Thursday, May 25, 2017

MIAA Baseball Super 8 Projections: 5/25/17

Gavin Reilly and BC High are still in the thick of the Super 8 race.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

The countdown is officially on. In less than five days the MIAA Division 1A “Super Eight” committee with gather at the MIAA Headquarters in Franklin to vote on who the top eight baseball teams are in Massachusetts.

Over the first few days this week a number of teams have begun to make their final case, while a handful have begun to slowly fall out of the picture. So, this morning, SuiteSports is excited to unveil its third Super Eight Projection. Check back on Monday morning, May 29thth, when SuiteSports will unveil its fourth and final projection of the season.

Here is how we see the Super Eight field shaping up at this time:

In Good Shape (3)

1. St. John's (Shrewsbury)

Record: 18-2

Key Wins: BC High (3-2, 12-1), Wachusett (11-3, 6-4), Pope Francis (11-0), St. John’s Prep (3-2), Lincoln-Sudbury (17-0)

Key Losses: Nashoba (6-5, 8 innings), Xaverian (1-0, 9 innings)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 3-1

Record vs. Division 1: 15-2

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) put an end to any potential debate about who the top team in Massachusetts is with a dominating performance over BC High on Tuesday afternoon. The Pioneers continue to showcase that they have the deepest pitching staff in the Bay State with Ian Seymour, Matt Stansky, Sean Burke, Nick McDonald, and Matt DeFalco all able to give St. John’s quality innings. Seymour, Jack Gardner, Burke, and Jack Fields also lead a potent Pioneer lineup.

2. St. John’s Prep

Record: 13-5

Key wins: BC High (4-0), Xaverian (5-4), Malden Catholic (7-2), Walpole (4-0), Newton North (7-5)

Key Losses: Peabody (5-1), Catholic Memorial (11-8), Malden Catholic (5-3), BC
High (2-1), St. John’s Shrewsbury (3-2)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 5-3

Record vs. Division 1: 11-5

St. John’s Prep maintains their number two ranking in this week’s projection as they took care of business against a red-hot St. Peter-Marian team on Monday afternoon, before defeating St. Mary’s in an endowment game on Tuesday. Tyler MacGregor followed up his 11 RBI performance last week versus Swampscott with four more against St. Mary’s. Dan Frey and Frank DiOrio provide protection around MacGregor in the lineup.

3. Braintree

Record: 14-5

Key Wins: BC High (7-2), Newton North (3-1), Walpole (5-3), Peabody (10-5), Mansfield (10-4), Brookline (4-1)

Key Losses: Brookline (6-4), Weymouth (4-1), Newton North (9-2), Needham (3-0), Framingham (2-1)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-0

Record vs. Division 1: 13-5

Braintree remains in the three spot following wins over Milton and Weymouth. One final contest with Hingham remains scheduled for Sunday and, as long as the Wamps take care of business against Hingham, they should comfortably earn a spot in the eight team field. The only question for Braintree as of now is their seeding, and it would not be a surprise to us if teams with better overall resumes passed the Wamps in the rankings.

Solid Footing (3)

4. Central Catholic 

Record: 13-4

Key Wins: Lowell (3-2, 3-2), Methuen (6-4, 6-2), North Andover (3-0), Andover (5-3)

Key Losses: Austin Prep (7-5), Andover (1-0), Lawrence (4-0), Dracut (7-4)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 10-2

Central Catholic moves up in our projection without the benefit of playing a game, due in large part to teams above them losing this week.  The Raiders have a tough weekend ahead of them, taking on New Bedford and Lawrence, before finishing the regular season up on the road with Catholic Memorial. If Central Catholic is able to take at least two of those three, they should be able to sleep comfortably on Sunday night.

5. BC High

Record: 11-7

Key wins: St. John’s Prep (2-1), Xaverian (3-2, 2-0), Malden Catholic (2-0), Lexington (11-0), Lincoln-Sudbury (4-2), Silver Lake (8-4)

Key Losses: Lowell (7-3, 9 innings), St. John’s Prep (4-0), Braintree (7-2), Malden Catholic (2-1), St. John’s Shrewsbury (3-2, 15-1)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 6-2

Record vs. Division 1: 11-6

BC High drops a spot after falling to St. John’s (Shrewsbury) on Tuesday night, but the Eagles recovered on Wednesday with an 8-4 win over Silver Lake to stay in reasonable standing in our rankings. BC High’s offense has shown signs of life, scoring eight runs in two of their last four contests, while Mike Vasil continues to be one of the top players in all of Massachusetts. As long as the Eagles are able to at least split with Acton-Boxboro and Newton North, they should feel comfortable about getting a spot in the eight-team field.

6. Taconic

Record: 18-0

Key Wins: Westfield (3-1), Pittsfield (9-0), Saint John Paul II (8-2)

Key Losses: None

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 7-0

Taconic has continued their push to become the second team from Western Massachusetts to appear in the Super Eight. Wins over Monument Mountain and Drury improved the Braves to 18-0 on the season. Two more tough tests remain with Pope Francis and Pittsfield on the docket, but behind the arms of Jake Flynn and Ross Omelenchuck, the Braves certainly have the makeup of a Super Eight team.

In the Hunt (2)

7. Lynn Classical

Record: 17-1

Key Wins: Peabody (5-3), Danvers (1-0), Marblehead (6-1)

Key Losses: Reading (5-1)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 7-0

Lynn Classical seemed to be on the verge of slipping out of the field altogether when they fell to Reading on Friday. The Rams, however, have recovered so far this week with wins over Marblehead and Everett to receive the seven spot in our projection. There is still a tough road ahead for Lynn Classical if it hopes to make an appearance in this year’s Super Eight, with a challenge against North Reading on Friday looming.

8. Andover

Record: 12-5

Key Wins: Central Catholic (1-0), Lowell (5-0), North Andover (1-0), Methuen (4-3)

Key Losses: Central Catholic (5-3), Haverhill (3-2, 6-4), Methuen (5-0)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 8-4

Andover makes its first appearance in our projections, bolstered by a steady pitching staff as well as the fact that other teams have seen their bubbles burst. The Golden Warriors hold key Merrimack Valley Conference wins over Central Catholic, Lowell, North Andover, and Methuen, but the true test will come this weekend. First, a trip to Bishop Guertin is on the docket for Friday, before a matchup against Peabody on Saturday afternoon. If the Golden Warriors hope to grab the final spot in the field, then winning out seems to be a must.


Newton North (13-7)

Danvers (16-2)

Belmont (16-3)

Xaverian (11-7)

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