Surprisingly, there’s no change in the Super 7 this week, thanks in large part to some rain and only a handful of games being played in the week leading up to Easter. But here’s what we do know as far as the Delco baseball layout is concerned. Oh yeah, and more importantly, the first county leaders of the season for hitters and pitchers are updated. (Record and stats through April 21.)
1. Garnet Valley (7-1) Last Week: No. 1
The record is impressive, but even more impressive is against whom the Jaguars have collected those wins. They’ve already gotten by Penncrest, Strath Haven and Marple Newtown, and their only blemish is a wild 13-9 affair against Conestoga in the third game in three days. The tests they’ve passed mean that some winnable games against the bottom of the league lie ahead. For all the Division I commits on the team, it’s been the unsung heroes this season. Ben Faso has come out of nowhere to be a major RBI producer, while Chance Malek has been a consistent threat with the bat and on the mound.
2. Cardinal O’Hara (8-2) Last Week: No. 2
Sweeping three straight games from St. Joseph’s Prep, even if that accomplished program seems a bit down this year, is a significant achievement. The Lions have arguably the best lineup in the county, pounding out doubles at a ridiculous pace. Let’s see how long they can continue to ride the horse that Will Latcham has been this year.
3. Haverford School (10-5) Last Week: No. 3
The Fords know how to win games, as the back-to-back walk-off hits by nine-hitter Tommy Toal last week attest. But they are in a very tough league where Malvern Prep, Penn Charter, Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill (which the Fords beat last week behind seven masterful innings from Connor Burke) are all formidable squads. The drop-off in pitching behind Burke might be what holds them back.
4. Bonner-Prendergast (7-3) Last Week: No. 4
Arms are not in short supply for the Friars, whose No. 3 starter Dan Goggin made mincemeat of Lansdale Catholic Monday over five easy no-hit innings. The hope is that less rain could allow their staff to turn over consistently and get Brad Scull and Nick Bralcyzk in a groove. The offense, meanwhile, is still a work in progress. That’s how someone like Steve Furman goes from the nine-hold to batting third in just a couple of weeks. They have the talent and the skills on offense, it’s just a matter of getting it all going at the same time. It may be a bit alarming that after seeing Archbishop Carroll snap their 21-game regular-season Catholic League win streak, the response wasn’t sharper in the early going against LC Monday.
5. Penncrest (8-3) Last week: No. 5
If you’ve got one game to play, there might not be a more terrifying pitcher in all the county to be on the other side of than Rob Brown. His last three starts: Taking a no-hitter into the seventh before an unearned run saddled him with a loss against Garnet Valley, a five-inning shutout of Marple 11-0 and a five inning shutout of Radnor 10-0. That’s 16.1 innings and just six hits allowed. Not too shabby.
6. Strath Haven (5-4) Last Week: No. 6
The Panthers went 3-2 without injured catcher Kevin Mohollen, including narrow losses to Garnet Valley and Conestoga and a win over Penncrest. They are starting to get healthy, with Mohollen due to get back into the mix this week. If he can pump up a lineup that can find any kind of support for the excellent pitching of Ashton Raines and Dan Enterlin in recent weeks, some of those narrow losses could flip to the other side of the ledger.
7. Radnor (6-3) Last Week: No. 7
I marvel at this spring’s schedule. Radnor and Penncrest have had eight days between games. Garnet Valley has had 11. Just baffling. In any event, Radnor has Garnet Valley this week, and it was a win over the Jags last year that validated the Raiders’ quest to make the playoffs. Sean Corelli will have to come up big on the mound if they want to duplicate it this year.
Honorable mention: Marple Newtown (3-4; the Tigers are here because they haven’t beaten anyone they weren’t supposed to, short of Grant Wallace’s shutout of a Harriton team on its third pitcher); Episcopal Academy (6-9; the Churchmen gave Malvern a game and beat a GA team that drubbed Haverford School, but they are going to have to find something special to consistently get wins in a deep Inter-Ac); Chichester (6-2; The Eagles can all but clinch the Del Val Tuesday when they visit Interboro. With John Millison shutting the Bucs down last time, you’d expect Brian Snyder to be on the bump.)