College Baseball Poll - Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
For Immediate Release: Tuesday (March 23, 2004)
LA CUEVA H.S. NO. 1 IN EASTON SPORTS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER (www.baseballnews.com) POLL
TUCSON, Ariz. — La Cueva High School (Albuquerque, N.M.) has been ranked No. 1 in the latest Easton Sports National High School poll.
The Bears, 7-0 this season, have won 37 games in a row dating back to the semi-finals of the 2002 New Mexico state championship as Carlsbad H.S. won, 6-5. The 37-game winning streak is believed to be a state record.
Bellaire H.S. (Bellaire, Tex.), ranked No. 1 in the last poll after starting the season with a 9-0 record, slipped to 22nd after losing three times. Two of the losses were to Lamar H.S. (Houston, Tex.).
The Bears are the first team from the state of New Mexico to be ranked No. 1 nationally since Carlsbad, N.M. won the state title in 1990 with a 26-0 record. La Cueva, which has outscored opponents 85-30 in seven games, won the Rio Rancho New Mexico Invitational Tournament with a 3-0 record as the Bears beat Farmington, N.M., 12-1 in the finals. Farmington was 7-0 at the time.
Then La Cueva won the Las Cruces New Mexico Invitational Baseball Tournament with a 3-0 mark. The title game was a rematch of last year’s state championship game as the Bears hammered Las Cruces, 22-10. Las Cruces was 8-1 at the time.
"Our top five hitters have all done a great job this season," said La Cueva Head Coach Stan McKeever. "All of them are hitting above .480. Being ranked No. 1 in the nation is new territory for us, and it is a tremendous honor."
Last season La Cueva posted a 29-0 record in rolling to the state title as the team hit over 70 home runs. It marked only the third time in state history that a baseball team had gone undefeated and also was the first baseball state championship for the Bears.
No. 2 Riverside H.S. (Greer, S.C.) bounced back after an early season loss with incredible pitching. Adam Wood pitched a perfect game against Spartanburg in a 10-0 win which was followed by a no-hitter from LHP Brad Chalk against Clinton, 7-0. No. 3 Destrehan (La.) sailed through eight tough games in posting a 16-1 record. Destrehan beat the state’s No. 3 team, Jesuit H.S., 7-6 and No. 4 Rummel, 9-5.
No. 5 Chatsworth (Calif.) has a perfect 8-0 record. CF/RHP Jason Dominguez is 3-0 on the season and hitting .409. No. 6 Reno H.S. (Nev.) also is 8-0 which includes four shutouts. Chris Rickey pitched a perfect game against South Tahoe, striking out 12 of 15 batters he faced. Reno scored 24 runs on 19 hits to win the game, 24-0. Reno has outscored opponents, 110-19 over eight games.
No. 7 Nova H.S. (Davie, Fla.) is 10-1 on the season and had two key district wins, including a victory over Cooper City H.S. Against South Broward, Pablo Lopez pitched a no-hitter in a 10-0 win. Pitcher Anthony Swarzak is 5-0 with 54 strikeouts in 30 innings and a 0.46 ERA.
Jumping to No. 13 is West Lauderdale (Collinsville, Miss.). The Knights, coached by 36-year veteran Jerry Boatner, the second winningest high school baseball coach in Mississippi with over 800 wins, was not on anyone’s radar this season. The team has only two seniors and three juniors out of 23 players, and Boatner regularly plays at least three freshmen a game. The team has not had more than four strikeouts in a game and has had seven errorless contests. They beat the state’s pre-season No. 1 team Northwest Rankin twice.
Despite having to play every game on the road and having no practice field, No. 16 Christopher Columbus (Fla.) was 9-2. A new field is being constructing at the school, and the first home game is scheduled for April 6, according to Coach Joe Webber. Without any field, Weber says his team has been driving around Dade County looking for fields to hold practice. C Alex Garabedian, a pre-season All American, is leading Dade County with four home runs.
No. 10 Tottenville (N.Y.) started off at 4-0. Michael Semia pitched a no-hitter against FDR High School, winning 8-0. El Capitan (Calif.) jumps in at No. 21. They beat both California pre-season No. 1 team Rancho Bernardo and Mission Bay H.S.