. Kyle Carter
picked up his second win of the season in the Wellington victory and he also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run. Pierce Ressmeyer
also homered.15. (25) Broken Arrow (Okla.), 3-0
The defending Xcellent 25 national champions ripped off three straight wins to start the season, blanking Rogers (Ark.) 11-0 and taking a pair of games from Bixby, 12-2 and 8-1. In the latter win, Trey Cobb
struck out 11 and Alex Graham
, Cody Ziegler
and Jacob Evans
all hit home runs.16. (NR) Olympia (Orlando, Fla.), 9-0
Led by a pair of potential first-round draft picks in Walker Weickel
and Jesse Winker
, Olympia is 8-0 to start the season, including a 14-10 win over Dr. Phillips on Saturday.
17. (16) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), 4-1
The Wolverines were unable to contain the powerful Valencia tandem of A.J. Balta
and Trey Williams
in the championship game of the Easton Tournament. Going up against lefthander Max Fried
, Valencia scored seven runs in 3 1/3 innings to coast to an 11-4 victory. Balta was 4-for-5 with two doubles and six RBIs while Williams was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.18. (17) Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 7-1
The Mavericks rebounded from their loss to Columbus to post a 5-1 win over Belen Jesuit, a team that had beaten Columbus, and an 8-0 win over West Orange. Nick Basto
was 2-for-3 with a home run against West Orange while Andre Martinez
picked up the win (3-1). Ryan Castellanos
received the win against Belen Jesuit.19. (NR) St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), 5-0
The Lancers are off to a 5-0 start with wins over Wilcox and San Ramon Valley. Kort Peterson
has two home runs so far this year.20. (NR) Roberson (Asheville, N.C.), 2-0
Roberson begins the season ranked No. 1 in North Carolina by Impact Baseball and it already has an impressive 10-1 win over Holly Springs, the defending Class 4A state champion.21. (NR) Nova (Davie, Fla.), 8-0
The Titans got off to a strong start last season and they are at it again. Eight straight wins, including five by shutout.22. (23) Carroll (Fort Wayne, Ind.), 0-0
Season opens March 30 at Jeffersonville (Ind.).23. (24) Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.), 0-0
Season opens March 26 at Upper Darby (Drexel Hill, Pa.).
24. (NR) Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.), 8-1
Since dropping their season opener to Bullard, the Bears have won eight straight, including a rematch win against Bullard and a 5-1 win over previously unbeaten Clovis West.
25. (NR) Fairhope (Ala.), 7-0
The Pirates are off to a 7-0 start with recent wins over Davidson (Mobile) 11-2 and Faith Academy (Mobile), 3-0.Dropped Out:
No. 14 Bishop Amat, No. 18 Pace, No. 19 Horizon, No. 20 Madison Central, 21 Memorial, No. 22 Rockwall-Heath.