National Classic champs Bishop Amat baseball takes over top spot in Tribune rankings


Tribune Top Ten Baseball Rankings
1. Bishop Amat (14-4) — Hottest team, winners of 10 straight including taking the Prestigious National Classic.
2. South Hills (16-3) – Still winning, but not blowing everyone away.
3. Glendora (17-4) – Gets another shot at South Hills on Wednesday.
4. Charter Oak (10-3) – Expected sweep over struggling Diamond Ranch
5. San Dimas (14-4) – Looking like San Dimas of old.
6. Bonita (11-7) – Struggling 3-4 record in the Palomares.
7. Nogales (16-2) – Includes forfeit loss to Gladstone.
8. Wilson (11-4) – Hosts San Dimas Tuesday for first in Valle Vista.
9. Walnut (12-7) — Is 6-1 in the Hacienda.
10. Damien (7-8) – Needs to rally to make playoffs.



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  • Jastrab

    At what point or year does Damien start to think the Nieto move was not a good move? Nieto in his own words said Damien had everything in terms of talent and resources and he wanted to take them to the next level. I do think in the realm of privates you don’t have 3 to 5 years to fix or improve things dramatically. I know the argument will be made that Damien is really not a sports school as it is really much more like Loyola or Webb, but really! I think Nieto’s records is the same or worse than the two previous coaches. Yes, they are now in D1, but that is what Nieto wanted. You have to wonder if Damien does not make the playoffs this year what is ahead. How does D1 work in terms of sports since Damien is the only D1 program in a D2 and below league. If they come in third are they guaranteed a spot?

    • FredJ

      You think Damien is going to find a better coach? One with four titles on his resume?

      • Jastrab

        Fred, it is not always about finding a better coach. You define that it seems on the resume of titles etc,. Like an editor for a paper you can come with a great pedigree etc, but if you don’t understand the readership or demographics you may not succeed. Look at the situation of Gano and even Thomas at Crespi. Also, look at guys that came in and built a program who did not have 4 titles. Why do you look at it from the perspective of titles? I think it is how you define “better.” You look who might stay long term – connections to the school (I say the school not an individual) and see who you want as your HC. I think that the basketball hire is pure genius if you know the history of that individual and Damien. Fred, remember it is easy to find the guy with the resume – the harder thing is to find someone who is not always the obvious hire.

        • fb101

          You hit it on the head Jastrab.

          Nieto’s early title runs were due to TALENT that Kendrena left. Last one, Amat got hot at the right time.

          • FredJ

            Talent that Kendrena left? They were all his titles. But I do think he benefitted from being in divisions, especially the early titles, that were beneficial. Question is, he won four titles at Amat? When will Amat win a title again?

            Fact that Damien is in Division 1 says everything about what he’s doing. You have to qualify for divisions based on your last two years, so the last two years at Damien, they’ve been good enough to qualify in the toughest division in the country.

          • Jastrab

            Fred, look at it this way. Damien draws a lot of its baseball talent from the IE and specifically enrollment at Baseline public schools. If Damien cannot have continuous success against Baseline teams parents will send their kids to Etiwanda, RC, LO and even Upland. Most of those schools now have better facilities than Damien. They need to get out of the baseline not so they can compete, but so they can get Baseline kids. For privates what Nieto has to do and accomplish is not lose to Baseline teams or he will not draw from those areas. Baseline parents are not going to care about D1 – since I believe all of the public are not D1 yet they beat the D1 team. This week at the Boras will tell a lot about two programs – which direction they are heading….To be continued!

          • FredJ

            In 2014 he won a title at Bishop Amat. Damien reached the CIF quarterfinals in 2015 in his first year, won the Baseline and reached the semifinals last year, losing to eventual champ South Hills. This year is a different story. After one bad year, he’s suddenly not a good fit? He’s one of the top HS coaches in SoCal period. He has the pedigree to prove it, this year just isn’t working out.

          • scotty bore as

            he had a gift wrapped first round pick lefty to ride in 15-16…..tough year this season, was counting on the Amat transfer, that backfired !…Andy is talented, no argument….but he grates on administrators,parents and players

          • FredJ

            What about the righty submariner Nieto and staff built from nowhere, David Berg, and not only turned him into a super reliever who helped them win a championship, but also helped UCLA win a title. Who giftwrapped that?

          • scotty bore as

            Andy himself would be the first to give credit to his pitching guru Coach Beck. Bergie was/is a great story, but he was not nearly as effective and talented as Lodolo

          • FredJ

            And both Beck and Andy are at Damien, which is why Damien is in extremely good hands.

          • scotty bore as

            Andy hasn’t played in the open/D1 yet…..maybe next year if he gets a transfer or 2….I agree with Jastrab, when you’re the only private in a public school league, you better be able to beat the locals or your talent level will drop….at the level they are now,odds are he won’t get too close to a ring, maybe a drop to the level of Sheridan/Jakubauskas success at the Big A will do the trick

        • scotty bore as

          ahhhh the fish wraps very own St Gano ! Annointed by Fred and Aram……then a total flop at Damien, that D10 success just didn’t translate …then the guy goes to the OC and quits mid – season….what a disgrace as a coach

  • G-Stone128

    A forfeit loss? What happened to Nogales?

    • Henry

      i was thinking the same.. its not like them to not show up for a game…

  • benedict2

    Fred,

    Amat has been a power in baseball since the later part of the 80’s. This continued through the Kendrena era that won back to back mythical national championships in 2001 & 2002. Kendrena left the program with plenty of talent so the next coach was set for the next couple of seasons. Nieto walked into a win win situation at Amat, now let’s see him win a championship from the ground up.

    • scotty bore as

      I guess back-to-back titles in 68&69 pre-date you Benny ?

      • benedict2

        No, I’m well aware of the titles back in the 60’s. Manny Estrada was one of many multiple sport athletes who excelled at Amat back in the day. I wasn’t sure how well versed Fred was with the Amat’s history prior to the 80’s.

        • scotty bore as

          Manny is 1/2 of the now hidden monuments in center field. Frank and EJ, Cappiello,McManus,Phillipe, and many more…oh, and a guy by the name of Holligan !…..

    • FredJ

      Or, let’s see the next Amat coach, who Andy left in great shape, continue to do what he and Kendrena did? Winning titles isn’t easy, only the great ones have multiple chips like Nieto.

      • benedict2

        Fred, my comment was to point out the talent Amat had in the program, so whoever followed Kendrena would have the ability to contend from the beginning. You continue to say how great a coach Nieto is based on his 4 titles at Amat. I can’t knock a coach who continues to win, it’s a difficult task no matter the circumstances. I like to see a coach who builds from the ground up with the same results, before I attach the word great to them.

        • FredJ

          He won titles in 2007, ’08, 10, ’14 .. Kendrena’s last title was in 2002, so careful to give to much credit, if any, to Kendrena for what Nieto did. What Nieto did was revive what Kendrena built in the early 2000s by winning HIS OWN four title in four years.

      • Valley Athletics

        Andy did not leave Amat in great shape . they lost Chris Moya and Walters to transfer . Both where players who started for Nieto as freshman .they haven’t had rosters loaded with D-1 players since he left .

  • Hammer91

    Fred and Andy sitting in a tree k I s s I n g

  • Henry

    why did nogales forfeit to gladstone?

  • JV LIVES MATTER

    Nogales essentially told on themselves due to having players play “Sunday League”

  • TheCloser

    Does Hoggatt get any credit for winning with Nieto’s players? You know some of the senior class wouldn’t be there had Hoggatt been there 4 years ago. School talks crap on Nieto but has no problem hanging his banners…LOL. I don’t think his former Amat players have issues with him either because they hang out and train at Damien not Amat in the offseason. I wonder how long Hoggatt skates by without any heat on him. He plays in the Del Rey League so making playoffs is a slam dunk but they have some studs graduating this year so how does the future look? Stay tuned, maybe he gets the open Esperanza job that he applied for last year and didn’t get. I guess it’s ok for him to want to leave but not his players. #Insecure