Above: Bishop Amat lefty Paul Paez off to a terrific start.
Tribune Baseball Rankings
1. Bishop Amat (4-1) — In a week that they beat defending Division I champ Capistrano Valley and are moved to the top-ranked team in the state by MaxPreps, they finally lose in the Newport Elks tourney title game to Orange Lutheran. But lets face it, the wins and shockwaves they sent throughout the Southland justify the top ranking here.
2. Glendora (4-0) — They are who we thought they were, a team that can pitch, hit, and will win a lot of games. The Glendora tourney still had Northview, Bonita, Charter Oak, etc, but those teams aren’t what they were the past two years, and without Amat in the tournament, the Glendora tourney lost some of its luster, but the Tartans are legit, there is no doubt about that.
3. South Hills (5-1) — A solid win over Los Osos, and a great start until the hard-to-understand loss at home in the Don Lugo tourney final to Chino Hills. If they want to be considered among the best in the Southland like Amat, they have to win the games they’re supposed to win.
4. Damien (4-1) — The Spartans got pounded by Redlands East Valley in the Chino tourament semifinals, but they opened with three big wins. They can hit as well as anyone, it’s all a matter of pitching and consistency.
5. Diamond Bar (3-2) — The Brahmas go 3-2 in the Loara Tournament, losing to a very good El Toro team. They’re a lot like Damien, all the hitting in the world, which means they can beat teams like Katella 14-6, but also can lose games like Woodbridge, 10-7. Can you win out-slugging teams? DBar will have to find out.
6. Charter Oak (2-2) — They beat Glendora finalist Crescenta Valley and Northview in a consolation game. You’d have to think they’re the early Miramonte League favorites, but only by a nose.
7. Wilson — (4-1) — The area’s biggest surprise, their only loss to undefeated El Rancho. To be fair they haven’t beaten anyone that raises your eyebrows, but still a good start.
8. Los Altos (3-1) — Hey, its only loss came to Los Osos in the Don Lugo tourney. With Charter Oak, Bonita, Wilson and Los Altos, the Miramonte is going to be fun.
9. Northview (1-2-1) — The problem with Northview is that they’re Eddie Pedroza or bust. Without the lefty on the mound they’re a very ordinary team. With him, they can compete with anyone. Sounds like a .500 season from here.
10. San Dimas (2-2) — They’re a lot like Northview, but without a dominating pitcher they can depend on like Pedroza. Three years ago I thought the Valle Vista was the best in the Valley, but now they’re somewhere in the middle.