There’s not a whole lot of movement in the Super 7 this week, as I give the benefit of the doubt to teams who are just feeling out their pitching rotations and getting some of their first full-team practices on the field, much less getting into games. Anyway, here’s how they shake out…(Note: Records through Sunday, April 7; Monday and Tuesday’s games not factored into records.)
1. Garnet Valley (4-1) Last Week: No. 1
The Jags loss to Conestoga leaves the Christian Academy – those TCA juggernauts – as the county’s last unbeaten team. Let’s not read too much into the loss to Stoga. The third game in three days, it played like, well, a third game in three days, a 13-9 slopfest at the bottom of both team’s pitching barrels. The gritty 2-1, come-from-behind, walk-off win over Penncrest seems more representative and confirms my thought that those are the two best Central League teams from Delco (add in Stoga and Harriton to the discussion at large).
2. Cardinal O’Hara (5-1) Last Week: No. 2
Even though a loss to Father Judge Saturday dampens the joy of last week’s triumph over La Salle, the win over the Explorers is a telling barometer for this team. The x-factor might be Kevin George, who was brilliant in shutting down La Salle to earn the win. If he can give O’Hara a fourth pitching option – and that’s what we all know is necessary to navigate the Catholic League tournament – they are suddenly much more formidable.
3. Haverford School (7-2) Last Week: No. 3
The staff still appears to be a work in progress, although Mike Warnick’s shutout gem against Friends’ Central Saturday could be a major step forward. The big thing for the Fords as they enter the Inter-Ac slate is how the complementary pieces in the lineup have begun to hit, and Mike Solomon and Nick Greco have done just that to complement the table-setting of Steve Scornajenghi and the doubles machine that is Kevin McGowan.
4. Bonner-Prendergast (3-1) Last Week: No. 4
The Friars passed their first real Catholic League test by getting by Archbishop Wood. They have a lot of talented players (which shouldn’t be a surprise) who are swinging the bats well. Early indications are the Brad Scull could assume the mantle as staff workhorse.
5. Penncrest (5-2) Last Week: No. 5
I had a feeling that Penncrest had a deep rotation. But when you have three games in three days and give up three total runs, that’s pretty decisive confirmation. Tyler Kight and Rob Brown have more extensive pedigrees, but if Matt Briner can supply quality innings like his shutout of a solid Ridley team Thursday, that’s a big boost.
6. Strath Haven (4-2) Last Week: No. 6
The theme of Haven is going to be young players stepping up. For evidence, look no further than Dan Enterlin delivering two solid outings or freshman Will Carey getting the win against Springfield last Thursday in his first varsity start.
7. Radnor (3-2) Last Week: NR
The Raiders don’t necessarily get this spot because they beat Episcopal Academy last Saturday in a nine-inning game that was about as even as could be. They get this spot because of what that win was in abstract terms: A gutsy, nine-inning victory in their fourth game in five days, a stretch through which they went 3-1. In five games this season, Radnor has a grand total of three extra-base hits (or what Strath Haven’s Kevin Mohollen calls a slow afternoon). They just grind out wins.
Dropped out: Episcopal Academy.
Honorable mention: Episcopal Academy (4-6; The Churchmen’s staff has plenty of innings under its belt; now let’s see how it gets rolled out for the Inter-Ac season); Marple Newtown (1-2; so if Ciaran Cahalane can go out and no-hit Lower Merion over five innings Thursday, why wasn’t he deployed against much tougher opposition like Radnor and Haven earlier in the week?); Chichester (3-2; from what I’ve seen of them, Brian Snyder is the No. 1 pitcher for the Eagles in my book. To have John Millison, essentially their No. 2 starter, go out and shut down Interboro to throw the balance of the Del Val in Chi’s favor is telling).