WCAL Reigns Supreme As Valley Christian Plays Its Way To A CCS Title And Another No. 1 Finish In Our Final NorCal Baseball Rankings •
Final NorCal Baseball Rankings For 2021. Previous rank in parenthesis. (TOP PHOTO: Valley Christian celebrates its CCS Open title on June 19; photo by VCHS Athletics/Twitter)
1. (4) Valley Christian-San Jose (24-9)
With all due respect to De La Salle and the year the Spartans had, the Warriors won the Central Coast Section Open Division playoff tournament that included three of the top-four ranked teams. For us, that’s an open-and-shut case for No. 1.
2. (1) Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (24-5)
Accentuated by the fact that the Monarchs played No. 1 Valley Christian eight times and each won four games, it really feels like the two teams were 1A and 1B in these rankings. The Warriors just had the benefit of winning the last one.
3. (2) De La Salle-Concord (20-4)
It’s really a bummer that initial COVID restraints on scheduling didn’t allow for the Spartans to face any West Catholic Athletic League teams. That said, De La Salle still won the East Bay Athletic League and logged wins over six final-ranked opponents.
4. (3) Palo Alto (21-5)
Two of the Vikings losses came against No. 1 Valley Christian, including a season-ending one in the CCS Open Div. semifinals. Palo Alto still had key wins over final-ranked opponents St. Francis-Mountain View, Los Gatos, Serra-San Mateo and Menlo-Atherton-Atherton.
5. (5) Elk Grove (23-4)
Ho-hum. Another year in the Top 5 for the Thundering Herd. The Sac-Joaquin Section’s top team racked up nine wins over final-ranked opponents.
6. (7) St. Francis-Mountain View (16-12)
Twelve losses seems a bit extreme for a Top 10 team — until you realize six came against No. 2 Mitty, three were to No. 1 Valley Christian and one more was at the hands of No. 4 Palo Alto. And in between all that, the Lancers logged three wins against Valley Christian as well.
7. (8) Los Gatos (20-7)
The Wildcats had wins over both No. 1 Valley Christian and No. 4 Palo Alto. They also narrowly missed knocking No. 2 Mitty out of the postseason, falling 7-6.
8. (9) Granite Bay (20-7)
The Grizzlies earn the nod as the second-ranked SJS team thanks to a pair of wins over final-ranked Franklin-Elk Grove and key wins over common opponents with St. Mary’s-Stockton.
9. (10) California-San Ramon (18-6)
It’s back-to-back Grizzlies in the ranking as Cal came on strong in the second half of the East Bay Athletic League season.
10. (11) St. Mary’s-Stockton (16-4)
The Rams are able to round out the Top 10 thanks to key wins over No. 3 De La Salle and No. 5 Elk Grove. They wound up behind Granite Bay, though, due to a bad loss to Tokay-Lodi (which finished just 9-12) and a loss to Jesuit-Carmichael (which Granite Bay beat 10-6)
11. (12) Franklin-Elk Grove (20-8)
The SJS Division I playoffs would’ve been fascinating this season. There was a lot of parity at the top. The Wildcats racked up six wins over ranked opponents, but slotted behind St. Mary’s due to losses to De La Salle and Elk Grove (which the Rams beat).
12. (6) Serra-San Mateo (24-4)
The Padres’ season ended in a 3-0 defeat to No. 2 Mitty in the CCS Open Div. first round. It’s really not Serra’s fault, but their strength of schedule was limited due to which WCAL teams it could play early on due to COVID protocols. Eighteen of the Padres 24 wins came against St. Ignatius-S.F., Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. and Archbishop Riordan-S.F.. All fine programs, but not the juggernauts from the other half of the league.
13. (13) Tamalpais-Mill Valley (19-1)
It sure would’ve been fun to see how the pitching-dominant Red Hawks faired outside of their North Bay bubble. It’s our belief they would’ve done quite well.
14. (15) San Ramon Valley-Danville (15-9)
From mid-April to mid-May, the Wolves were one of the Bay’s hottest teams. They flamed out a little at the end, but still logged two wins over No. 3 De La Salle as well as victories over No. 9 California and No. 21 College Park.
15. (18) Pittsburg (18-4)
Like Tamalpais, this is another team we would’ve loved to see play beyond its immediate bubble. However, the Pirates certainly passed the eye test when we were on hand to see them clinch their first league title in 35 years.
16. (14) Woodcreek-Roseville (22-4)
The Timberwolves went just 0-2 against final-ranked opponents, but they were among the most consistent SJS teams throughout the season. The Capital Valley Conference champions closed the year out on a 16-game winning streak.
17. (16) Menlo-Atherton-Atherton (20-7)
Sequoia’s run to a CCS championship late in the year certainly helped the Bears’ Top 20 resume. M-A had two wins over the Ravens during the season and also logged a victory over No. 6 St. Francis.
18. (19) Placer-Auburn (20-8)
The Hillmen recovered from a 3-4 start to their season to win 17 of their last 21. Along the way they earned a win over No. 8 Granite Bay and the next team in the final NorCal Baseball Rankings, Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove.
19. (NR) Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove (18-10)
The Eagles swooped in and out of the Top 20 over the course of season. They landed at No. 19 thanks to a pair of wins over final-No. 20 Davis and a victory over No. 11 Franklin-Elk Grove.
20. (20) Davis (18-10)
It’s a win over No. 5 Elk Grove (1-0) — something always gets decided when those two teams meet — that ultimately earns the Blue Devils a spot inside Top 20.
21. (NR) College Park-Pleasant Hill (17-6)
Just like the school’s softball program, the Falcons finish the year at No. 21 after a dominating run through the DAL-Foothill Division. This team also had a win over No. 10 St. Mary’s-Stockton.
22. (NR) Sequoia-Redwood City (23-3)
The Ravens won their last 11 games and stormed their way to a CCS Div. I championship.
23. (NR) Granada-Livermore (10-8-1)
Despite suffering their share of hiccups, the Matadors actually finished with a record of 4-2 against final-ranked teams.
24. (17) Heritage-Brentwood (17-4)
The longtime BVAL juggernaut hung around the Top 20 for most of the season, but title-hungry Pittsburg finally passed them up. The Patriots split their four meetings with the Pirates, but Pittsburg won two out of three during league play and also won the league championship tournament.
25. (NR) Colusa (27-1)
It’s a Northern Section school that claims the last spot in our final NorCal baseball rankings. The RedHawks averaged more than 10 runs per game, and were the only team to beat a Pleasant Valley-Chico squad that finished 19-1.