Baseball: Chatsworth is No. 1 as City Section focuses on league play

As most of the City Section begins to focus on league play, Chatsworth is the clear No. 1 team in the march toward the City Section Divsion I final on May 30 at Dodger Stadium.

But with so many talented pitchers in the City Section this season, there's no guarantee the Chancellors will end up with a 10th City title.


Here's a look at the top 10 teams after a month of the season:

1. Chatsworth (12-5). The Chancellors play in the Boras Classic this week. They have lots of pitching depth, a standout at shortstop in Sam Shaikin and a surprise standout in junior second baseman Andrew Renteria, who played JVs last season.

2. El Camino Real (11-6). The Conquistadores have the key requirement to win a City title _ two capable pitchers in Jeremy Polon and Jordan Berg. Now they need more consistency in their hitting attack besides standout catcher Eric Yang. They open West Valley League play this week with a two-game series against Taft.

3. Marshall (14-3-1). Behind senior left-hander Johnny Vergara (four consecutive shutouts), the Barristers have shown they can play well against top City teams with him on the mound. They won't be challenged in the Northern League but still need to come up with a No. 2 pitcher to advance in the playoffs.

4. Narbonne (13-4). All-City pitcher Daniel Rocha is having a terrific season pitching and hitting. The Gauchos won a championship in South Carolina this past week. If they can get past San Pedro and Banning in the Marine League, they will be a team to watch.

5. Granada Hills (10-8). When you have a junior left-hander with the capability of Chris Murphy, you're not afraid to face anyone. And the Highlanders are going to be a dangerous team. They open league play this week with a two-game series against Cleveland.

6. Taft (12-5). The Toreadors were a big surprise in nonleague games. Now they must show they can win in the West Valley League. Jayson Newman has hit nine home runs and junior Ryan Shreve has emerged as a competent No. 1 pitcher.

7. San Fernando (11-5). Somehow, Coach Armando Gomez has figured out how to keep winning with pitchers by committee. The Tigers' sweep of Sylmar means they have become the favorite to win the Valley Mission League over Kennedy. The two teams end league play with a two-game series May 4 and 6.

8. Birmingham (7-9). The lack of hitting has been a concern for the defending City champs. But with their outstanding pitching and top catcher in Ryan Mendoza, the Patriots still figure to be heard from.

9. Roosevelt (13-4). With two quality starting pitchers in Robert Contreras and Sergio Valenzuela, Roosevelt figures to win the Eastern League.

10. Cleveland (11-7). Standout outfielder Austin White has been out for weeks with an injury. He's set to return. The pitching is solid with Ben Kaser, Sam Villa and Alex Zepeda. Beware if the Cavaliers can play defense.