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BASEBALL RANKINGS: The Playoffs Are Upon Us

CCS playoffs begin across three divisions on Wednesday and Thursday; Santa Cruz joins the top 15 for first time this season.

Patch unveiled its Silicon Valley high school baseball rankings last month. The top-15 weekly rankings are drawn from all schools that fall under the Silicon Valley Patch cluster

The Silicon Valley sports cluster includes 12 different cities: Milpitas, Campbell, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Capitola-Soquel, Watsonville and Gilroy.

The schools that are eligible to be ranked are: Milpitas, Del Mar, Westmont, Leigh, Branham, Prospect, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Gunn, Cupertino, Monta Vista, Homestead, Lynbrook, Los Altos, Pinewood, Mountain View, St. Francis-Mountain View, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Harbor, Pacific Collegiate, Soquel, Aptos, Watsonville, St. Francis-Watsonville, Pajaro Valley, Monte Vista Christian, Gilroy and Christopher High.

Records are based on reported games played through Sunday, May 15.

BASEBALL

1. St. Francis 25-5, 12-2 WCAL (Last week: 1) – Lancers net No. 1 seed in Division I. Open play with Carlmont on Wednesday in Mountain View. Another showdown with WCAL rival Mitty could occur in CCS finals.

2. Palo Alto 24-9, 15-5 De Anza (2) – Vikings bounced back after 10-8 loss to Wilcox on Monday to take next two games of series in SCVAL De Anza tournament finals. The red-hot group is a very dangerous No. 3 seed in the Division I bracket and will start its playoff journey Wednesday against Monta Vista High-Cupertino.

3. Los Altos 19-11, 11-6 De Anza (3) – Eagles sweep Homestead in third place series in De Anza tournament. Face off with Burlingame in intriguing No. 4 versus No. 13 matchup to begin playoffs.

4. Homestead 17-13-1, 10-4 De Anza (4) – Mustangs didn’t get any favors once the playoff seeding was announced. After strong 10-4 regular season in De Anza, Homestead gets a No. 6 seed and will have to face perennial WCAL power Serra in round one.

5. Los Gatos 20-9-2, 7-7 De Anza (5) – ‘Cats pound Saratoga 9-0 and 8-0 to close out bottom half of the bracket in De Anza tournament. Los Gatos opens with El Camino in playoffs. Could square off with league rival Los Altos in juicy second round matchup this weekend.

6.  Leigh 19-7-1, 18-3 Santa Teresa (6) – Longhorns clinched Santa Teresa League title with win over Del Mar on senior day last week. The red-hot group combined to score 39 runs in final three games of season before resting several players in season finale against Evergreen Valley. Leigh gets nearby opponent Branham in round one of Division II playoffs.

7.  Aptos 17-10, 10-2 SCCAL (7) – The 2011 Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title belongs to the Mariners. The group blanked San Lorenzo Valley 8-0 in the season finale to wrap things up nicely. Struggling in non-league play as of late, Aptos draws a dangerous Del Mar team in round one play on Thursday.

8. Soquel 16-8-1, 9-3 SCCAL (8) – Back-to-back losses to Aptos and Santa Cruz leave Knights one game short of SCCAL crown. A resounding 7-2 win over Scotts Valley takes team into playoffs on a positive note. The No.4 seed in the Division III bracket, Soquel begins play against No. Monterey County on Wednesday.

9. Del Mar 18-8-1, 14-6-1 Santa Teresa (10) – A third place finish in the Santa Teresa is nice, but a first round playoff win would be even sweeter. Dangerous Dons play at SCCAL champ Aptos on Thursday afternoon.

10. Milpitas 17-7-1, 11-4 El Camino (9) – Trojans win final three games of regular season, but come up one game shy of El Camino title. Powerhouse Archbishop Mitty is up next for Milpitas in round one of loaded CCS Division I bracket.

11. Westmont 14-13, 11-10 Mt. Hamilton (12) – Three straight wins to close the year have the Warriors playing some of their most consistent baseball of the year. Westmont plays at Gilroy in round one of the playoffs.

12.  Monta Vista 15-11, 11-4 El Camino (11) – The Baseball gods were unkind to the scrappy Matadors. The purple and gold bunch will have to duke it out with sizzling Palo Alto in first round of Division I playoffs.

13. Gilroy 15-12, 10-8 TCAL (13) – If you like offense the Gilroy-Westmont playoff game Thursday afternoon might be just what you’re looking for. Both teams will need to continue to swing the bats well in order to stay afloat in the Division II draw. The winner would most likely play No. 1 seed Pioneer High-San Jose.

14. Monte Vista Christian 16-11, 14-4 MBL (15)- MVC hits the road to play at Half Moon Bay in round one of the Division III playoffs. Despite an under .500 record against the top two teams in the Monterey Bay League, the Mustangs still have the players to be a dangerous high seed in the draw.

15. Santa Cruz 12-14, 6-6 SCCAL (UR)- After a 2-0 loss to SLV on May 3, the Cardinals roared to a 3-0 record down the stretch, earning wins over Harbor and Soquel along the way. The mini-streak helped Santa Cruz nab a Division III playoff bid. The Cardinals host Stevenson on Wednesday.

Just missed the cut…….

Gunn 13-11-1, 8-7 El Camino

Scotts Valley 12-13-1, 6-6 SCCAL

Harbor 12-13, 5-7 SCCAL (14)-

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