Orange Coast tops final CCCSIA State Baseball Top 20

Orange Coast players admire their state champion trophy as they were the state #1-ranked team in the final CCCSIA State Baseball Top 20.
Orange Coast players admire their state champion trophy as they were the state #1-ranked team in the final CCCSIA State Baseball Top 20.

PASADENA - Orange Coast College showed why the Orange Empire Conference has been synonymous with state baseball titles since 1991 by topping the 2019 California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) State Top 20 Baseball Final Rankings. The Pirates (39-9-1) won the conference's 17th state championship in the sport in the last 29 years and earned 12 of 15 first-place votes in the end of season ratings.

At #2, El Camino (40-9) finished just 12 points behind the Pirates and received three first-place votes in a sign that voters recognized just how close the Warriors came to capturing their first-ever state title. OCC twice handed El Camino close defeats on the final day of the state tournament at Fresno, including a walk-off hit in the ninth inning of the finale, a dramatic 8-7 Pirates win on Tuesday.

The Warriors rallied from 4-0 down to take a 6-5 lead, but OCC used Joey Fregosi's bases-loaded infield single to win it. A controversial foul ball call struck by El Camino on a diving attempt down the right field line kept the score at 7-7 in the eighth. OCC twice scored seven or more runs on El Camino on the day (a 7-5 win in the early game), a rarity this season for ECC's state-leading in ERA pitching staff. ECC had allowed seven runs only three other times all season.

OCC won its sixth state baseball crown overall and first since 2015. It was the Pirates' fourth as a member of the OEC. 

Sacramento City, a third place finisher from the powerful Big 8, gets bragging rights as the top North team after its run to third at the state final four. The #3-ranked Panthers eliminated regular season #1-rated San Joaquin Delta, 7-6, in a 16-inning marathon. The Mustangs, the 2018 state champions, settled in at #4 in the final rankings. 

The rest of the rankings reflected how some voters felt the importance of playoff performance was in influencing moves up and down the final top 20.

Coast Pacific champion Ohlone climbed three spots to finish at #5 after advancing to the Sectionals. The Renegades just missed a trip to the state tourney in losing a 3-game series v. Sacramento. At #6, Mt. San Antonio had not been ranked all season but the South Coast Co-North Division champion Mounties used their home #8 seed (due to a tiebreaker over co-champ Pasadena City) to first knock off Santa Ana in a tough 3-game set, then upset third seed Riverside City in a Super Regionals sweep. It took state champ and a third OEC opponent in OCC to end the Mt. SAC run in two games during Sectionals.

Glendale leaped 12 spots to #7 as the Western State Conference East champs and fourth seed slipped past Santa Barbara (in three games) and swept San Diego Mesa before El Camino ended the Vaqueros state run at Sectionals in a sweep.

Riverside settled at #8 (dropping three slots) while Cypress moved up two spots to reach the top 10 at #9. The 11th seed Chargers swept sixth seed Bakersfield, and came as close as anyone to reaching Sectionals. El Camino's Spencer Long launched a 2-run, walk-off homer in the ninth to erase a Cypress rally of four runs in the top of the inning as the Warriors won 8-7 in game 3. The OEC saw four teams make the final rankings, three in the top 10, with Santa Ana falling five spots to #20.

Fresno City was the only team to keep its final regular season ranking at #10. The Central Valley champions swept Cabrillo in the opening round and lost in three games to Ohlone at the Super Regionals. Santa Rosa fell five spots to #11 as the third seed was upset by eighth seed Los Medanos in a shocking Super Regionals sweep. LMC, the Bay Valley champions, went from no respect or ranking the regular season to earning the #12 final spot. The Mustangs outlasted Mission in three contests, downed Santa Rosa, and saw their Cinderella run end in two losses to Delta.

College of San Mateo fell one spot to #13 after outlasting Sierra in a 3-game series in Round 1, and winning its third 1-run game of the postseason in the SR opener v. Sacramento before the Panthers ended the Bulldogs run with two straight wins. Against Sierra, CSM led 7-2 before Sierra scored eight runs in the top of the ninth, but the Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the bottom of the frame for the series clincher. 

Feather River dropped 11 spots to #14 as its brilliant regular season was spoiled in a 3-game upset loss to Cosumnes River. The No. 2 seed Golden Eagles had won 35 of 41 games before the 15th seed Hawks made FR's postseason run a short one. Long Beach City closed at #15 (fell two slots) after getting past Ventura in three games and then being swept by Orange Coast in the SR round. The Vikings, the co-SCC South champs with El Camino, were 28-12 v. the rest of the state, but 0-5 v. the state champs this season--nothing to hang their heads about. 

San Diego Mesa moved up four spots to #16 as the PCAC champs outlasted Golden West in three games before being swept by Glendale in the SR. Sierra dropped eight spots to #17 despite its hard-luck loss to San Mateo. Cosumnes River proved how important the postseason means to the final rankings as they went from obscurity as the sixth place team from the Big 8 to a #18 state ranking. In all the Big 8 had a state-high five teams make the last ranking.

Butte dropped five spots to #19 but more than deserved a final ranking after a tough 3-game loss to Ohlone. In the elimination game, the Roadrunnerswent to extra innings before falling 2-1 in 10. 

Golden West (previously at #16), Mission (17), Ventura (18), and Pasadena (T20) all didn't make the final cut after strong regular seasons. 

Final State Team Batting Average Leaders: Mission .325, Barstow .325, Glendale .322

Final State Batting Average Individual Leaders: Chet Allison, Fresno City, .446, Trent MacKinney, Glendale, .430

Final State State Team Earned Run Average Leaders: El Camino 2.36, Cuesta 2.73, Santa Rosa 3.06

Final State Top Pitching ERA Individual Leaders: Clayton Hall, Merced, 0.21 (42.2 IP, 21 appearances), Devin Kirby, Santa Rosa, 1.09 (49.2 IP, 28 appearances), Josh Ibarra, Golden West 1.62 (61 IP, 18 appearances).

State Baseball Final Standings

CCCSIA 2019 Baseball Poll-May 30-Season Final 
RK School Record Pts PR
1. Orange Coast (12) 39-9-1 297 2
2. El Camino (3) 40-9 288 4
3. Sacramento City  35-15 265 7
4. San Joaquin Delta 39-9 257 1
5. Ohlone 37-12 224 8
6. Mt. San Antonio 26-20 181 NR
7. Glendale 30-17 172 19
8. Riverside City 32-12 170 5
9. Cypress 30-15 161 11
10. Fresno City 33-12 137 10
11. Santa Rosa JC 33-11 130 6
12. Los Medanos 28-19 127 NR
13 College of San Mateo 31-14 125 12
14. Feather River 35-8 107 3
15. Long Beach City 28-17 102 13
16. San Diego Mesa 28-15-1 85 T20
17. Sierra 30-12 59 9
18. Cosumnes River 25-20 43 NR
19. Butte 31-11 35 14
20. Santa Ana 25-17 33 15
(First place votes in parentheses)
Others receiving votes: Ventura (LR-18) 32, Golden West (LR-16) 28, Mission (LR-17) 19, Palomar 18, Saddleback 15, Pasadena City (LR-T20) 10, Bakersfield 7, Santa Barbara City 3,
College of the Sequoias 3, Cuesta 2, LA Mission 1.
 
Rankings/Release coordinated/written by Robert Lewis, for CCCSIA