The season is still about a week away from full start in the South, Southwest and California, but already the MaxPreps Top 25 high school baseball rankings have seen some turbulence.
The Prep Baseball Report Preseason Invitational in Orange County featured some of Southern California’s top teams over the weekend. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, CA) was the highest ranked team to suffer a loss. Wolverines lost a one-point game to Yucaipa, who eventually lost to Orange Lutheran on Monday, the final day of the tournament.
Harvard-Westlake bounced back to defeat defending South Section champion JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano) on Monday, avenging last year’s Section final result.
Meanwhile, Sierra Canyon pulled off the other early-season upset by knocking out preseason Notre Dame No. 15 (Sherman Oaks). The Trailblazers went 4-0 on the week to jump up this week’s standings, along with Yucaipa and JSerra Catholic.
The only other team to join the standings this week was Auburn (Alabama). Combine Academy (Lincolnton, NC), Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) and Walton (Marietta, Ga.) all dropped out after appearing in the preseason MaxPreps Top 25.
Best game: Yucaipa 6, Harvard-Westlake 5. After the Wolverines took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh on a balk and an RBI single from Jacob Galloway, Yucaipa came from behind down the frame on a two-out, two-run brace by Isiah Walz. .
Player of the week: Gabe Miranda, Orange Lutheran. Finished a home run short of the cycle going 4-for-4 with 4 RBIs against Yucaipa. He also had a home run against Ayala and a brace against Gahr earlier in the week.
Games to watch: Catholic JSerra vs. Southlake Carroll; Lutheran Orange vs. Southlake Carroll. The Dragons travel to California to face two of the top teams in the Southern Section on Thursday and Friday.
Tracks: Roff (Okla.), who went 33-0 in 2021, 4-0 in the shortened 2020 season and also won the final six games of the 2019 season, is starting the season with the longest winning streak in the nation at 43 in a row.
MaxPreps Top 25 Baseball Rankings
1. St. Mary’s Prep (Orchard Lake, Michigan)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 1
Following: Season starts March 30 against Shrine Catholic
2. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 2
Following: The season starts on February 22 against Dunedin
3. Buford, Ga.
Disk: 1-0 | Pre-season: 3
Last week: Def. St. Pie (Atlanta), 8-0
Statistics: Riley Stanford made a home run against St. Pius. Buford’s pitchers combined to strike out 17.
Following: Friday against Shiloh DH
4. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Florida)
Disk: 1-0 | Pre-season: 4
Last week: Def. West Broward, 2-1
Statistics: Christian Rodriguez hit a home run and Jake Clemente struck out four for the win.
Following: Tuesday against Taravella
5. Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA)
Disk: 4-0 | Pre-season: 6
Last week: Def. Gahr, 2-1; Ayala, 4-3; and Huntington Beach, 5-0, def. Yucaipa 12-1
Mikey Romero and Casey Borba each had two hits against Gahr, with Borba hitting a brace. Gabe Miranda hit a home run against Ayala. Romero tripled against Huntington Beach and Oliver Santos and Louis Rodriguez each had eight strikeouts.
Following: Friday against Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
6. Yucaipa (California)
Disk: 3-1 | Pre-season: 96
Last week: Def. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach), 4-0; Harvard Westlake (Studio City), 6-5; Chaminade (Western Hills), 4-3. lost to Orange Lutheran, 12-1
Chase Antillon homered against Harvard-Westlake, Jacob Reimer homered against Chaminade and Luke Scherrer homered against Mira Costa.
Following: Saturday against Foothill (Santa Ana)
7. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, CA)
Disk: 3-1 | Pre-season: 5
Last week: Def. Foothill (Santa Ana), 5-4; lost to Yucaipa, 6-5; def. Capistrano Valley, 12-5, def. Catholic Serra, 2-1
Statistics: Tommy Bridges pitched five innings for the win and also scored two runs against Foothill. Bryce Rainer went 2 for 4 in the loss to Yucaipa. Rainer, Jacob Galloway and Kai Caranto each had two hits against Capistrano Valley.
Following: Wednesday against Damien (La Verne)
8. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 7
Following: Season starts March 1 against Corona del Sol
9. Jesuit (Tampa, Florida)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 8
Following: The season starts Monday against Bloomingdale’s
10. Beard (Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Disk: 1-0 | Pre-season: 9
Last week: Def. Teurlings Catholic, 29-2
Following: March 1 against Glenmora
11. Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: ten
Following: The season begins Thursday against Chaparral (Scottsdale, Arizona); Thursday against JSerra Catholic; Friday vs Orange Lutheran.
12. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA)
Disk: 4-0 | Pre-season: 48
Last week: Def. Grace Brothers (Simi Valley), 17-1; Granada Hills Charter, 8-0; Moorepark, 4-2; Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), 4-2
Statistics: Jaden Noot went six innings and struck out 7 in the win over Notre Dame.
Following: Tuesday against Newbury Park
13. JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
Disk: 3-1 | Pre-season: 30
Last week: Def. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach), 7-1; Crown, 10-3; Foothill (Santa Ana), 3-2; lost to Harvard-Westlake
Following: Thursday against Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
14. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 11
Following: The season starts on March 4 against Palo Verde (Las Vegas)
15. Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, TX)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 12
Following: The season begins on February 24 at the Georgetown tournament
16. American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 13
Following: The season starts on February 24 against Braddock (Miami)
17. Baylor (Chattanooga, TN)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 17
Following: Season starts March 14 against Upperman
18. Hanover (Mechanicsville, Virginia)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 18
Following: Season starts March 18 against Deep Run
19. The First Academy (Orlando, Florida)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 19
Following: The season starts on Tuesday against Windermere Prep
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 20
Following: Season starts March 1 at Grant
21. Don Bosco Preparation (Ramsey, NJ)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 0
Following: Season starts March 24 against Emerson
22. Deer Creek (Edmond, Okla.)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 0
Following: Season starts March 4 against Carl Albert
23. Jesuit Walsh (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 23
Following: The season starts on March 26 against Mentor
24. American Fork (Utah)
Disk: 0-0 | Pre-season: 25
Following: Season starts March 11 in Jordan
Disk: 3-0 | Pre-season: 29
Last week: Def. Pratville, 15-3; def. Florence, 13-3; def. Helen, 5-3
Jace Norton went 3 for 3 with two RBIs against Prattville, Ryan Olson and Connor Cosby each had a home run against Florence and Cade Belyeu hit one against Helena.
Following: Friday against Bob Jones (Madison)
Abandoned: Combine Academy (Lincolnton, NC); Walton (Marietta, Ga.); Notre Dame (SO) (Sherman Oaks, CA); Parkview (Lilburn, Georgia)