Buchanan High, which has advanced to eight of the past 14 Central Section Division I baseball championships, is expected to return there and is ranked No. 1 by The Bee.
The 10-1 Bears, who have won four section titles and placed second to Clovis last year, were facing an immediate test Friday in a Tri-River Athletic Conference opener against No. 9 Central (6-3) and ace Colton Eastman.
A senior right-hander who has signed with Cal State Fullerton but figures to have the option of playing for pay as a high pro draft pick in June, Eastman is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 29 strikeouts in in 19 innings. He’s given up only seven hits.
He was opposed by Buchanan senior right-hander D.J. Martinez (3-0, 2.74, 13 strikeouts, 15 IP).
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Tulare/Kings counties have a prominent presence in The Bee’s rankings with Nos. 4-6 Redwood, Hanford and Tulare Western — the section 2014 D-II champ, which has been elevated to D-I.