|El Toro advances to Classic finals, defeating Esperanza|
The Chargers scored eight runs in the first two innings, launching them to a 9-6 victory over Esperanza, in the semifinals of the Hard 9 National Classic at Cal State Fullerton. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
|OCVarsity Top 10: Walk-off!|
Highlights include a walk-off hit, plays at the plate, a double play, a crazy goal in girls lacrosse, an outstanding diving catch, and more! Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
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What is O.C.'s most dominant team?
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
•The most dominating varsity team in the county might be University's boys tennis team. The Trojans are 103-1 in dual matches over the past five years, going into Tuesday's Pacific Coast League match against Woodbridge. Their only loss during that stretch was to Thousand Oaks in the CIF-Southern Section finals in 2009.
•With the Arcadia Invitational in the books, the next big events in track and field are on the crowded weekend of April 20 and 21. The Mt. SAC Relays will be run both of those days, with the new OC Meet of Champions at El Modena and the older Orange County Championships at Mission Viejo on April 21.
•That Hard9 National Classic baseball tournament was tough. James River of Virginia came to Orange County as ESPN's No. 20 team in the national rankings, but James River lost its first three Classic games by a combined score of 30-3.
•The Trinity League in baseball is tough, too. Going into Thursday, Servite was 11-1 outside of the Trinity League, and 1-5 in Trinity League games. The Friars have beaten two teams in the county top 10, El Toro and Aliso Niguel, and five of their six losses were to teams in the county top 10 (JSerra, Mater Dei, Pacifica and two losses to Orange Lutheran).
•The Beckman-Fountain Valley game, one of two championship games within the Beach Pit Classic baseball tournament, was postponed by rain and wet grounds Wednesday and has been rescheduled for April 21 at 11 a.m. at Fountain Valley. To ensure teams from the same leagues did not play each other in the tournament, two championship games were created.
•Coaches in most sports hate having their teams play league rivals in tournaments, which is why El Dorado was relieved that Century League rival Esperanza lost to El Toro in the semifinals of the National Classic, thus creating Thursday's El Dorado-El Toro championship game. El Dorado plays Esperanza in a league game Monday. In the Empire League, Pacifica plays Cypress next week, but we got a preview Thursday as those teams played each other in the National Classic consolation championship game won by Cypress, 5-0, as Cypress standout catcher Tyler Alamo returned to the lineup after missing several games because of a sore back.
•Congratulations to the crews who got the fields ready for Wednesday's National Classic games after a good deal of rain Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. Not one National Classic game was postponed or canceled.
•At ocvarsity.com is a look at 20 guys who played in the National Classic and made it to Major League Baseball.
•One name not on the list, a name we expected to see, of county athletes who signed letters of intent during this signing period that began Wednesday was Ocean View senior All-County boys basketball player Conor Clifford. His father Paul Clifford said the 7-foot center will sign his paperwork with UC Irvine next week. This signing period concludes May 16 for basketball, Aug. 1 for other sports.
•With All-County girls basketball first-team selections Jordan Adams and Nirra Fields of Mater Dei graduating, there will be players and especially their parents who are going to consider a transfer to Mater Dei. Top athletes and parents should keep in mind that college recruiting attention will come whatever high school the athlete is attending, and should know that Oniel Cousins played 8-man football at Eastside Christian, got a scholarship from UTEP and now is with the Cleveland Browns. If one or two excellent girls basketball players do transfer to Mater Dei, or somebody else transfers somewhere else, anyone who has changed jobs or residences to try to improve their situation probably would be a bit hypocritical to criticize.
•The San Fernando Valley-based Marmonte League can be expected at the April 25 CIF-Southern Section Council meeting to appeal its placement in the Pac-5 Division for football playoffs, a placement that would be for two school years beginning with the 2012-13 school year. The Marmonte League's initial appeal of that placement was unanimously denied by the CIF-SS's nine-person appeals panel on April 4. The April 25 Council session is the final chance for all playoff groupings appeals, including the ones that will come from leagues unhappy with the proposed additions of the Pacific Coast and Sunset leagues to the Southwest Division for football playoffs.
•To review, the proposed Southwest Division of six leagues (Century, Empire, Freeway, Pacific Coast, Sea View, Sunset) for football playoffs would mean that only the top two finishers in each of those leagues would receive guaranteed playoff berths, leaving the other teams hoping to be selected to fill one of the Southwest Division's four at-large berths. The Southern Division, if the departure of the Pacific Coast League survives the April 25 appeals, would be a football division of four leagues (Garden Grove, Golden West, Orange and Orange Coast) in which each league's top three finishers receive guaranteed playoff berths with the other teams vying for the division's four at-large berths.