This Sunday is a little extra special…
Outside of the Final Round of the Masters, the Pens trying to get back on track in Game 3, and the premiere of Game of Thrones, we are happy to bring you the second week of the WPIAL Baseball Power Rankings.
For our specific area of expertise on this day of entertainment, the 6 new sets of Power Rankings stayed pretty consistent to what we saw a week ago. Only 6 teams were knocked out of their respective top 10’s. The biggest rise was a squad bumping up 5 places, and the largest drop was just 6. With that being said, we do have 4 new teams taking over the top spot of their respective conference, so let’s dive right into it and see who the new rulers of the throne are…
Pine stays hot and stays on top. The Rams found great success with three section victories outscoring their opponents 23-1 during that span. The highlight of their great work though came on April 12th when the Rams hosted a “Best Buddies Day”. If you haven’t seen the images, we highly recommend you check out their great work – PR Best Buddy Day. Outside of Pine, Canon Mac and Penn Trafford flip-flopped spots after the Big Macs were upset by Baldwin earlier in the week. The loss is not catastrophic by any means, and Canon Mac is still a premier team in 6A without a doubt, but Penn Trafford’s 9-1 record enforced a promotion on their end. Seneca Valley and Peters Township are two squads that are definitely trending in the right direction. Even though the bottom four teams fell down a bit compared to our last rankings, this bunch is still extremely dangerous. 6A is loaded deep with talent and teams like Central, Norwin, and Hempfield are still more than capable of putting together some major win streaks throughout the rest of the year.
West A goes up, Mars goes down, but they still hold the top two spots across the conference. Mars lost at the hands of North Hills in a surprising fashion, but still showed their promise taking down South Fayette just two days after. 5A is filled with packages of teams that are going to get to know each other quite nicely throughout the rest of the regular season. Gateway and Franklin Regional sit at #3 and #4 respectively, host 4-0 section records, but will still have to face off twice during the regular season. One of these contests will be this Wednesday, which is a major game to watch if you can make it out, and it will also act as a major indicator for who the top dawg in Section 1 is. Now for Section 2, it is just flat out the group of death in this conference. Five of the six teams in the section currently hold a place in our Top 10. The lone team out is North Hills, and if there was an honorable mention team they’d easily be it. They upset Mars and were one of our teams to watch heading into the season so they are no fluke themselves. Section 2 is going to be a bloodbath (if we are staying with the Thrones theme here) with contest after contest featuring strong lineups. This also opens the door for West A to really run away with the top spot as their competition is not going to be nearly as difficult to get through compared to the latter. Let’s hope the weather holds up for a full slate of action this week, and if it does we should really see who are the contenders compared to the pretenders across this conference.
From first to off the board. After a hot start for Quaker Valley, they no longer man a spot in the Top 10 after falling three times in section play over the past 5 days. Their downfall opened the door for section foe New Castle to work their way into the picture holding down our #8 spot. Staying in Section 2, Blackhawk now holds the crown of this conference. The Cougars are one of two teams in 4A team who have not fallen to any section competition as of late. The only other team to accomplish this feat is of course New Castle, and these two squads will match up on Tuesday for a showdown that is sure to be exciting. Sections 1 and 3 are both led by multiple one-loss squads and are in many ways jam-packed just awaiting teams to separate themselves. The consistent play of these squads should equate to some great matchups over the next week or two, but still a major wildcard team of ours is 10th ranked South Park. We have brought them up week after week waiting for a breakthrough with the talent they have across their roster. Their upcoming slate though could be exactly what they need, with games against the two bottom teams in section 3 leading up to a Friday matchup against the current top dawg Thomas Jefferson. This will be the true test for the Eagles, and we are eager to see the final results.
Another new team holding the crown derives from Viking country. Hopewell has not just won 5 games in a row, but they have done so with putting up 9 runs as their lowest scoring total during this stretch. They have crushed opponents’ pitching landing themselves as the #1 team in 3A. On their heels, is a threesome from Section 1 at spots 3-5. Oh, and then after that group is a threesome from Section 3 that hold down spots 5-7. It is safe to say after the Vikings, the rest of the slate is going to be scratching and clawing their way to hold onto a spot in the top 5 really. We welcome Freedom to the Top 10 and unfortunately have to say goodbye to North Catholic and Charleroi, but would not be surprised at all if both squads work their way back in as early as next week. New Brighton rounds out the group and if you haven’t seen this team play yet you might want to head over to a game. It’s worth it just to witness the talent of Noah Wijnen-Riems. The Dayton commit can flat out rake and will make sure that NB stays on the map in 2019.
In 2A, the graphic looks bad right away on Avonwroth’s behalf, but it does not fully convey the whole story here. Avonworth took a loss at the hands of OLSH earlier in the week, and thus basically forced our hand to move them down 3 spots because of the absolute dominance from Serra, Shenango, and 9-1 OLSH themselves. 2A, in general, has put up some great numbers from a record perspective. I mean the 10th ranked Brownsville is 5-2 which is a superior record compared to others all across the WPIAL. Since 2A has so many teams, and an extra section compared to every other conference basically, it has caused a great deal of competition with our top 10, as well as who is going to find themselves in a playoff position when the regular season is all said and done. Right now, I would say the top 4 teams we have here are 2A Tier1. Neshannock, Jeannette, and Seton would all fall into the Tier 2 Category, and then the rest of the teams would be an extremely close Tier 3. All the Tiers are incredibly talented, but maintain specific levels of dominance basically that differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd.
Not a whole lot shaking up here in 1A. The top 4 all stayed in the exact same spots they found themselves in a week ago. Vincentian finally had a chance to play a game, and they did exactly what we expected starting the year out 3-0. In case you didn’t have a chance to check out two of Vincentian’s finest, the Fedko brothers, in a recent interview from UCONN Baseball, well you should just take a look for a good time – Fedko Bros. After the top 4, Eden Christian came into the mix and hopped right into the top 5 sitting at a great record of 6-1. St. Joseph follows them as a sleeper team we really like the rest of the way across 1A. This conference is not set up like the rest with a couple absolutely dominate teams. We are very curious to see who steps up and owns their competition, but as of now Union does not seem like they want to give up the #1 spot, and we will see if any legitimate challengers come to fruition in the near future.
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