The baseball teams met last May in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North championship game and here they come again.
Top-ranked Oak Ridge and No. 2 Jesuit play three times this week for early positioning in the Delta River League standings. Jesuit beat Oak Ridge in the 2011 North finals and is making another title push.
The Marauders were 3-2 in last week's Anaheim Lions Tournament with wins over Mission Viejo (6-5), Valencia of Placentia (10-3) and Serra of San Juan Capistrano (7-1).
Oak Ridge has wins over Elk Grove (3-1) and Granite Bay (6-4) both ranked No. 1 by The Bee at the time. The Trojans also have beaten No. 7 Franklin (8-1) and No. 10 Casa Roble (5-0), which features strong pitching.
Weather permitting, Jesuit and Oak Ridge will play today, Thursday and Saturday.
Stanford-bound Logan James could pitch today for host Jesuit. Oak Ridge uses a committee of pitchers, including Alex Fitchett, Austin Root, Lance Berringer and Jared Ross. Root, a sophomore, is 3-0 with one walk in 19 1/3 innings.
Jesuit features slugging shortstop Zach Green, who could be the area's highest-drafted high school player in June.
Three-game sets force teams to use different starters against a league opponent instead of throwing the same ace three times.
"You're No. 3 guy has to face the best teams this way now," Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. "We've been playing solid baseball and getting really good pitching.
"Like a lot of teams, we've lost a lot of practice time with all the rain. It feels like we've had three different start times to the season."
Cody Haley struck out six as eighth-ranked Bella Vista beat Oak Ridge 3-2 to win the Gina Montes/SureWest Tournament at Raley Field. The Broncos have split with Sheldon and lost to No. 12 Yuba City (3-1) and No. 5 Granite Bay (2-1).
After a slow start, Franklin was 4-0 in the Fresno Easter Classic, one of the top tournaments on the West Coast. Josh Pigg, Brandon Keup, Kyle Von Ruden and Tyler Blake pitched well for the Wildcats.
No. 6 Pleasant Grove went 3-1 in the Fresno tournament, falling to state power Clovis West 4-0. Zack Stilwell pitched a two-hitter in an 8-1 win over Buchanan of Fresno, the 2011 ESPN Rise national champion. Pleasant Grove plays at No. 14 Sheldon today in a DRL game.
No. 3 Elk Grove went 2-2 in the San Diego Lions Tournament, losing 1-0 to El Capitan of Lakeside and 7-5 to Rancho Bernardo of San Diego. The Herd hosts No. 4 Davis on Friday in a Delta Valley Conference showdown. Elk Grove could face ace Ben Eckels.
No. 17 Cordova rallied from a sixth-inning, six-run deficit to beat Menlo-Atherton 11-10 to win the Cordova Easter Tournament. Nathan Jacobson, Jonathon MacMonagle and Nigel Robinson combined for eight RBIs.
The Lancers resume Capital Athletic League play today at Rio Americano.
Antelope won the Woodland Easter Tournament with a 10-3 victory over Vanden. In a semifinal, Antelope and Winters were tied 2-2 after 15 innings when rain stopped the game. A coin flip, won by Antelope, determined which team advanced to the title game.\
THE BEE'S TOP 20
Records through Sunday; PR previous ranking
Team Rec. PR
1. Oak Ridge 8-3 1
2. Jesuit 6-5 4
3. Elk Grove 6-4 3
4. Davis 8-3 5
5. Granite Bay 8-3 2
6. Pleasant Grove 9-3 6
7. Franklin 7-5
8. Bella Vista 9-3 10
9. Woodcreek 10-1 12
10. Casa Roble 6-5 9
11. Pioneer 9-4 11
12. Yuba City 9-6 7
13. Rocklin 5-6 20
14. Sheldon 9-3 8
15. Grant 7-2 18
16. River Valley 10-2 13
17. Cordova 12-5 17
18. Woodland 9-5 14
19. El Dorado 13-0-1 19
20. Whitney 8-5 16