Entering the final week of the regular season, nine San Mateo County high school baseball teams remain within striking distance of a league championship. Although El Camino and Half Moon Bay own two-game leads in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay and Ocean Divisions, respectively, the wild finish of 2010—when five Bay teams completed the year within one game of each other—suggests the Colts and Cougars shouldn’t celebrate prematurely.
The other central story line is how many PAL Bay programs will advance to the Central Coast Section playoffs. The top four finishers (after the tiebreakers that appear imminent, once again) advance automatically. But the next two teams should all boast records that are normally worthy of an at-large berth. Will an incredible six Bay teams make the postseason?
On the heels of a second straight turbulent week, here is a look at how San Mateo County baseball teams stack up. Patch’s top-10 weekly rankings are drawn from all schools in the county. Records are based on reported games played through Monday.
1. Serra 17-10 (Last week: 1) Barring WCAL tourney title, Pads will enter CCS with fewer than 20 wins for the first time since ‘05.
2. Menlo School 20-5 (3) Knights need home win over rival SHP on Wednesday to forge likely co-championship in WBAL.
3. El Camino 13-10-1 (4) Already secured share of first ever PAL Bay title; has two chances to clinch outright crown vs. Terra Nova.
4. Terra Nova 14-9-1 (7) Only team other than EC that controls its own Bay destiny; win Wednesday would set stage for dramatic finale.
5. Burlingame 14-11 (10) Finally found spark with solid sweep of Carlmont; RHP Grotz (6-1, 1.18 ERA) has been best in Bay.
6. Carlmont 16-8 (2) Untimely defeats to BHS likely ruined championship hopes; like Burlingame, needs big assist from Terra Nova.
7. Sacred Heart Prep 15-10 (8) After sweeping Menlo in football and hoops, looks to add hardball bragging rights over Knights.
8. Hillsdale 15-9 (9) One of five Bay teams within two games of each other; hopes power surge versus Sequoia continues versus Aragon.
9. Menlo-Atherton 15-10 (5) Sits sixth in Bay at 5-7; 6 Bay teams in CCS seems a long shot, so strong finish versus Burlingame is important.
10. Half Moon Bay 19-6 (6) Tripped up at SSF, but still in full control of PAL Ocean; would clinch title with one win over 9-15 Westmoor.