2008 Boys Baseball Rankings: Final



Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) made history en route to the top spot in the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 final high school baseball rankings.

The Ironmen became Bergen County's first team in 59 years to register an unbeaten season and capture the Elite 25 national championship.

Twelve teams appeared in each ranking period this spring. There were 18 state champions and four California schools winning sectional titles. (California schools do not compete for state championships). The Southland Region contributed 13 teams to the Elite 25.

Kudos to Don Bosco Prep, No. 7 Plano (Texas) West, No. 11 Corpus Christi (Texas) Calallen, No. 14 Pleasure Ridge Park (Louisville), No. 20 Xaverian (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and No. 24 Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), all of whom won state or city championships.

Walsh Jesuit makes its debut after winning Ohio's Division II state championship for the first time since 2006.

Triple Play
Player of the week: 3B-RHP Zack Cox of No. 14 Pleasure Ridge Park (Louisville) did it all earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Kentucky State Tournament. In three games, he went 4-for-10 and scored a run while earning a win and a save in eight innings on the mound as the Panthers won their first state championship since 1996.

The Arkansas-bound Cox went 10-0 with a 0.98 ERA, striking out 103 with 16 walked in 67 innings. He batted .430 with seven home runs and 43 RBI.

Pitcher of the week: Left-hander David Starn of No. 24 Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) won both Division II state tournament games en route to the title. In nine tournament innings, he scattered eight hits, striking out 11 and did not allow a run against Kenton Ridge (Springfield) and Canal Winchester.

For the season, Starn finished 10-1 with a 1.60 ERA as opponents batted only .167. Starn, undecided on college, totaled 57 innings, striking out 68 with 16 walks.

Knight moves: Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) completed the rare triple last weekend winning its third state championship this school year. The Knights whipped Elwood 14-8 in the Class 2A final. Previously the school captured state crowns in football and boys' basketball. The treble is unprecedented in Indiana high school sports annals. -- Christopher Lawlor

ESPN HIGH Elite 25 High School Boys Baseball Rankings
RANK (PREV. RANK) TEAM RECORD COMMENT
1 (1) Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. 33-0 Recap: The Ironmen concluded a season for the ages, defeating Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft), 5-4, in the Non-Public A final. With the score tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth, Mike O'Keefe scored on an errant pick-off attempt at third. Eric Pfisterer (10-0), who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, pitched four innings of relief and worked out of a seventh inning jam to secure the title. Steve Proscia went 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored twice. It was the program's sixth state title, but first since 1994. Coach Greg Butler's club became the first Bergen County school since 1950 to go undefeated. Season complete.
2 (2) American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. 31-2 (3) Recap: Won Class 3A state championship.
3 (3) Brookwood, Snellville, Ga. 34-3 Recap: Won Class AAAAA state championship, its first in 22 years.
4 (4) Owasso, Okla. 35-3 Recap: Won second straight Class 6A state championship. It was the program's 10th overall title and the 11th time in 12 seasons the Rams have reached the state final.
5 (5) Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas 41-3 Recap: Won third straight Class 4A state championship.
6 (6) Farragut, Knoxville, Tenn. 43-3 Recap: Won Class AAA state championship for the fifth time.
7 (7) Plano (Texas) West 40-2 Recap: The Wolves captured the Class 5A state championship, edging Southlake Carroll, 10-8, in the final. Harrison Holmes and Donald Plant slugged home runs but reliever Drew Johnson earned the game's Most Valuable Player throwing four innings, allowing three runs in the slugfest. The bats were alive in an 11-4 semifinal win over Laredo United as Ryan Hughes, Jason Coats and Holmes all cracked round-trippers and lefty ace Ben Flora improved to 13-0 pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing two hits. Season complete.
8 (8) Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 27-4 Recap: Won first CIF-Southern Section Division III championship.
9 (9) Lake Brantley, Altamonte Springs, Fla. 30-4 Recap: Won Class 6A state championship, the program's third overall and first since 1997.
10 (10) Barbe, Lake Charles, La. 35-7 Recap: Won Class 5A state championship, its second in three seasons.
11 (11) Corpus Christi (Texas) Calallen 42-1 Recap: The Wildcats closed out a remarkable season in impressive fashion, annexing their third state crown in the last decade. The offense took center stage scoring eight times in the fifth inning and collecting 13 hits during an 11-1 wipeout of Waxahachie in the Class 4A state final. Patrick Fraiser went 2 for 3 with four RBI, including a two-run homer (his 10th of the season) to earn the game's Most Valuable Player honor. Junior lefty Jordan John surrendered four hits with five strikeouts, improving to 11-1 (125 strikeouts for the season). The Wildcats topped Friendswood, 7-1, in the semifinals. Right-hander Logan Verrett won his school-record 18th game without a loss, scattered hits with 12 strikeouts. Verrett pushed his season strikeout total to 167 in 104 2/3 innings. Season complete.
12 (12) Poway, Calif. 31-6 Recap: Won its second CIF-San Diego Section Division I championship in the last three years.
14 (14) Pleasure Ridge Park, Louisville 38-4 Recap: The Panthers are champions of Kentucky following a 4-1 victory over Lawrence County (Louisa) in the KHSAA State Tournament single-class final. After falling short in recent tournaments  they lost in the semifinals the last two years and in the finals in 1999  the Panthers captured their first title since reeling off three straight from 1994-96. Junior Trey Harper went five innings, allowing one run, to earn the win and Arkansas-bound Zack Cox picked up the save. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first when Eric Bainer (two RBI) walked with the bases loaded and Taylor Banks brought in the second run with a sacrifice fly. In the semifinals, Banks drove in six runs during an 11-2 win over Apollo (Owensboro). They beat Christian County (Hopkinsville), 7-1, in the quarterfinals. Shortstop Zack Osbourne, Cox and Bainer were named to the all-tournament team. Season complete.
15 (15) Valley Christian, San Jose, Calif. 30-6 Recap: Won second straight CIF-Central Coast Section Division I championship.
16 (16) Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. 27-3 Recap: Won their second Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association title in five years and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season championship.
17 (17) Park Vista, Lake Worth, Fla. 32-2 Recap: Advanced to Class 6A state final.
18 (18) Fayetteville, Ark. 30-3 Recap: Won third straight Class 7A state championship.
20 (20) Xaverian, Brooklyn, N.Y. 22-2 Recap: The Clippers won the New York CHSAA Intersectional championship, defeating Moore Catholic (Staten Island), 7-1, in the final. Junior right-hander Anthony Hajjar (8-0, 1.65 ERA) fired a four-hitter, striking out seven in a complete game. He also highlighted a six-run uprising in the fourth with a bases clearing double and scored on Matt Troisi's hit. This season Troisi, a Manhattan recruit, batted .434 with 32 RBI. The victory gave Dennis Canale, the CHSAA coach of the year, his fourth city title in the last 10 years. Season complete.
21 (21) Sperry, Okla. 35-3 Recap: Won Class 3A state championship for the second time in three season and sixth overall.
22 (22) Chaparral, Scottsdale, Ariz. 26-6 Recap: Won Class 4A, Division I state championship for the program's fifth title in six seasons.
23 (23) Chatsworth, Calif. 29-5 Recap: Won eighth CIF City Section Championship Division championship. Coach Tom Meusborn's club has won six City titles over the last decade.
23 (24) Opelika, Ala. 42-4 Recap: Advanced to Class 6A state championship series.
24 (NR) Walsh Jesuit, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 30-3 Recap: The Warriors are Division II state champions for the fourth time and second time in three seasons following a 6-0 blanking of Canal Winchester. The win extended the win streak to 14 games. The offense wasted no time jumping to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Ross Brunello ripped an RBI double in the first and scored on a two-out single by Ryan Berry. James Toland and Matt Keller scored in the second. David Starn improved to 10-1, winning his second state game in three days, after spinning a six-hitter with nine strikeouts. Coach Chris Kaczmar's club eliminated Kenton Ridge (Springfield), 2-1, in the semifinals. Keller raced home with winning run in the bottom of the nine on a wind-blown pop up behind first base. Season complete.
25 (25) Malvern (Pa.) Prep 40-3 Recap: Won Inter-Ac League championship.
Dropped out: No. 13 Lakota West (West Chester, Ohio).

Regional rankings
East
1. Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. (33-0) 2. Xaverian, Brooklyn, N.Y. (22-2) 3. Malvern (Pa.) Prep (40-3) 4. St. Albans, Washington, D.C. (30-2) 5. Plymouth (Mass.) North (26-0) 6. George Washington, Manhattan, N.Y. (46-2) 7. Bishop Hendricken, Warwick, R.I. (22-2) 8. Calvert Hall, Baltimore (26-7) 9. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (17-10) 10. Canon-McMillan, Canonsburg, Pa. (22-5)

Midwest
1. Owasso, Okla. (35-3) 2. Sperry, Okla. (35-3) 3. Walsh Jesuit, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (30-3) 4. Bixby, Okla. (28-9) 6. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (24-6) 7. Highland, Ill. (36-4) 8. Birmingham Brother Rice (33-6) 9. Decatur Central, Indianapolis (29-7) 10. Seaman, Topeka, Kan. (24-1)

Southland
1. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (31-2) 2. Brookwood, Snellville, Ga. (34-3) 3. Farragut, Knoxville, Tenn. (43-3) 4. Plano (Texas) West (40-2) 5. Corpus Christi (Texas) Calallen (42-1) 6. Lake Brantley, Altamonte Springs, Fla. (30-4) 7. Barbe, Lake Charles, La. (35-7) 8. Pleasure Ridge Park, Louisville (38-4) 9. Paul VI, Fairfax, Va. (27-3) 10. Park Vista, Lake Worth, Fla. (32-2)

West
1. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (41-3) 2. Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (27-4) 3. Poway, Calif. (31-6) 4. Valley Christian, San Jose, Calif. (30-6) 5. Chaparral, Scottsdale, Ariz. (26-6) 6. Chatsworth, Calif. (29-5) 7. Stockdale, Bakersfield, Calif. (31-3) 8. Simi Valley, Calif. (25-8) 9. Rocky Mountain, Fort Collins, Colo. (23-4) 10. La Cueva, Albuquerque (28-3)

About the rankings: The ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school baseball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com, who consults with a national network of sports writers, professional scouts and high school coaches. Criteria considered are a team's strength of schedule with an emphasis on national games especially those played against teams in the Elite 25 rankings; the superiority of competition in its state, district or league; the program's history and tradition; and the quality of its personnel with an emphasis on First-Year Player Draft prospects. Records do not include ties.

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