I know I’ve taken a bit of heat for my Super 7s this season – an exceptional amount even for me. It’s been a year of a lot of balance in Delaware County, so crafting these Super 7s haven’t been easy, and the final one is no exception. So as best I possibly can, here goes …
1. Strath Haven (21-1)
It was a special season for the Panthers, so much so that the lack of a states berth has to be a disappointment. An undefeated regular season is something no one can take from them, and it’s unfortunate that they ran into a hot pitcher in Brian Maher of North Penn – who is still claiming victims in the state tourney – at the wrong time. Lots of teams make states, a handful can win it. But very few win 21 games in a row, and that’s what the Panthers did this season.
2. Bonner-Prendergast (17-6)
Ultimately, the Friars season ends with three losses in four games, the only win a 5-0 triumph against Public League opponent Franklin Towne Charter that really should’ve been closer to double-digits. Bonner just couldn’t put it together in bowing out in the first round of Class AAA states, despite outplaying West York for six of the eight innings, outhitting them and outpitching them throughout. Baseball’s a funny game sometimes.
3. Haverford School (24-10)
Let me state for the record that I believe on any given day, this Haverford School team could stick with any team in the county. That 16-3 loss to Strath Haven and 26-0 drubbing by Archbishop Carroll was a long time ago, and the team that finished the season with wins in 14 of its last 15 games is a far cry from the one that began the season. In Pat Valentine and Matt Galetta, they boast a 1-2 punch that is up there with the best in the county to go with a lineup that can mash when on its game. I wrote a while ago that this is a team had the potential to win the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament, and they did just that. What I wouldn’t give to see a round-robin tournament between these top three teams. That would be some good baseball.
4. Radnor (13-9)
The way the next three teams shake out is a very complex proposition. I give the edge to Radnor, though. They’re a scrappy, plucky young team that managed its first ever win in Class AAAA districts. That’s worth something. And with Adam Erkis and Sean Corelli on the mound, they boast more pitching depth than the teams behind them, if we’re still considering that as a criterium.
5. Garnet Valley (13-8)
The Jaguars came within an inning of playing for a states berth, nearly upsetting Central Bucks East. They were a team that understood its identity down the stretch, relying on pitching and just enough offense to win a playoff game and come really close to claiming a second.
6. Penncrest (14-7)
There aren’t many ways to lose that are worse than the way the Lions went in their districts opener, blowing leads in the seventh and eighth innings before losing in nine. This Penncrest team was certainly good; there’s no doubt of that. But the two teams in front of them managed to be better than the sum of their parts; I didn’t always sense that was the case with this Penncrest team.
7. Marple Newtown (12-8)
Well, the playoff drubbing (after I talk up their unfairly low seeding, of course) doesn’t do much to convince me of this. But where else would I go? Interboro got waxed in their playoff game. Chichester lost a close game, but I can’t put them ahead of the Bucs, who took two of three in the regular season. Archbishop Carroll was one-and-done in the Catholic League playoffs (the play-in game, if you want to get technical), and Cardinal O’Hara went bust in two games. Ridley stumbled down the stretch to miss the playoffs. Heck, at least Christian Academy has some hardware to take away from this season.