Tuesday, April 18, 2017

MIAA Top 25 Baseball Rankings: 4/18/17

St. John's (Shrewsbury) holds steady at No. 2, thanks to a loaded pitching staff.
Our rankings of the best teams in the state during the 2017 baseball season, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 4/18)

1. St. John’s Prep (5-1; Last Ranking - 1) Eagles have a stranglehold on the Catholic Conference standings early on with wins over Catholic Memorial, Malden Catholic and BC High.

2. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (4-0; Last Ranking: 2) The Pioneers earned a huge 3-2 win over BC High, after shutting out regional rival Holy Name last week.

3. Braintree (3-0; Last Ranking: 3) The defending Super 8 champions have held serve thus far with three Bay State Conference wins. They’ll test their mettle against the host Eagles in the Bay State/Catholic Conference challenge this Saturday.

4. Walpole (3-0; Last Ranking: 8) Brian Gaughan shut down Xaverian’s offense on the road to earn a huge resume-building win for the Rebels.

5. Central Catholic (5-0; Last Ranking: 10) With Sam Lara and Steve Hajjar leading the pitching staff and Virginia Tech commit Dominic Keegan behind the plate, the Raiders are as talented as any team in the state.

6. North Andover (3-0; Last Ranking: 6) An opening 6-4 win over Lawrence asserts that the Scarlet Knights are still a force to be reckoned with in the loaded Merrimack Valley Conference.

7. Newton North (2-1; Last Ranking: 5) Tigers dropped a surprising 8-3 decision to Brookline last Monday, but remain one of the more talented teams in the region.

8. Lowell (4-1; Last Ranking: 17) While they came up just short against Lara and the rival Raiders, this Lowell team proved its worth Super 8 consideration by opening the season with a win over BC High.

9. Silver Lake (5-0; Last Ranking: 12) Once again, the Lakers welcomed West Springfield to their tournament and they took down the defending D1 state champs by a final of 5-3.

10. BC High (3-3; Last Ranking: 5) A brutal schedule and a slow-to-warm offense have the Eagles sputtering as we open the season.

11. Peabody (5-0; Last Ranking: NA) The Tanners took down St. John’s Prep with a spirited effort and also beat an excellent Danvers team to debut high in our rankings.

12. St. Peter-Marian (2-1; Last Ranking: 11) Magicians also came up short against Central Catholic, but earned a quality win over Division 3 power Auburn the week prior.

13. Pope Francis (3-0; Last Ranking: 15) The Cardinals have picked up where they left off with key wins over Holyoke and Northampton to begin the season.

14. Lincoln-Sudbury (2-1; Last Ranking: 14) Warriors couldn’t quite hang with top-ranked St. John’s Prep, but remain a formidable squad, especially when ace Ryan Cusick is on the mound.

15. Malden Catholic (4-2; Last Ranking: 18) A loss to conference rival Catholic Memorial hurts a Lancers team with big aspirations this season. 

16. Xaverian (3-3; Last Ranking: 7) No shame in Xaverian’s three losses to Malden Catholic, BC High and Walpole by a total of four runs, but they are losses all the same.

17. Groton-Dunstable (2-0; Last Ranking: 16) Tough to get any baseball in up in the northern part of Central Mass., but the Crusaders did take care of Wachusett, 3-1, to get started.

18. Wakefield (1-0; Last Ranking: NA) The foundation of a magical Warriors team from last season remains partially in tact, and that carried them to a surprising 6-3 win at Austin Prep.

19. Barnstable (5-0; Last Ranking: NA) The Red Raiders are primed to make some noise this year and they’ve already knocked off regional powers Bridgewater-Raynham and Falmouth to get started.

20. Dighton-Rehoboth (4-0; Last Ranking: NA) The defending D2 South champions are crushing teams with a run differential of 27-10 through 4 games.

21. Westfield (3-0; Last Ranking: NA) Always a dangerous team out in Western Mass. the Bombers will look to build their resume with tilts at Billerica and Pope Francis over the next week.

22. Middleboro (4-0; Last Ranking: NA) Always a feisty team down South, the Sachems are off to a great start with wins over East Bridgewater and Norwell amongst others.

23. Lynn Classical (4-0; Last Ranking: NA) Early wins over Winthrop and Swampscott prove that the baseball hotbed is warming in the North Shore.

24. Lawrence (2-1; Last Ranking: 24) Lancers couldn’t quite get it done against North Andover, but remain a talented team to watch in the loaded MVC.

25. Lynnfield (3-0; Last Ranking: NA) An early test for Cape Ann League supremacy is scheduled for this Thursday when Lynnfield visits North Reading.

Last 10 out:  Belmont (3-0), Beverly (2-1), Billerica (0-3), Brookline (3-1), Burlington (2-0), Chelmsford (1-1), Danvers (1-1), North Reading (2-0), Swampscott (2-1), West Springfield (1-2)


Unknown said...

It's Middleboro Sachems and they are a part of the South Shore League now.

Joe Parello said...

Our bad, but good catch. Thanks for the heads up, and we've made the change now!