El Toro is on a roll and it's doing it with great pitching and timely hitting. Chasen Ford and Ryan Kayoda give the Chargers arguably the best 1-2 punch in the county. Despite coming out on the losing end, Kayoda was part of a pitching duel scouts are calling the best in SoCal this year in the Boras Classic. Ford scuffled a bit yesterday against Capo Valley, but the track record indicates it was merely a blemish. Phillip Steering (.389 BA, 10 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 9K) and Dan James (.345 BA, 12 R, 18 RBI, 2 HR, 9 BB, 3K) are pacing an offense that is also getting solid contributions from Gavin Collins, Logan Roberts, and Jonah Arenado. Consistency will be the key moving forward and the Chargers are playing with two sophomores (2B, C) that have had issues with that. This team is built to make a deep run in the postseason and is making sure league games are preparing for just that.
Mission Viejo is getting hot at the right time of the season and it's doing it with guys that will all be back next season when the Diablos should be the favorites in league. Juniors Cooper Herrera (.364 BA, 7 R, 14 RBI, 5 B, 3 K) and Tyler Clark (.457 BA, 24 R, 8 RBI, HR, 6 BB, 8K) lead an offense that is averaging more than eight runs per game. On the mound sophomore Patrick Sandoval (6-1, 1.47 ERA, 47.2 IP, 10 R, 20 BB, 24 K, and junior Stephen Young (4-0, .90 ERA, 23.1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 21 K) are leading a staff with a 2.25 ERA. The Diablos got a nice win over Tesoro yesterday and will play the Titans again today. Next week they'll face El Toro in a two game set that could decide the league title.
Trabuco Hills has been enigmatic at best. The Mustangs have a four game win streak under their belt but that was over a month ago. Pitching and hitting will key if Trabuco Hills makes a run in league, but this team isn't built to explode in either. With loses to El Toro and Mission Viejo already, the Mustangs can't afford many setbacks.
I got a lot of grief for leaving Capo Valley out of my top 10 earlier this week. It's not that I don't believe in coach Zamora's kids, it's that since starting the season 8-1, they're a pedestrian 7-6 in their last 13 games. And now they've lost two to El Toro after dropping a 10-8 nine inning decision last night. Game three is later today. The Cougars have some nice players but I don't know that they're ready to win this league yet.
Tesoro has a long road to go to make a run. The Titans record is somewhat indicative of how good a team this is. They haven't played many close games outside of a 1-0 loss to El Toro.
This league is going to come down to the next couple of weeks. El Toro will face Mission Viejo next week before facing Trabuco Hills the following week. The thought here is that El Toro will clear these hurdles and Mission Viejo takes second place. Despite it's 4-3 record, El Toro is tough to beat at home. Two of those losses came to Cypress to start the season. Mission Viejo travels to El Toro next week in game one of two. The Diablos have a lot to look forward too next season, I wouldn't be surprised if they made a run in the postseason this year.