Baseball Rankings: Who’s number 1? Bishop Amat, South Hills, Damien or Bonita?

Let’s face it, baseball is what the San Gabriel Valley does best. It’s the sport that we can honestly say we stack up well against any region in California. Every year it seems there is at least one CIF champion and sometimes two. Since 2007 Northview, San Dimas, Bishop Amat, Glendora, South Hills and Charter Oak all have won titles, and this has the potential to be another multi-championship season. Haven’t been this excited since Murphy and Nieto bumped chests in the 2008 Glendora tournament final, won by the Vikings in front of more than a 1,000 at Henderson. It’s going to be that type of year. With Rio Ruiz and Daniel Zamora back at Amat, super pitcher Justin Garza back at Bonita and South Hills’ dynamite tandem of C.J. Saylor and Ty France, the race for player of the year will be ridiculous. But already, picking No. 1 is hard. Between Amat, South Hills, Damien and Bonita, you have four who can clearly can make an argument for the top spot. The first official rankings come out the last week of February, but for now, make your case for No. 1

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  • Amat Fan

    Bishop Amat should be very strong this year. Zamora will supply Senior leadership on the mound and the offense should be led by Ruiz and Alcantara. I’m sure Nieto will teach his kids how to skill and play little ball. Beck will once again do wonders with his pitching staff. He continues to be the best pitching coach in the SGV.

  • cov80

    dont forget bout covina 12 seniors lots of good pitching jury still out on the coach

  • Lancelot

    Who won Championships in the valley last year Fred?

  • Real talk

    Is this even a question?

  • sgv baller

    all 4 teams will be strong.these are good programs that always rebuild.

  • oldguy1

    who cares who starts at number one, it’s where you finish. i hope at the end of the year, you are asking the same question because they are all cif champs, then the arguments will mean something. If that does happen then all the amat fans will argue the division doesn’t matter!

  • just sayin

    oldguy – it won’t matter of they perform well against their nonleague schedule which will make their overall schedule tougher than anyone else in the SGV – just like it is every year – regardless of what division they’re in

  • Anon

    Did Murphy and Nieto literally bump chests? Must have been a heated game.

  • west covina

    Will someone please tell west covina they need a new coach. What a Joke!!!!!!!!

  • sgv

    What’s the deal with Covina and West Covina’s head coaches? Why are they being questioned already?

  • D4

    Wait how can Amat be number 1 they are in a lower division than South Hills. Or are those just football rules the Amat football fans make up to feel better about not being very good.

  • Lancelot

    C’mon guys, drop the hate and be objective…Amat plays a way tougher schedule and faces more quality opponents then ANY TEAM IN THE VALLEY! PERIOD! They are expected to win league because its D-IV as your so quick to point out but in a one game elimination playoff, anything can happen and Amat is no exception to that rule. I would LOVE to see any other SGV team play a non-league schedule even semi-close to Amat’s just to see how well they hold up, but we all know that just doesn’t happen. Take your shots, talk your smack but all that shiat talkig and hating comes from one place…..if you can’t see it, it’s no use arguing. Give me a comparable schedule from the SGV. Amat beat A LOT of very good, highly ranked teams last year and this is why they should be #1 to start. Can they hold it, we’ll see, they are going to have to have a whole bunch of kids step up this year before I project a #1 title at the end of the season…but for now, they got to be the number ONE seed. Lot of holes to fill with only three starters returning out of five overall returners. Let’s talk baseball but let’s keep it real and check the hate at the door.

  • just askin’

    Do you get a crown when you win Div. 4? Or is it more of a tiara?

  • 12th man

    In order to be #1 you have to play elite teams from around the country…March 1st 2012, Amat vs Mater Dei (ranked #1 in the Nation)..Not to mention they won the National classic in 2011 which is considered one of the top tournaments in the country knocking off teams like Cypress,El Capitan,& St. Francis who was considered #1 team in the Nation at the time..Should there really be an argument?

  • ConcuSSionSymptomS

    I think it is funny to read the difference between the football and the baseball threads. It looks like it almost completely flips upside down between the Amat faithful and the rest of the SGV.

  • Big Ed

    Speaking of Wesco baseball. Does a league change or division change because of football, affect all other sports? I feel bad if it does!! I hear the freshman two man staff is the better of the three.

  • AMAT 73

    Come on now , cut the crap. We as a whole play great baseball in the SGV. These treads come out for the simple fact of garnering hits because our beloved scribes know what comes next after . Hits about who and why and mainly the AMAT honks about how tough our schedlue is . We know it is and that’s what matters to the Faithful and we would have it no other way . Just because of that is no reason to come on here , beat on our chests and start barking for the number one position.Does it really matter where we start as long as we finish with a championship . Are we one of the top 4-5 teams , hell yes we are . Games haven’t even started and most bloggers are in mid season form . To me in baseball I think that is where divisions matter the least because in our valley we see some of the best baseball in So Cal regardless of where our teams fall in divisions.In preseason games you can see where we all sometimes knock each other off or beat outside area teams regardless of divisions we play in . As the old guy says , it’s where you finish ,not where you start , and I would love to see all the divisions we rep have an SGV champion at the finish . I’ve said my piece now you can all go back to the petty bickering .

  • Joe Amat


    I, for one, have been 100% COMPLETELY consistenet in my stance as it pertains to schedule, league and division. Schools have little control over what league or division they are in. Their are requests and appeals, but it is largely out of the schools hands.

    No one knows that more than Bishop Amat and Loyola, who have fought on a couple of occassions to ensure our league reamins at the highest level of competition. The most famous being when Crespi, Notre Dame, and Alemany were FORCED to move up with us after numerous appeals on their part – because Amat and Loyola refused to move down.,+DEL+REY+RELEAGUING+STALLS+%3A+3+SCHOOLS+WANT+IN+DIV.+I%3B+OTHER…-a083851128
    A group of Alemany parents even got an attorney because they were afraid the move was “unsafe” for Alemany football parents. Of course, that was before the Gold-Line was extended from Pasadena to Mission Hills and the makeup of the football team changed drastically.
    When the Orange County Nepotism act of 2006 occured and created the OC based Trinity League, Amat and Loyola preferred to stay, but St John Bosco remained because of proximity and a much easier trek down the 91 to either of our schools. Before you talk about competitiveness, Amat won League in baseball the last year of our participation.

    So my take has always been this. You are put where you are put. Some show their moxy by fighting to stay at a higher level, others appeal, sue, whine, & complain…as we have heard some of our local friends recently. In the end, you end up where the powers that be ultimately put you – and you can’t do anything about that. So you need to make up for it.

    I have always said if your league is weak…do something about it to prove you can play with the higher division if you want to make a claim that you are as good. You can’t go 9 games playing no one with a winning record, walk thru a league schedule, dance thru playoffs and play a .500 team in the finals – then claim superiority to others. You HAVE to at least TRY to step up. West Covina does that and face the Mater Deis, Loyolas, and Amats. They have yet to get a W…so have no claim to be at that level. Other “top” programs in the valley have yet to pull off that big win to show they belong either.

    Amat baseball does just that (basketball…not so much). After winning the Serra League in baseball (with Mater Dei, Servite, etc) and moving down to a lower league and division, the Lancers have kept up a preseason schedule that is rivaled by none. It is THERE that they continue to prove they belong with the best.

    On the other hand, if your league is tough, there is nothing wrong with sprinkling in games to help you prepare an entire team to compete in your league schedule. That means preparing backups, keeping players healthy, etc.. It is a delicate balance, but your schedule is based on your entire season…not just playoff division, league, or preseason. i have ALWAYS said that. 100% consistent.

  • Lancelot

    Who would you rather have your azz kicked by….a guy wearing a CROWN or a guy wearing a tiara???? Because either way 9 out of 10 times you are getting your azz kicked by Bishop Amat Baseball no matter what they wear on their head!
    Just askin?

  • ConcuSSionSymptomS


    My post was meant more for those who say that a D-10 or D-11 football championship is no different than a D-I or D-II and then come on here a abuse Amat for being one of the best baseball teams in not only the SGV but the STATE.

    The Amat faithful is never going to win, but take it as a compliment. The haters hate because you are doing something they admire.

  • Spartans faN

    Spartans should be real strong this year!

  • lost

    Spartans lost pitcher Ryan Olsen. I don’t think they will be as strong as people may think.

  • Spartans Fan

    True, but Damien can hit with anyone in the valley.

  • lost

    Ok. And I heard Glendora beat South Hills a couple weeks ago and that was full roster on both teams.

  • Spartans fan

    Well Damien and Bonita play each other the 1st game of the year.

  • Blue and Gold

    Amat plays their first game against the Third ranked team in the NATION! Anybody else playing a Nationally ranked team? Bueller? Bueller……?

  • Joe Amat

    Mr ConcuSSEd,

    In that case I appreciate the softball and the opportunity to explain EXACTLY waht the difference is as it pertains to divisions, leagues, and schedules. As you were.

  • 12th man

    Amat finished 29-4 Ranked #14 in the Nation on the Freeman poll & ranked #15 on Maxpreps Xcellent poll..No other team in California finished ahead of them except (Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.), 30-2)…With A National Ranking ,CIF title,& winning the National Classic there should be no question who the #1 team should be..This thread is a joke & its done intentionally to generate hits..

  • dam82

    yes–glendora did beat south hills but no it wasn’t south hills final roster however south hills isn’t going to do very well this year, their coach kept a 25 man squad. you can’t even have a decent practice with so many guys.

    why is it even a question as to who is ranked #1 and who will get player of the year? It’ll be Rio or Justin — Rio because he get’s all everything all the time or Justin because he clearly got robbed of it last year when he should of had it.

  • Word on Cameron

    @ Lost

    South Hills lost by 1 but the South Hills starters played 3 out of 9 innings because it was the last game before cuts. Glendoras starting 9 played all 9 innings

  • lost

    I doubt that. And do you have an excuse for a freshman hitting a homerun over South Hills’ fence off of Ty France?

  • heres your excuse


    maybe because Ty France is a 3rd baseman not a pitcher.

  • lost

    He pitches also

  • Word on Cameron


    We’re you at the game?

  • lost

    Nope heard it from a grandparent that went to the game from South Hills.

  • Word on Camron

    I am 100 percent positive that the south hills starters played 3 innings while the Glendora starters played all 9

  • Fred Robledo

    Are you arguing over who won a scrimmage??? This is why I can’t wait for the baseball season

  • Bulldog 4 Life

    i guess its only cool for Amat to win a ship in D4. but when my bulldogs do it for football, all the haters come out. i dont mean to disrespect, but maybe amat isnt fit for D1 football. theres nothing wrong with stepping down a few divisions.

    as far as tough schedules in the pre season, i highly doubt that same team that BA beat in the classic tournament would of been the same team in the CIF play offs. there shoutout win in the baseball championship final game was equivalent to our 84 points scored in the football championship game
    but i guess it only counts when amat wins in low division =/

  • Lancelot

    @Bulldog 4 life – There you go….you said it all,

    ….”maybe amat isnt fit for D1 football. theres nothing wrong with stepping down a few divisions.”

    That may work for you Bulldogs BUT it is totally, 100% unacceptable, to an Amat Lancer. THEY can drop us to a lower division in baseball but we are still going to play, and beat, the top level programs in the state, nation and surrounding areas when applicable. Also the victories to some of those top programs that Amat beat last year took place throughout the season.

  • sgv baller

    the difference in between division 1 in baseball is that in the playoffs every round is tough and every team is great. the rest of the divisions it gets tough at the semis where the top 8 teams are left. there is no difference between divisions 2-4 in baseball. division 4 is probably the toughest of the three. palm desert,amat,torrance,laguna beach,oaks christian are always tough in division 4. palm desert returns all american pitcher brooks kriske.

  • Somebody

    Rio is going to have massive protection in the line-up mid way through the season possibly even earlier in the season…They have a stud Pujols like freshmen who should put solid numbers up as a freshmen at the varsity level…I’ve watched this kid take BP 2 weeks ago and I’ve never seen someone at that age level drive the baseball to all fields with power (Ramirez) is the last name don’t know the first name

  • SGV Dad

    Word on Cameron is that the best coach on the SH campus is coaching the Freshman Baseball team. Parents are raving about the guy! Good luck to all teams in the valley this season!

  • Word on Cameron

    Division 2 is a lot tougher than 3 & 4. And which freshman coach are you talking about because there is 3

  • SGV Fan

    Ramirez will have to drive the ball around the freshman diamond for a year because there is no one like that (named Ramirez) ON varsity. Rio has all the protection he needs with Alcantera, Hurst, De La Cruz, Claproth and Daniels. Let it unfold Dad, he’ll get his shot soon enough.

  • Load up first

    Spartans Fan

    Clam down! Hit with anybody? Need to prove it before you start talkin.

  • Spartans fan

    Damien has proved it the last three years by going to the QuarterFinals 3 straight years, hopefully this year can repeat it and go farther.

  • Somebody

    @sgv fan first off I have no relation to anyone on the amat squad I’m just merely an alumni that keeps in the know of his old high school program … So don’t assume!!!

    Second i never said he was on varisty I was basing things off of the skills sets I seen from him a big kid that’s a freshmen that drives the baseball to all fields plays solid defense at first baseball which seems to be a position of need for this years varisty team. Ramirez is up there with the individuals that you named so don’t take a offense seems like your dad of concern about your own son?!…I’ve been around baseball for a long time and understand how to evaluate talent…If he doesn’t play varisty this year then I know for a fact he’ll help the squad in the coming years…I was just amazed of his talent at such a young age

  • Really?

    Lost Said

    Olson isn’t a big lost. He tanked after the Arroyo game and got into additude problems with our coaches. Why would anybody leave Damien for Western Christain BB. Think about it?

  • SGV Fan

    Take it easy Bro, nobody asked for your resume. I’m a local scout but you don’t hear me throwing that around so people will think I know what I’m talking about do you? Jeez, we’ll just keep an eye out for this kid, ok?

  • Take it Easy Dad

    Ramirez isn’t even the best freshmen on the team. That honor would go to Chavirra. 1B is definitely not a need for Amat. Alcantara will be playing there this season. We’ve been on the blogs way too long to sniff out a dad hyping his own son. Nice try dad.

  • fb102


    You did not SAY anything, BUT you did WRITE: They have a stud Pujols like freshmen who should put solid numbers up as a freshmen at the varsity level ..

    Id take that written statement to MEAN that Freshman Ramirez Pujols IS on Amats varsity squad.

    You also wrote: …If he doesn’t play varisty this year then I know for a fact he’ll help the squad in the coming years…

    What you PERCEIVE may or may NOT come to fruition. Let the next Amat phenom get his feet wet in a manner that allows him to enjoy HS baseball and places no added pressure on him. For his sake and YOURS.

  • Baseball

    anyone know when the Glendora tournament starts and who is playing?

  • Nobody

    Olson isn’t a big loss? He’s only goin to USD with a full ride…

  • Yes, Really

    Really??? is right, what exactly did he do for the Spartans last year? USD may have seen promise from him when he was a Freshman, but we didn’t see it last season. After the start of the season, we rarely saw him…..And we never saw him during CIF!

  • usd

    USD had seen Olson a few times of the past couple years. They saw him at 88-91 at the PG Nationals games during the PG All American event. They also saw his gpa. He is gone from Damien. Let is go now.

  • Pipe Dream

    Olson isn’t even close to 88-91. Ask the Damien coaches. The truth be told right.


    I didn’t know that USD was now offering full rides which is very uncommon there. I know of others in state and out that showed much better at many of these events like PG events, Area Codes and were not offered full rides by Coach Hill or his program. Olson’s velo may touch 87-88 but doesnt sit any higher. Top SGV Pitcher is Garza.

    As for the Top SGV Prep programs Amat will head the SGV. The non league and tournament schedule set’s AMAT apart. Oh and by the way seen alot of Amat Baseball as of late and um haven’t seen Puljos out there or anyone having any resemblence of Power to all fields, mentioned in one of these comments.

  • Go Spartans


    “may” is a prefect word…

    Our line of pitchers this year is really looking good. Our coaches moved on without Olson and his dad’s problems. Some parents just don’t learn or know when to shut up.

    Look for the Spartans to do some damage this year. Couple weeks till opening day! Goin to be fun!

  • Lancelot

    I’d like to see a Zamora (Amat) vs. Garza (Damien) duel this year. Who’s playing in the Cory Liddle game this year at Mt. Sac?

  • Bohi

    last i checked, Garza pitches for Bonita

  • Lancelot

    Apologies Bohi…I would still like to see the Zamora v Garza match up; how is the Bohi returner situation? Amat is a very young as we lost most of last years Varsity team. Other than the previously mentioned, who else is coming back for Bohi? Will you guys be a strong as last year?


    That would be a nice Match up…. are they scheduled this year???

  • Amat Alumni and Parent

    I can’t wait for the season to start! Especially since we have freshmen with Pujols type skills. Anyone know if Amat has any freshmen with CJ Wilson type skills too?

  • sgvbaseball

    Nice write up on Garza in the LA Times. He looked really good on Saturday. He is the top pitcher in SGV area by far. There were 6 players from San Gabriel Valley high schools at the MBL scouting combine. There were at least 250-300 scouts, cross checkers and GMs at the event.

  • sgv baller

    justin looks more built this year.we know they will win games when he is pitching.we dont know how they will do with the new pitchers in the line up.everyteam has question marks because only people involved with there school knows what they have.everyone else is just guessing and talking without knowing.

  • Spartans Fan

    Fred, will the rankings for baseball come out before the 1st game in the area, which I believe is Damien at Bonita Friday, Feb 24.

  • Spartans Fan

    Fred, will the baseball rankings be posted before the 1st area, which is I believe Damien vs. Bonita on Fri, Feb 24.

  • Spartans Fan

    Sorry for sending it twice Fred, didn’t realize i did that.