Saturday baseball: CIFSDS club will be No. 1

June, 3, 2012
6/03/12
3:44
AM ET
California high school baseball,CIF Sac-Joaquin SectionMark Tennis/ESPNHSMichael Rishwain (left) and Sam Held combined for solid pitching in Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Cathedral Catholic wins second straight section title and caps second straight 30-win season. Campolindo and St. Mary’s of Stockton both threepeat. CLICK HERE for Saturday softball roundup.

After Saturday’s section baseball championships, it’s certain that a team from the CIF San Diego Section is going to finish No. 1 in the final overall state rankings.

It’s just not certain whether that team is going to be Vista or Cathedral Catholic.


Both San Diego teams have benefitted from a series of upsets around the state, including Mater Dei of Santa Ana falling last Tuesday to Newbury Park in the CIF Southern Section Division I semifinals. The Monarchs were No. 1 heading into that game.

Cathedral Catholic faced El Capitan of Lakeside on Saturday at San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Field in a matchup of top five state-ranked teams for the San Diego Section Division III title. The Dons won 3-1 behind Stephen Gonsalves, who threw a three-hitter and scored the first run after hitting a triple.

With the win, Cathedral Catholic ended with its second straight 30-win season at 30-5 and its second straight section title. The team went 30-4 last year and was No. 3 in the final state rankings behind FAB 50 national champ Buchanan of Clovis and Bishop Amat of La Puente.

The only roadblock for the Dons to move up to No. 1 for the final rankings is Vista. The Panthers are 30-4 after beating Carlsbad on Thursday and are in the San Diego Section Division I final against arch-rival Rancho Buena Vista of Vista (25-9). That game, however, was pushed back to Monday by section commissioner Jerry Schneipp to give Vista the ability to match Rancho Buena Vista in pitching. The Longhorns haven’t played in a week compared to Vista playing three times.

If Vista wins Monday night, that would set up a local debate between the Panthers – who would have a better record than Cathedral Catholic at 31-4 and would be the Division I champs as opposed to Division III – and the Dons. There hasn’t been much of a consensus among local prep writers about the top team all season so it’s hard to say which of the two would get the nod.

If Rancho Buena Vista wins on Monday night, no debate would be required. Cathedral Catholic would be the choice.

Campolindo, St. Mary’s threepeat

(Note: We have more on the St. Mary’s game because that’s the game we happened to see in person.)

Winning a third straight section title was on the minds of players at Campolindo of Moraga and St. Mary’s of Stockton on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum and at The University of Pacific’s Klein Family Field in Stockton.

Campolindo got it done with a 6-3 triumph over league rival Dougherty Valley of San Ramon in the CIF North Coast Section Division II championship. The Cougars featured strong pitching from sophomore Matt Ledrech and a 3-for-3 outing and three runs scored by Duke-bound standout James Marvel. Dennis Karas also came through for Campo with a three-run double.

St. Mary’s already was leading 1-0 in games won in its CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title series with Franklin of Elk Grove and completed the 2-0 sweep by bashing the Wildcats 8-2. The Rams’ Area Code star from last summer, Gio Brusa, had an RBI single in the first, scored a run in the fourth, ripped a two-run triple in the fifth and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

In the state rankings, Campolindo (23-4-1) clinched a top five spot overall and will be the mythical champion in the final Cal-Hi Sports Division II state rankings.

If Vista were to lose on Monday, St. Mary’s (27-6) would be No. 1 for the state in the final Division I rankings. (Note: Cathedral Catholic would be No. 1 overall and No. 1 in Division III).

After taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Franklin had a huge opportunity in the bottom of the second by loading the bases with no outs. St. Mary’s senior Sam Held, however, pitched out of the jam with just one run allowed. Held and senior Michael Rishwain combined to hold Franklin to just three hits. Rishwain picked up the win since he replaced Held with two outs in the fourth inning.

“Our kids have to get a ton of the credit,” said St. Mary’s coach Pete Pijl about his team’s third straight Division I section crown. “People just don’t know how much work goes into it. August is the only month they get off.”

“Early on, I didn’t have my best stuff,” said Held, who came into the series with a 0.29 ERA mostly in relief appearances. “That’s just the way it goes, but I was able to get out of it. Then Michael comes in and I know he’s got my back.”

Corrections or comments? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.

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