OVERALL TOP 10
1. Buchanan 9-1
2. Clovis West 8-1
3. Clovis 9-1
4. Centennial 5-1
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5. Clovis North 9-1
6. Bakersfield 5-0
7. Central 8-0
8. Clovis East 9-1
9. El Diamante 6-4
10. Fresno 6-2
D-I: 1. Buchanan; 2. Clovis West; 3. Clovis
D-II: 1. Clovis North; 2. Madera (5-3); 3. Redwood (4-5)
D-III: 1. Fresno; 2. Independence (6-0); 3. Hanford W. (6-4)
D-IV: 1. Selma (5-1); 2. Kerman (6-3); 3. Taft (3-0)
D-V: 1. Immanuel (5-0); 2. Exeter (7-4); Caruthers (4-1)
D-VI: 1. Mendota (3-1): 2. Firebaugh (3-1); 3. Farmersville (1-2)
All factors considered – major-college talent in virtually every dugout, high-level coaching throughout and five-star facilities – the Tri-River Athletic Conference has developed into the state's premier league in baseball, a stance supported by Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis. The TRAC has ranked with the state's finest for years, but the arrival of Clovis North has put it over the top. The TRAC is a collective 52-5, has all six teams in The Bee's Top 10 and Buchanan (No. 7) and Clovis West (No. 9) in Cal-Hi's state rankings a year after the Bears and Golden Eagles finished Nos. 3-4 in the state. And the question: What's the TRAC going to be like when healthy? Buchanan, for example, won the Coca-Cola Classic without four starters and a key reliever – first baseman Jimmy Funk (knee), second baseman Shota Runge (ankle), infielder/pitcher Nathan Rousey (hernia), third baseman Jordan Luplow (shoulder) and reliever Ryan Lee (shoulder). All are expected to return with the probable exception of Fresno State-bound Luplow. Behind Moranda and Dominic Topoozian, the Bears won their last four Classic games by shutout and have given up one run in each of three other wins.
Clovis North is expected soon to return second-team 2010 Bee All-Star first baseman/pitcher Wilson Ashford (shoulder), who hasn't played yet after going 8-0 with a 2.66 ERA and hitting .375 as a junior.
Clovis West is about to receive play for the first time from shortstop Ryan Clark (thumb) and reliever Ian Hall (wrist) in addition to defense from third baseman/catcher John Koretoff (shoulder), a second-team All-State selection .
TRAC openers at 6:30 p.m. Friday: Clovis North at Clovis West, Central at Buchanan and Clovis East at Clovis.
Check out Andy Boogaard's analysis throughout the baseball season at fresnobeehive.com/sportsbuzz