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SBLive’s California Baseball Top 25: No. 2 Villa Park off to 4-0 start

Villa Park pitchers have recorded 43 strikeouts over the first four games of the 2023 season.

The 2023 high school baseball season in California is underway. Most sections throughout the state have begun play with the rest scheduled to begin over the next week.

Here’s a look at the top baseball teams in California. SBLive’s statewide California high school baseball rankings are compiled by SBLive reporter Bodie DeSilva and are released weekly throughout the season.

(Lead photo by Nick Koza)


February 27, 2023

1. JSerra (2-0)

The Lions were dominant in Arizona, winning their first two games of the season by a combined total of 19-1. Infielder Trent Caraway connected for two home runs in Saturday's win.

Next game: 3/1 at Cypress

2. Villa Park (4-0)

Villa Park beat Fullerton 4-3 last week for their fourth win. Seniors Zach Brown and Gavin Grahovac both hit home runs in the victory.

Next game: 3/1 at Canyon

3. Orange Lutheran (5-1-1)

The Lancers played three games in Arizona last week, beating Hamilton and Canyon View before losing to Chaparral. They'll have a week off before Trinity League play begins against Santa Margarita.

Next game: 3/6 vs. Santa Margarita

4. Aquinas (2-1)

The Falcons one-hit Norco last week with Oregon commit Nate Christman striking out eight batters. They'll head south to begin play in the Ambassador League this week.

Next game: 3/2 at Linfield Christian

5. Harvard-Westlake (2-1)

TCU commit Tommy Bridges struck out nine batters over 5.1 shutout innings against Ayala on Tuesday. Three Mission League games against St. Francis are set for later this week.

Next game: 2/28 at St. Francis

6. Corona (3-1)

The Panthers have recorded a shutout in all three wins this season. They'll return to the field on Saturday after a 10-day break.

Next game: 3/4 vs. Foothill

7. De La Salle (0-0)

De La Salle's opener against Folsom got rained out on Saturday. The game will now be played on Friday.

Next game: 3/3 at Folsom

8. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) (2-0)

UCLA-signee Justin Lee struck out 10 batters in Tuesday's 6-1 win over Mira Costa. A three-game Mission League series against Alemany begins Wednesday.

Next game: 3/1 vs. Alemany

9. Gahr (3-0-1)

Gahr tied Orange Lutheran 4-4 in the championship game of the PBR California Preseason Invitational. They'll be looking to add another big win to the resume when they host No. 12 Huntington Beach on Friday.

Next game: 3/3 vs. Huntington Beach

10. Foothill (Santa Ana) (1-2)

All five of the Knights' games this season have been against top 15 teams in California. They beat Huntington Beach and Santa Margarita last week, vaulting them up to No. 10 this week.

Next game: 3/1 at Esparanza

11. Santa Margarita (1-1)

The Eagles scored two runs in the final inning against Foothill on Wednesday but fell short, 6-4. Non-league games against Hart and Damien are up this week.

Next game: 3/2 vs. Hart

12. Huntington Beach (1-3)

The Oilers have lost three straight, scoring just five runs over their past three games. All-American Ralphy Velazquez had two hits including his first home run of the season against Foothill.

Next game: 2/28 vs. South Hills

13. La Costa Canyon (0-0)

The reigning San Diego Section Open Division champions return several key contributors led by Pacific-signee Gabe Camacho, who hit ten home runs last season.

Next game: 2/28 at Granite Hills

14. Etiwanda (2-2)

Dylan Goff struck out eight batters against Corona, but the Eagles lost 1-0.

Next game: 3/4 vs. Capistrano Valley Christian

15. Norco (2-1)

Norco was held to one hit in their loss to No. 4 Aquinas. They'll have a multi-week layoff before Big VIII League play begins.

Next game: 3/13 at Santiago

16. Cypress (4-3)

The Centurions went 2-1 in Arizona this past week, winning their final two games. They'll play a three-game series against No. 1 JSerra later this week.

Next game: 3/1 vs. JSerra

17. Foothill (Pleasanton) (2-0)

The Falcons won two one-run games to open the season last week. Loyola Marymount-signee Jackson Flora struck out seven batters over five scoreless innings.

Next game: 3/1 vs. Aragon

18. Valley Christian (San Jose) (2-0)

The Warriors beat Buchanan and Bullard by a combined score of 24-1 last week. Northern Kentucky-signee Michael Castaneda has four hits including a double and two runs batted in so far.

Next game: 2/28 vs. Leigh

19. Whitney (Rocklin) (0-0)

The Wildcats have two of the best arms in California in their rotation with Santa Clara commit Jace Gillmore and San Diego State commit Gavin McLendon.

Next game: 3/1 vs. Lincoln

20. La Mirada (3-1)

The Matadores were held to four hits against Los Alamitos, losing 2-0. A two-game Suburban League series against Warren is up this week.

Next game: 3/2 vs. Warren

21. Granite Hills (0-0)

Granite Hills returns a strong mix of hitting and pitching from last season's San Diego Section Open Division runner-up team led by Arizona State two-way commit Brenden Lewis.

Next game: 2/28 vs. La Costa Canyon

22. Clayton Valley (0-0)

Catcher Ryder Helfrick, an Arkansas-signee who hit .417 with 12 doubles last season, is the top returner for the Ugly Eagles. They'll get underway with a home game against Monte Vista on Friday.

Next game: 3/3 at Cardinal Newman

23. Frankin (Elk Grove) (0-0)

With two-way standout and Cal commit Jordan Lopez leading the way, Franklin will open the season on Tuesday when they welcome in Rocklin.

Next game: 2/28 vs. Rocklin

24. Bellarmine College Prep (2-0)

The Bells opened their season last week with wins over Bullard and Buchanan. Senior Luke Rooney went 5-6 with a home run and a double.

Next game: 3/1 vs. Bear Creek

25. St. Francis (Mountain View) (2-0)

The Lancers opened the season with consecutive 4-2 victories last week. Junior Luke Devine had a triple and a double through two games.

Next game: 3/1 at Mountain View