PASADENA - This season will definitely go down as the Year of the Big 8 Conference in community college baseball. The CCCAA championship was decided between two Big 8 squads as San Joaquin Delta defeated Sacramento City College, 7-5, for the state title on Monday, thus earning the No. 1 ranking in the California Community College Sports Information Association State Top 20 Baseball Final Rankings. The Mustangs scored all 16 first-place votes.
Delta (43-9) won just its second state crown (the other in 2011) and it took the sixth meeting with Sac City, three at the state tournament, to finish the road to the championship. The Mustangs maintained the No. 1 ranking they had in the regular season after sharing the Big 8 Conference title with No. 6 Sierra. Delta made it to the state final for the fourth time in the last eight years.
Delta finished 4-2 overall against Sacramento, the third place team from the Big 8 and a program that reached the state championship game for the 17th time in school history. The No. 2-ranked Panthers (36-16) forced Delta to the winner-take-all game by beating the Mustangs, 6-3, earlier on Monday. Delta prevailed three times in the '18 postseason by winning the third game of a series, including a Super Regional triumph over No. 14 San Mateo (not ranked in the regular season final poll) and then in the NorCal Finals over No. 6 Ohlone.
While three of the four Sectional Finals went to a third game, Delta was ironically the only team in the eight Super Regional series that didn't win in a sweep.
The final top 10 included state tournament participants Orange Coast at No. 3 and Mt. San Antonio at No. 4. Sierra gave the Big 8 three top 5 finishers at No. 5. After Ohlone, SoCal colleges took up the rest of the top 10 in No. 7 Saddleback, No. 8 Cerritos, No. 9 El Camino, and No. 10 Glendale. El Camino was not ranked coming into the playoffs, but showed its worth with a 3-game series win in the opening round over regular season No. 19 Moorpark, and then sweeping over South No. 1 seed and previously No. 3-ranked Cerritos in the Super Regionals.
The rest of the top 20 had Feather River at No. 11, Riverside City at No. 12, Fresno City at No. 13, surprising San Mateo at 14, Palomar at No. 15, another Big 8 team Santa Rosa at No. 16, Mission at No. 17, non-playoff qualifier Cypress at No. 18, and a tie for No. 19 between Marin and Canyons. Regular season ranked Folsom Lake and Moorpark both couldn't make the final overall cut. The final top 20 was a 50-50 split between North and South colleges.
(Robert Lewis, CCCSIA)
|2018 CCCSIA Final Poll|
|1.||San Joaquin Delta||43-9||320||1|
|4.||Mt. San Antonio||35-14||270||6|
|14.||College of San Mateo||29-16||112||RV|
|T19.||College of the Canyons||28-14||46||15|
|Others: Folsom Lake (40), Moorpark (36), Santa Ana (16), Butte (6), Pasadena City (5), Bakersfield (4), Reedley (3), Cuesta (1), East Los Angeles (1).|