A lot of movement in the Top 10 this week due to the quantity of games played last week in tournament play. It's beginning to be easier to qualify a win as a good win, and a loss as, well, a loss, although it could be seen as a loss to a quality team.
There are a couple of new entrants into the Top 10 this week as Tesoro and Beckman join the party after hot starts to the season. Of course, if new teams are added that means some teams dropped out and this week they are Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran due to each going 1-2 last week in the Elks Tournament. Both teams have been uncommonly inconsistent so far this season.
As league play begins around the county this week the race for postseason seeding will begin in earnest.The Trinity League has moved to a three-game-a-week schedule while most other league remain in their usual home-and-home format.
Below is how I voted in this week's Top 10 poll. Previous ranking in parentheses.
1. JSerra 4-1 (1) The Lions offense is beginning to click on all cylinders as they head into Trinity League play this week. Parker Joe Robinson, Jake Pries, and Brady Shockey are off to good starts while the pitching is getting contributions from a lot guys. The Lions beat Foothill, Capo Valley, and Corona last week in the Elks Tourney.
This Week: 3/17 @ OLu; 3/19 @ Bosco; 3/20 Servite 2. Huntington Beach 3-2 (2) The Oilers are using pitching and defense along with timely hitting to get the job done. They scored a big 2-1 win over OLu before dropping a tough 5-4 decision to Trabuco Hills that was decided late. Noah Davis is proving he's one of the better 2015 pitchers in the county. But the highlight of the game had to be freshman Hagen Danner's 91MPH fastball that left some scouts floored.
This Week: 3/17 Aliso Niguel; 3/21 Newport Harbor
3. Esperanza 5-0 (6) It's time to begin considering the Aztecs as a legitimate contender after winning the Lerner Bracket of the Elks Tournament in big fashion. The pitching staff, once considered a one man show, is proving to be a strength. Last week they allowed 9 runs with only six of them earned. The offense is putting up big time numbers early in the season and will be tested as the enter Century League play.
This Week: 3/19 El Dorado; 3/21 @ El Dorado 4. Aliso Niguel 4-1 (4) Kyle Molnar is the best pitcher in Orange County in this voters eyes. He proved that Saturday by tossing an 8 inning no hitter against Los Al where he faced the minimum (24) batters and allowed one runner (reached on an error). The big question for the Wolverines is, how good is the rest of the staff? Ryan Randel was very impressive against Vista Murrieta before giving way to the bullpen that lost the game. Aliso Niguel needs the offense to get going before they head to North Carolina to play in the NHSI next week.
This Week: 3/17 @ Huntington Beach; 3/21 Dana Hills 5. Mission Viejo 5-2 (NR) The Diablos outscored opponents 36-6 last week in three wins. They're also sporting a 1.46 team ERA through the first seven games of the season. Their two losses were to good teams in Northwood and Newport Harbor. Mission Viejo is sitting pretty as they head into South Coast League play where they were the preseason favorites but will get tested by a very good challenge from Tesoro. The two teams will meet once this week to kick of league play.
This Week: 3/21 @ Tesoro; 3/22 Mira Costa 6. Tesoro 7-1 (NR) The Titans are doing it with a young roster that's hitting the snot out of the ball; they outscored opponents 30-11 last week in going 3-1. Sophomores Jordan Martini and Colton Richardson are providing some outstanding play for Tesoro both on the mound and at the plate. Tesoro has a huge showdown with Mission Viejo that will have league implications early.
This Week: 3/21 Mission Viejo; 3/22 Canyon Springs 7. El Dorado 3-2 (6) The Golden Hawks lost two one-run games to two very good teams. A Chris Betts HR was the difference in a 1-0 loss to Long Beach Wilson (Loara Tourney Finalist), and Los Alamitos scored two runs in the eighth to win 3-2. El Dorado is getting great pitching from Nick Sprengel and Austin Fresquez, and the hitting has been good too. There is no doubt this team is built for a special season. A huge two games against Esperanza this week which will tell us a lot more about this team and this league.
This Week: 3/18 Foothill; 3/19 @ Esperanza; 3/21 Esperanza 8. Los Alamitos 3-2 (3) The Griffins were not only no hit by Kyle Molnar, but they were thumped by San Clemente 5-0 which sandwiched their win against El Dorado. Darren McCaughan matched Molnar pitch-for-pitch and took a no hitter of his own into the bottom of seventh before allowing a knock down the line. With Jacob Nix and Kyle Mora, along with McCaughan, Los Alamitos has arguably the most talented starters in the county, now they need the offense to catch up.
This Week: 3/21 Fountain Valley; 3/22 Serra (Gardena) 9. Beckman 4-1 (NR) The Patriots are once again a typical Kevin Lavalle coached team, they have very good pitching and are uber aggressive at the plate and on the bases. The difference this year is they have some big bats in their lineup that are resulting in lots of runs scored. Beckman went 3-0 on the week including the 7-2 win over Tesoro. They have only one game this week but it's a big one against a quality University team as both kick of Pacific Coast League action.
This Week: 3/21 University 10. San Clemente 5-3 (5) The Tritons will be happy when they are no longer playing Moore League teams. Two of their losses are to Long Beach Wilson and the other is to Lakewood. San Clemente handled Los Al and Norwalk pretty easily last week. The Tritons will look to get back to their winning ways against a couple of teams that are rebuilding and off to slow starts to the 2014 season.
This Week: 3/19 El Toro (Saddleback College); 3/21 Laguna Hills
Others: Mater Dei; Orange Lutheran; Edison; Santa Margarita; Fountain Valley; Capo Valley; Laguna Beach; Northview