College Baseball Poll - Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
For Immediate Release: Monday (May 19, 2003)
TAYLORSVILLE H.S. NO. 1 IN EASTON SPORTS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER (www.baseballnews.com) POLL
TUCSON, Ariz. Taylorsville High School (Taylorsville, Utah), 23-1, has been ranked No. 1 for the first time in Easton Sports National High School poll.
The Warriors, which have won 19 consecutive games, took over the No. 1 spot after A&M Consolidated (College Station, Tex.) was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Texas state playoffs. A&M Consolidated had been ranked No. 1 the previous two polls.
Taylorsville has a team batting average of .385 with an on-base percentage of .510. But its pitching staff has generated most of the headlines this season. RHP Chad Barben and RHP Mike Mathews have been the key components for a staff which has a 2.00 ERA and held 12 opponents to one run or less. Earlier this season, the Warriors went undefeated in the National Classic in Fullerton, Calif. This tournament featured a who's who of talented teams across the nation. Barben struck out 15 batters against La Quinta H.S. (ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time) while Mathews followed up that performance with 10 strikeouts against El Capitan H.S.
Barben throws a 91 mph fastball while Mathews has been clocked at 88 mph. If Taylorsville wins its next three games in the 16-team double elimination state playoffs, the Warriors will be the Utah state champions. Another key area for the success of Taylorsville has been its defense which averages less than 1.5 errors per game.
"This team has been extremely special," said Taylorsville Head Coach Steve Cramblitt. "This is the best pitching staff that we have ever had. We have an outstanding one-two punch in Barben and Mathews. Both rarely walk batters. Mike walks a little over 1.2 per game while Chad walks about 1.5 per game. Beyond the pitching staff, our team has an intense focus on what must be done to be successful that other teams of mine have not had. After winning the National Classic in California, we came back home and promptly 10-run ruled our next four opponents. We haven't lost since."
Poll Notes: Throughout much of the country, state championship tournaments are being played with some states already crowning their champions. As usual, a number of upsets have taken place across the nation. No. 3 Round Rock, Texas has taken over the top spot in 5A Texas baseball after A&M Consolidated, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation, fell in the quarterfinals to Woodlands and slipped to No. 21 in the Easton poll.
Riverside, S.C. maintains its No. 4 position and are the South Carolina AAA state champions, beating A.C. Flora 7-3 and 11-1 to win the title. La Cueva, N.M. moves up to No. 8 after an undefeated season and beating Las Cruces H.S., 13-4, to win the state's large school title. In the semi-finals, La Cueva's Jordan Pacheco pitched a one-hitter to beatValley H.S., 10-0. The team finished the season with 79 home runs in 29 games.
No. 9 Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey won the Greater Newark Championship title and is going for the Parochial School championship. St. Paul's Episcopal in Alabama beat Cullman, 6-2 and 10-1 to win its state championship and come in at No. 10. Clay Chalkville, also in Alabama, beat Baker, 3-2 to win its state title. New Hope in Mississippi won the 4A championship title by beating Picayune. The team does not have any Division I recruits. Six players have signed with junior colleges and one with a Division II school. They finished the season with a .355 team batting average.
At No. 19, East Ascension captured the 5A championship in Louisiana after many of the leading teams in the state were upset throughout the playoffs. East Ascension defeated Destrehan, 10-6. In the final two games of the tourney, EAHS scored 27 runs to overcome deficits to win both games.
Florida's 6A tournament teams head to the semifinals on Friday. Apopka, ranked No. 20, seems poised to take the title, but may face some tough competition from Columbus, which beat Miami Southridge in the regional finals and could be in the championship game also. The 5A tournament in Florida is too close to call with both Wolfson and Davie Nova being knocked out of the running in the regional playoffs. Pomona H.S. took the 5A championship in Colorado by winning 2-1 win against Regis. It was the Panthers' first ever baseball title in their third chance at the title game. They come in at No. 23 in this week's poll with a 22-4 record.
The Georgia tournament is wide open at this point with top ranked Parkview now out of the tournament. Lassiter H.S. in Marietta is still alive and well in the tournament and moves in at the No. 24 spot. Miami Brito Private is poised to win Florida's 1A championship. They need to get past St. Stephen's Episcopal in the semi-finals this week to head to the championship game.
Oviedo, Fla. dropped from the No. 2 spot to No. 27 in the poll this week. The team was knocked out of the tournament by Winter Park, losing 5-4. Oviedo finished 27-3 and has won 37 of 41 games over the last two seasons. Seven seniors will be leaving for college teams next year.
Eagle H.S. in Idaho is facing state defending champs Idaho Falls this week in the first round of tournament play. The team has had a great season with a 26-1 record. Idaho Falls defeated Eagle in last year's championship game by one run, so this should be a challenging game for both teams.