Baseball: New Top 10
By Phil Anastasia
Gloucester Catholic and Eastern kept the top two spots in The Inquirer Top 10 despite losses this week.
Eastern lost to No. 4 WT by 3-2 on Wednesday. But the Vikings still are 11-1 in their last 12.
GC lost to SJ Montvale by 6-1 Saturday night in Rockland County, N.Y. Trust me: Nobody from SJ was going to hit SJ lefty Rob Kaminsky that night. The kid is extremely nasty.
CH West jumps into the Top 10, rising all the way to No. 5. The Lions have won 9 in a row and capped a big week with wins over Shawnee and Diamond qualifer Camden Catholic.
Delsea also makes an appearance. The Crusaders have quietly put together a strong season and have a pair of wins in close games over rival Williamstown.
Here's the new Top 10, with last week's ranking in parentheses
1. Gloucester Catholic (1) 16-2
Sean Breen's two-out, two-strike single in the seventh inning of a 6-1 loss Saturday night produced the only earned run St. Joseph of Montvale lefty Rob Kaminsky has allowed this season. It was a clutch hit and one of the few highlights for the Rams on a tough night in Rockland County, N.Y. Senior righty Mike Shawaryn handled his first loss with class, refusing to blame a defensive breakdown and praising Kaminsky for his great work on the mound. The Rams have quite the first round Diamond Classic matchup in No. 4 WT on Saturday at Maple Shade.
2. Eastern (2) 16-2
Junior third baseman Tom Flacco, a speedy left-handed swinger, is starting to draw major interest from college recruiters. Flacco had two RBI singles in a 3-2 loss to Washington Twp. on Wednesday and senior righty Steve Priolo pitched well, allowing zero earned runs. "It's not a deflating loss, it's a loss," coach Rob Christ said of the end of an 11-game winning streak. "These guys will come to practice and work hard to improve." Tough week ahead culminates with first-round Diamond Classic game with No. 3 SAP at Washington Township on Saturday.
3. St. Augustine (4) 12-4
Senior righty Chris Oakley and junior lefty Zach Warren are a combined 10-0 on the mound. The Hermits are getting a lot of balanced offensive production. Senior catcher Barry Buchowski, a Tulane recruit, registered his 100th career hit last week.
4. Washington Township (5) 12-5
In a 3-0 week, the Minutemen beat then-No. 2 Eastern and then-No. 4 Bishop Eustace. Senior first baseman Shaine Hughes, a Monmouth recruit, is swinging a hit bat. He leads WT with 6 doubles.
5. Cherry Hill West (NR) 10-3
The Lions, who have won nine in a row, have not lost since April 8. This team pretty much came from nowhere to captured the No. 3 At-Large bid in the Diamond Classic. Seniors Brad Machinski, Will Allen, Brandon Perna, A.J. Sohacki and Matt Giampetro have led the way. CHW plays Bishop Eustace in a key Olympic National game on Tuesday and meets rival CH East on Thursday. The Lions meet Buena in Diamond opener at Deptford.
6. Bishop Eustace (4) 12-5
The Crusaders have lost four of five. The slide began with a hard-to-believe 4-3 loss to Lenape on a two-out, bases-loaded, opposite-field triple that tied the score in the top of the seventh. Big game Tuesday at CHW. BE has New Egypt in first round of Diamond Classic on Saturday at WT. With a win, the Crusaders would meet Eastern-Prep winner in a great quarterfinal on May 18.
7. Audubon (7) 12-2
Before a 12-6 loss to Sterling, the Green Wave had allowed just six runs in their previous five games, all wins. The Green Wave drew Delsea in an interesting first-round game in the Diamond. The winner meets the GC-WT winner in the quarters.
8. Delsea (NR) 12-4
Long Island recruit Nick Freijomil, a senior righty, has emerged as the ace of the Crusaders' staff. This team has played solid baseball all season, beating rival Williamstown in two close games to earn the Tri-Co Royal's automatic berth to the Diamond Classic. Good matchup vs. Audubon in first round at Maple Shade.
9. Williamstown (9) 10-4
The Braves have lost four games by a combined five runs. Williamstown doesn't have a bad loss all season. The Braves don't have a signature win, either. But they've played good baseball and took the No. 6 and final At-Large berth to the Diamond when other contenders such as Shawnee, RV, Lenape and Sterling staggered a bit over the last week to 10 days. They'll meet Camden Catholic in Diamond first round.
10. Vineland (10) 13-3
Senior Don Money went the distance for his fifth win in an 8-1 triumph over Buena on Saturday night. The was a big win for the Clan as it locked up the No. 5 At-large berth. They have NBC Saturday at Deptford in a Diamond Classic first round in a matchup of surprise teams this season.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically):
Buena (15-3): The Chiefs meet CHW in first round of Diamond at Deptford on Saturday.
Northern Burlington (12-1): Big game for Greyhounds at Burlington Twp. Tuesday in Burlco Liberty, then they meet Vineland in Diamond first round Saturday at Deptford.
In the mix:
West Deptford (10-4): The Eagles host Sterling in key Colonial Liberty game Thursday night in Coaches vs. Cancer fund raiser. WD plays Pitman in Diamond opener Saturday at Overbrook.
Sterling (10-5): The Silver Knights have wins over Diamond qualifers Audubon, West Deptford and Pitman (although the Panthers seniors were away for that game). But a tough weekend tournament with losses to PVI and St. Joe hurt their at-large chances. Big game Thursday night at WD with major Colonial Liberty implications.
Shawnee (10-6): Senior Nick Montefusco is driving the ball for the Renegades, who lost three of four to fall out of Top 10 and miss out on Diamond At-Large berth.
Lenape (8-5): The Indians have lost three in a row and four of five.
Holy Spirit (11-4): Ricky Hopkins has 7 doubles for the Spartans.
Burlington Twp. (9-4): The Falcons have won six in a row, scoring in double digits in each game. They host NBC in key Burlco Liberty game Tuesday.
RV (10-3): The Red Devils missed an At-Large berth to the Diamond as they were 10-runned in their last two games.
Camden Catholic (11-7): Dom Messina is tied for the SJ lead in doubles with 9. The Irish have Williamstown in a Diamond opener on Saturday at Overbrook.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.