Best high school baseball team in every state

Kevin Askeland | Wednesday, January 29, 2020 10:00am

Defending state champions Barbe, DeSoto Central, Farragut among nation's top teams in their respective states.

Video: Jesuit wins Oregon Class 6A championship
Crusaders expect to contend once again this spring.

From Alabama to Wisconsin and all points in between, we set out to identify the top high school baseball team in every sport.

Barbe (Lake Charles, La.), DeSoto Central (Southaven, Miss.) and Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) all finished the 2019 season ranked among the Top 10 teams in the country and they all start the 2020 season as the top team in their respective states.

For a look at last week's feature on the top player in every state, click here. Top teams were not selected for Montana and Wyoming as governing bodies in those states do not sanction baseball.
Graphic by: Ryan Escobar
Best Baseball Team in Every State

Bob Jones (Madison)
The Patriots fell to McGill-Toolen in the Class 7A state championship game, but posted one of the highest win totals in the nation last year (42-10) and have some of the top talent in the state returning. Dylan Ray, the Class 7A Hitter of the Year and a MaxPreps Junior All-American, is back after batting .403 with nine home runs. Bob Jones returns players who hit 38 of the team's 51 home runs last year. They also return 24 wins, including Cam Hill who went 7-1.

Not only did Wasilla win the state tournament last year, but they also won the Alaska Legion title and became the first Alaska team to ever reach the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament title game. Wasilla finished 32-10 in legion play and returns 12 of 18 players from last year's state title team. They include all-tournament selection and starting pitcher Carter Huston.

Hamilton (Chandler)
The Huskies dominated the final two rounds of the Class 6A state championship last year, outscoring teams 17-1 in two games for the state title. Look for Michael Brueser to be one of the top power hitters in the nation after belting 12 as a junior. Senior first baseman Tyler Wilson (.412, 7 HR) and junior outfielder Brock Selvidge (.311, 4 HR) also return to give Hamilton a formidable top of the order.

The Yellowjackets captured the Class 5A state championship last year and return three players who earned all-state honors, including first team pick Tyler Cacciatori, a right-handed pitcher, and all-state sophomores Cooper Oliphant (catcher) and Brandon Arledge (first base/pitcher).

Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks)
Winners of the Mission League, one of the toughest leagues in California, Notre Dame was upset in the second round of the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs by Mira Costa. However, the Knights return the top eight offensive players from last year and 20 of their 24 pitching wins. They also have five of the top 85 players in the state, according to Perfect Game, including infielder Devan Ornelas (TCU signee) and pitcher Lucas Gordon (Texas).

Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.)
The Raiders captured the Class 5A state championship last year, beating Cherry Creek in the championship game. Coach Matt Darr returns seven seniors who are signed to play at the college level next year, including shortstop Jacob Thompson (Long Beach) and pitcher Chase Allen (Michigan).

Staples (Westport)
The Wreckers (22-3) blanked Southington 3-0 to win the Class LL state championship last year. They return two players among the Top 10 in the state by Perfect Game, including outfielder Zach Zobel and third baseman Drew Rogers.

Appoquinimink (West Middletown)
The Jaguars were one of a handful of teams to go undefeated last year with a 22-0 record and a state championship over Caravel. Coach Mike Torres loses state player of the year Joey Davis, but shortstop Lorenzo Carrier, ranked as the top junior in the state by Perfect Game, returns along with all-state second team pick Mason Keene in the outfield and on the mound.

District of Columbia
The Tigers (23-9) fell to St. John's in the DCSAA finals, but many of the top returning players in the District of Columbia play at Wilson. A total of 11 of the top 14 hitters from last year return, along with Collin Bosley-Smith, who is the top-ranked player in DC by Perfect Game.

Jesuit (Tampa)
The Tigers (27-5) won the Class 6A state championship and return the top six offensive players from that team. Included in the group is Bennett Lee, a Tulane-bound catcher who batted .442 with 12 doubles last year. The Tigers also return every single pitching win from last year, led by Class 6A state player of the year Camden Minacci, who went 12-1 with 85 strikeouts.

Parkview (Lilburn)
The Panthers (36-4) won the state championship last year and are favored to do it again in 2020, thanks to a strong returning pitching staff. Xander Stephens returns after going 10-1 with a 0.68 ERA while Miles Garrett is also back after sporting an 8-0 record. Outfielder Jon Ponder is the top returning offensive player.

Punahou (Honolulu)
Largely a junior-dominated team while winning the state title in 2019, Punahou (17-4) returns first team all-state picks Makana Murashige at third base and Aaron Tom in the outfield along with second-team pick Kalae Harrison at second base. Honorable mention picks Cody Hirano (1st base), and Koah Eldredge (outfield) also return.

Rocky Mountain (Meridian)

The Grizzlies (21-7) finished third at the state tournament last year and return one of the state's top sophomores in Conor Christiansen (.382) and all-conference infielder Ryan Franklin.

St. Rita (Chicago)
Coach John Nee returns nine players who saw considerable action on a 35-7 team, including first team all-conference players Luke Napleton (catcher) and Chris McDevitt (1B). St. Rita also returns four of its top pitchers, including Jimmy Moylan, who tossed a no-hitter last year.

Andrean (Merrillville)
The Class 3A state champions return eight players from a team that went 36-1 and finished ranked among the top 25 teams in the country by MaxPreps. Dave Pishkur was named national Medium Schools Coach of the Year by MaxPreps after going over 1,000 wins and becoming the all-time winningest coach in state history. The Fighting 59ers will miss Gatorade State Player of the Year Michael Doolin, but all-state shortstop Tyler Nelson returns along with championship game hero Mason Sannito in the outfield.

The J-Hawks (31-14) won a state championship last summer (Iowa does not play in the Spring) and return their top hitter in junior Gehrig Christensen (.412) and their top pitcher in Ty Langenberg (8-2). Urbandale returns 26 of its 31 pitching wins from 2019.

Haysville Campus (Wichita)
The Colts (22-2) claimed the Class 6A state championship with a win over Lawrence Free State and return state MVP Tanner Leslie, who was the team's top pitcher and outfielder. Also back is second team all-state pitcher Jackson Hartley.

Trinity (Louisville)
The Shamrocks (35-6) lost in the semifinals to McCracken County and return one of the best outfields in the state with highly-regarded junior Daylen Lile (Louisville) and senior Braden Berry.

Barbe (Lake Charles)
Barbe finished the 2019 season as the Class 5A state champions and the No. 6 team in the MaxPreps Top 50 rankings. The Buccaneers could be even better this year with the return of all-state junior pitcher Jack Walker (9-1), all-state senior utility Brody Drost (8-0) and all-state honorable mention picks David Meche (.354) at shortstop and Kyle DeBarge (.388) at third base.

South Portland

The Red Riots (18-3) lost in the semifinals to Scarborough, but return perhaps the state's best player in Hunter Owen and eight of the team's top nine offensive players. The pitching staff also returns every starter and all 18 wins from last year.

DeMatha (Hyattsville)
The Stags (18-13) lost to St. John's in the WCAC championship series, however DeMatha has to be the favorite this year thanks to the return of three of the top four players in the state, according to Perfect Game. Jack Bulger is headed to Vanderbilt and ranks as one of the nation's top catchers. A pair of Virginia recruits, Alex Greene and Blake Badman, also make the Stags a formidable unit.

Austin Prep (Reading)
The Cougars (20-2) were the No. 1 seed in the Division 3 tournament, but were upset in the second round. New head coach Jonathan Pollard returns six starters, including three league all-stars in senior outfielder Damon Kruppa, junior third baseman Jake Elberry and sophomore pitcher Evan Blanco.

St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake)
The Eaglets (34-9-2) won the Division 2 state championship and they return the top two sophomores in the state, according to Perfect Game, in outfielder Nolan Schubart and pitcher Brock Porter. They also have the No. 2 junior in the state in shortstop Alex Mooney and the No. 2 senior in pitcher Logan Wood.

The Blaze (15-8) did not reach the state tournament, but they have the state's top-ranked player by Perfect Game in pitcher Max Carlson. He'll team with Konnor Kirchoffner to give Burnsville one of the more formidable pitching staffs in the state.

DeSoto Central (Southaven)
The Jaguars (34-3) won the Class 6A state championship and return one of the nation's top power hitters in Blaze Jordan, who has reclassified to the Class of 2020. DeSoto Central also returns its top pitcher from last year in Cade Smith (10-1, 85 Ks.).

Willard (31-7) finished third in the Class 5 tournament, losing to Marquette in the semifinals. They return four all-state players, including utility Garrett Rice, utility Grant Harris, outfielder Ethan Thompson and catcher Cole Biellier.

Millard West (Omaha)
The defending Class A state champions return five players ranked among the top 20 in the state by Perfect Game. Included on the list is Super State honorary captain Max Anderson, a shortstop headed to Texas A&M. Also back are pitcher Tyler Ruhl (Kansas State) and third baseman Tristan Gomes (Cal-State Fullerton).

Palo Verde (Las Vegas)
The Panthers (25-10) didn't advance to the state tournament last year, but return four of the top nine-rated players in the state according to Perfect Game. Pitcher Paulshawn Pasqualotto tops the list along with catcher Josiah Cromwick, second baseman Noah Carabajal and shortstop Paul Myro IV.
Paul Myro IV is back for Palo Verde after hitting .340 with 27 RBI and six home runs a year ago.
Photo by: Jules Karney
Paul Myro IV is back for Palo Verde after hitting .340 with 27 RBI and six home runs a year ago.
New Hampshire
The No. 10 seed in last year's Division 1 tournament, Portsmouth reached the semifinals before falling to Bedford. Once the holder of the nation's longest win streak with 89 in a row, Portsmouth has one of the state's top seniors in outfielder Calvin Hewett and the top junior, according to Perfect Game, in pitcher Ryan Minckler.

New Jersey
St. Augustine Prep (Richland)
The No. 1 team in the NonPublic A state playoffs, St. Augustine Prep (25-6) lost to Delbarton in the finals. The Hermits return shortstop Kenneth Levari, ranked as the No. 2 player in the state, along with pitcher Robert Ready, who is ranked No. 8.

New Mexico
Rio Rancho
Six of the top nine offensive players return for Rio Rancho (24-6), which reached the Class 5A semifinals last year. They include shortstop Ethan Silcox (.430), catcher Clayton Kempski (.412) and infielder Jacob Braunschweiger (.425).

New York
When the Chiefs won the Class AA championship two years ago, coach Tom Sheedy had eight sophomores on the roster. Now those sophomores are seniors and four of them rank among the top players in New York, according to Perfect Game. Leading the way are North Carolina-bound shortstop John Castagnozzi and future Boston College outfielder Travis Honeyman.

North Carolina
Charlotte Christian (Charlotte)
The Knights (27-6) are a perennial power in the NCISAA, winning the 4A division last year. Six of the top eight offensive players from that team, including all-state pick Brett Adams (.371, 5 HR).

North Dakota
Century (Bismarck)
The Patriots (30-4) won the Class A championship last year and return the Gatorade State Player of the Year shortstop Cade Feeney. Also back are all-conference selections Skyler Riedinger at third base and Connor Hanson at first base.

Top-seeded Mason (25-4) made an early exit from the Division 1 state tournament, falling in the second round. However, seven starters return from that team, led by pitcher Jack Steibel and outfielder Cole Harting.

Since 1998, the Rams have never gone more than four seasons without winning a state championship. Owasso (34-6) lost in the first round of the state tournament to Edmond Santa Fe, but returns some of the state's top players, including pitcher Nate Wohlgemuth, who has thrown as fast as 97 mph, according to Perfect Game. Also back are infielder Jack Hammond and pitcher Nathan Ackenhausen.

Jesuit (Portland)
Jesuit (26-3) captured the Class 6A state championship last year on the arm of Mick Abel, who Perfect Game ranks as the No. 6 prospect in the nation and was the Gatorade State Player of the Year. James Porter also returns at third base.

Red Land (Lewisberry)
Nine of the top 11 offensive players for Red Land (25-3) return from last year's Class 5A state championship team. Top prospects include Georgia-bound pitcher Luke Wagner and future Penn State pitcher Jaden Henline. The Patriots also have one of the top junior outfielders in Benny Montgomery (Virginia).

Rhode Island
Bishop Hendricken (Warwick)
The defending Division 1 state champions, Bishop Hendricken (22-2) has one of the state's best pitchers in Boston College-bound Bradley Lombardi. The Hawks also have one of the state's top juniors in pitcher Gavin Crowley.

South Carolina
River Bluff (Lexington)
River Bluff (24-6) reached the Class 5A championship game, and held off Dutch Fork for the championship. Two of the state's Top 10 players, according to Perfect Game, return from that team in outfielder Alex Urban and pitcher Ricky Williams, both are headed to Clemson.

South Dakota
Riggs (Pierre)
No team in South Dakota returns more all-conference players than Riggs (14-6), which has five. The pitching staff is solid with all-state picks Garrett Stout and Grey Zabel back for their senior seasons.

Farragut (Knoxville)
The Admirals (43-2) won the Class 3A state tournament last year and return the state's top pitcher in Kentucky-bound Ryan Hagenow. Farragut has four other players headed to the college level, including pitcher Drew Patterson (Tennessee) and junior shortstop Angus Pence (Tennessee).

Carroll (Southlake)
Last year was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the Dragons after winning the title in 2018. Instead, Carroll (33-11) won the Class 6A championship for the second straight year. Now, they look to make it three state titles in a row with eight starters back including state tournament MVP Justin Grech.

Bingham (South Jordan)
After challenging for the state championship for most of the past decade, Bingham sank to 13-15 last year. However, the Miners return the state's top recruit, according to Perfect Game, in all-state shortstop Joey Dixon, who is headed to Stanford. Also back is catcher Owen Mortensen and pitcher Kyle Keyes.

Champlain Valley Union (Hinesburg)
The Redhawks won the Division 1 state championship and finished 25-1. Three all-conference players return, including pitcher Storm Rushford, designated hitter Ryan Eaton and utility Jacob Murphy.

Miller School of Albemarle (Charlottesville)
The VISAA Division II champions in 2019, Miller School moves up to Division I this year with a trio of returning all-state players, including state MVP Jeremy Wagner (.437, 4 HR) in the outfield and pitchers Ethan Chenault (.493, 63 Ks) and Garrett Payne (42 Ks).

O'Dea (Seattle)
The runner-up to Lake Washington in the Class 3A state playoffs last year, O'Dea returns a number of starters from last year's 21-3 squad. Included in that group is all-state second baseman Kelly Corl. O'Dea also has one of the state's top junior pitchers in Max Debiec.

West Virginia
The Redskins fell to St. Alban's in the Class AAA finals, but return a pair of all-state players and a No. 1 recruit in transfer Lenny Washington. Last year, Washington, a right-handed pitcher, played at St. Joseph's last year and he is ranked No. 1 by Perfect Game. Also back are junior all-state pitcher Joel Gardner and all-state shortstop Tyler Cox.

Green Bay Preble (Green Bay)
Preble (24-4) reached the quarterfinals of the Division 1 state tournament before falling to Burlington. The Hornets return two of the top five players in the state, according to Perfect Game, in Ryan Stefiuk (LHP) and Max Wagner (3B). Wagner batted .507 and earned first team all-state honors while Stefiuk was honorable mention.