Bishop Gorman last won a state baseball championship seven years ago.
The Gaels begin their quest to end that skid in the Class 5A Southern Region tournament, which begins Monday. They’re favored to win it, as they did in the 2021 COVID-shortened season, but there are a few teams that could challenge for the crown.
The 3A Southern Region tournament also begins Monday, with the 4A state tournament set to start Wednesday.
League champions: Basic (Desert); Bishop Gorman (Mountain)
The favorite: Bishop Gorman
The Gaels have the best combination of pitching and hitting. Most important, they have the deepest pitching staff with a 2.44 ERA, which should give coach Gino DiMaria more flexibility during the week. Gorman is hitting .399 with 37 home runs.
The dark horse: Faith Lutheran
The Crusaders earned this spot in large part because of a 3-2 win over Gorman on April 25. Palo Verde, last year’s regional runner-up, Liberty and Centennial also could be dangerous, as could Desert Pines, which won the last state championship awarded at the highest level in 2019.
Potential first-round upset: Desert Oasis over Basic
It hasn’t been a great season for Desert Oasis, which finished fourth in the Mountain League. But it always seems to be close when these teams meet, including a 6-4 Basic win in mid-March.
League champions: Shadow Ridge (Desert); Legacy, Sierra Vista (shared Mountain League title)
The favorite: Shadow Ridge
The Mustangs have won 22 straight games, and most of them haven’t been close. They have three players hitting better than .600, led by Thomas Moore’s .658, two over .500 and eight at .400 or better. Pitchers Sam Horne, Will Horne and Gavin Roper are a combined 13-0.
The dark horse: Foothill
The Falcons are by far the best team that will play on the first day, and they enter with confidence after a 6-5 win over Sierra Vista their last time out.
Potential first-round upset: Tech over Del Sol
This would be an upset by seed only. Tech struggled to a 2-8 record to finish fifth in the Mountain League, but it pounded Del Sol, the Desert League’s No. 4 seed, 19-0 in early March.
League champions: Virgin Valley (Desert); Boulder City (Mountain)
The favorite: Boulder City
Virgin Valley ran through the Desert League with a 10-0 record but dropped two in 3A crossover play, including a 6-2 decision to Boulder City. The Eagles have won eight straight and have solid depth in their lineup and pitching staff.
The dark horse: Clark
The Chargers have a tough draw against a Pahrump Valley team that has beaten them twice. But Clark boasts a win over Virgin Valley and Boulder City.
Potential first-round upset: Eldorado over Moapa Valley
Moapa Valley won both regular-season meetings, but the Pirates scored two runs in the seventh inning for a come-from-behind 7-6 victory Wednesday.