Defending Champion: Big Bear.
Top Teams: North Hills L.A. Baptist (19-5), Phelan Serrano (19-4), Pasadena Poly (15-2), Big Bear (16-7).
Dark Horse: Los Angeles Brentwood (14-5). Three players with five home runs, plus three solid pitchers. Top-seeded Baptist could be in trouble in the second round.
Top Players: Russell Anderson (Serrano), Bryan Bergman (Templeton), Ray Bergstrom (Pasadena Poly), Jake Brown (Ventura St. Bonaventure), David Corleto (Brentwood), Jon Crabb (Sierra Madre Maranatha), Garrett Estabrook (Whittier Christian), Neale Fishback (Cambria Coast Union), Michael Glover (Pasadena Poly), Kevin Halamicek (Big Bear), Elliott Hollingsworth (Pasadena Poly), Lance Jordan (Whittier Christian), Joe Jones (Calvary Chapel), Tim McGinn (San Bernardino Aquinas), Ryan O'Connell (Baptist), Dan O'Gara (Lancaster Paraclete), Danny Siratt (Lake Isabella Kern Valley), Shane Sullivan (Serrano), Jason Sutherland (Big Bear), Greg Wells (Baptist), Jake Williams (Brentwood), Lance Williams (Cerritos Valley Christian), Cory Woodman (Coast Union), Ed Zieman (Whittier Christian).
Best Draw: Serrano. Seems like clear sailing into semifinals. A very weak bracket.
Worst Draw: Baptist. Top-seeded team has to get past Brentwood and Coast Union (17-3) just to reach the semifinals.
Notes: Serrano's Sullivan and Big Bear's Halamicek are the two best all-around players in the division. Sullivan is hitting .488 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs. As a pitcher, he is 5-0 with a 2.24 ERA and 59 strikeouts. Halamicek is hitting .473 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs. As a pitcher, he is 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 85 strikeouts. . . . What makes Serrano a better team is Anderson, who is 9-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 77 strikeouts. . . . Baptist doesn't have the marquee names, but the Knights are a solid team from top to bottom, which is why they are top-seeded. . . . Paraclete has 11 victories, O'Gara has won six and saved three. . . . Templeton has several solid hitters, led by Bergman (.500, 6 HR, 26 RBIs), but pitching has held the Eagles back this season.