The month of March is a proving ground for many high school baseball teams and so the same can be said for national baseball rankings.
While teams from the southern and western parts of the United States participate in pre-league tournaments, upsets usually occur as new pitching staffs are usually stretched thin over the course of a weekend tournament that may include up to five or six games.
As a result, upsets happen and teams that begin the season in the national rankings sometimes fall. So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that eight new teams entered this week's rankings, mostly from California, Texas and Florida.
Taking big falls this week included previous No. 2 Flanagan, which dropped a pair of games, and No. 3 Fort Bend Clements, which fell twice at the Langham Creek Tournament. Taking advantage of those losses were Douglas, one of the teams that defeated Flanagan, and Langham Creek, which has played giant killer twice already this season with wins over Fort Bend Clements and Carroll (Corpus Christi). Both enter this week's Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings.
California also had its share of entrants as undefeated St. Francis (Mountain View) jumped all the way to No. 5 while JSerra Catholic, currently ranked No. 2 in the Southern Section, entered at No. 20.
Several national tournaments are scheduled for the next two weeks, and many northern states will also begin play, thus creating more possible shifts in the rankings by the end of the month.
For now, here are this week's Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings.MAXPREPS XCELLENT 25 NATIONAL BASEBALL RANKINGS
1. (Last week 1) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 0-0
The five-time defending Nevada state champions open their season on March 18 against Spring Valley.2. (4) Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.), 0-0
Admirals opened play at Heritage on March 14.3. (6) Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 5-0
came up big for the Chargers in the championship game of the Loara Tournament, as he allowed three hits and struck out 16 in Edison's 3-2 win over Vista Murrieta. The Chargers also defeated Sonora 3-2 and topped Long Beach Wilson 8-2 on the pitching of Jon Torres
.4. (8) Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), 3-0
The Dons knocked off Freedom (Oakley, Calif.) 2-1 and Galena (Reno, Nev.) 8-3 to remain undefeated on the season. Nick Piscotty
struck out 12 in the Freedom game to get the win, while Aaron Hafford
was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run and two RBIs in the victory over Galena.5. (NR) St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.) 8-0
The Lancers figure to give Archbishop Mitty a run for the West Catholic Athletic League championship this year and they are already off to a strong start at 8-0. St. Francis whipped Salinas, a team that tied Mitty, 8-0, and it also shut out a solid Bishop O'Dowd team 3-0. A 4-1 win over St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) of the Sac-Joaquin Section bolsters the Lancers' credentials.
6. (NR) Langham Creek (Houston), 11-1
An 8-7 win over then nationally ranked Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas) and an 8-3 win over previous No. 3 Fort Bend Clements vaults the Lobos into this week's rankings. Langham Creek also has an 8-5 win over a strong The Woodlands team and its only loss is to a solid group at Flower Mound by an 8-3 count.7. (15) Broken Arrow (Okla.), 6-0
The Tigers played just once last week, blanking Jenks 8-0 on a combined no-hitter from Archie Bradley
and Mason Hope
. Bradley struck out seven in four innings and Hope struck out six in three innings. The Tigers play in the Blue Devil Classic in Winter Haven, Fla., this week. The Tigers opened the Blue Devil Classic with a 6-2 win over Haines City on Monday and will face Lakeland today.8. (16) Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), 0-0
The Warriors open their season on March 28.9. (17) Poquoson (Va.), 0-0
The two-time defending Virginia Division II state champions open their season today at Lafayette.10. (19) Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.), 0-0
Opens season March 21 at Covenant.11. (20) Indianapolis Cathedral (Indianapolis), 0-0
Opens season at Roncalli on March 30.12. (NR) Douglas (Parkland, Fla.), 8-0
The Eagles are undefeated on the season at 8-0 and also have a 3-2 win over defending 6A state champion Flanagan.13. (23) Spanish Fork (Utah), 2-0
The Dons got their season off to a strong start with a 4-1 win over Cottonwood on Wednesday and a 15-0 dusting of Layton on Friday. Kayden Porter
was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs against Layton while Andy Perkins
had two doubles and four RBIs. Jarret Jarvis
and Sheideler Bennett
each hit home runs against Cottonwood.14. (3) Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas), 12-2
The Rangers dropped their first game of the season to a strong Langham Creek team, 8-3, at the Langham Creek Tournament. Fort Bend Clements also downed Atascocita 11-2 in the first round and blasted Fort Bend Travis 11-1 behind the pitching of Beau Dahlman
on Saturday. Also lost to Nederland 12-7 in the final game of the tournament.15. (24) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 4-1-1
The Monarchs rebounded from last week's loss to Wilcox by knocking off nationally ranked Elk Grove 6-3 Saturday. Kyle Alwyn
was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles to lead the Monarchs to the win. Mitty crushed Jesuit 12-5 on Friday with James Correa
knocking in three runs and Kolby Rousseu
driving in two. Tyler Davis
got the pitching win over Jesuit.16. (11) Elk Grove (Calif.), 2-1
After defeating West Catholic Athletic League power Bellarmine 6-3 on Friday, the Thundering Herd fell to another WCAL powerhouse, Archbishop Mitty, by a 6-3 count. Ryan Tellez
led Elk Grove against the Bells with a 3-for-3 effort that included a double and three RBIs. He also pitched three innings and did not give up a hit while striking out five. J.D. Davis
had a home run against Mitty, but it wasn't enough for the Thundering Herd, who committed three errors in the game.17. (25) Sumrall (Miss.), 8-1
The Bobcats made it six wins in a row after decisive victories over Lumberton (14-0), and Seminary (16-0, 7-1). Dylan Anglin
and Austin Knight
both homered in the win over Lumberton with Anglin driving in three runs. Knight also hit one out in the 16-0 blanking of Seminary while Anglin drove in four more runs. Connor Barron
tripled and Bradley Smith
had three hits in a 7-1 win over Seminary with Luke Lowery
striking out 10 for the win. The Bobcats also defeated Sequoyah (Claremore, Okla.) 10-3 at the Gulf Shores Nike Tournament and knocked off Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 6-5.18. (NR) Fleming Island (Orange Park, Fla.), 10-0
The Golden Eagles have been the top team in the Jacksonville area so far this season with a 10-0 mark that includes a pair of wins over Clay and a win over district favorite Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla.).19. (NR) Sharyland (Mission, Texas), 15-1
The Rattlers have won seven straight since suffering their only loss of the season, a 5-3 defeat at the hands of King (Corpus Christi, Texas) at the Mira Tournament. Sharyland also has a win over Texas 4A power Calallen. Eric Gutierrez
leads the Sharyland hitting attack with a .553 average, 26 RBIs and nine doubles.20. (NR) JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), 5-0
The Lions are undefeated on the season and have an 11-9 win over defending Southern Section Division 4 champion Palm Desert (which has wins over Bishop Amat and Mater Dei). JSerra Catholic also has one of the nation's best catchers in Austin Hedges
, who had a home run and a triple against Palm Desert.21. (5) Owasso (Okla.), 4-1
threw a no-hitter to give the Rams a 7-0 win over Winter Haven in the Rams' first game of their Florida trip. However the Rams fell to Lake Wales 5-4 on Saturday. The Rams play in the Blue Devil Classic this week in the Lakeland area.22. (9) Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.), 8-1
The Golden Eagles dominated pool play at the Coca Cola Classic, but lost in the semifinals to El Diamante 3-1. Clovis West bounced back to beat Redwood 13-5 for third place. The Golden Eagles had defeated El Diamante 4-2 earlier in the tournament before falling on Friday.23. (NR) Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), 11-1
The Bears have a 3-2 win over perennial powerhouse Barbe and their only loss is to Airline (Bossier City, La.), a team that has only one loss on the season. Catholic also has one of the nation's top pitchers in Aaron Nola
.24. (2) Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), 11-2
Flanagan dropped a pair of games this season, falling to Douglas (Parkland) and West Broward (Pembroke Pines), but the Falcons came through at the Tournament of Champions in Jacksonville, defeating three Georgia state champions - Columbus (11-6), Marist (3-1) and Wesleyan (5-4).25. (NR) Pensacola Catholic (Fla.) 8-0
The Crusaders have one of the top records in the state of Florida and are getting solid contributions from Avery Geyer
(.375 average, three home runs) and Cody Alling
(4-0, 1.68 ERA, 22 strikeouts).Dropped out:
No. 7 Westlake (Austin, Texas), No. 10 Lakewood (Calif.), No. 12 Pelham (Ala.), No. 13 Weatherford (Texas), No. 14 Sarasota (Fla.), No. 18 Rancho Bernardo (San Diego), No. 21 Rancho (Las Vegas), No. 22 El Capitan (Lakeside, Calif.).