Posted: 12:22 pm Monday, February 24th, 2014

Baseball: Inside the Top 10, plus this week’s top matchups 

By Anthony Chiang

The first two weeks are in the books and Park Vista and Palm Beach Gardens are still the top two teams in the Post’s rankings.

While that has not changed yet this season, there are plenty of changes in this week’s Top 10. Four teams made their first appearance in the rankings this week.

Post Top 10
1. Park Vista (4-0): Recorded an 11-0 win over Forest Hill last week.
2. Palm Beach Gardens (4-1): Already scored 17 or more runs in two games this season.
3. Trinity Christian (6-0): Outscored opponents by combined 46-17 margin this season.
4. West Boca Raton (3-0): Have not allowed a run in three games.
5. Seminole Ridge (5-0): Earned big district win over rival Palm Beach Central last week.
6. Cardinal Newman (5-1): SS Bruce Steel hitting .500 with four RBIs this season.
7. Royal Palm Beach (4-1): Sean Malynn with team-high nine RBIs for the Wildcats.
8. Spanish River (4-1): Allowed just four runs this season.
9. Boca Raton (3-2): Bobcats earned wins over American Heritage and John I. Leonard last week.
10. King’s Academy (3-3): Scored 19 runs in a win over St. Andrew’s.

The top of the rankings didn’t change much, but the bottom sure did. Park Vista, Palm Beach Gardens, Trinity Christian and West Boca Raton stayed in their spots. But Seminole Ridge made its first appearance in the top five this week. The Hawks are 5-0 and earned a big win over district rival Palm Beach Central last week. Seminole Ridge has dominated opponents this season, scoring seven or more runs in four games and holding opponents to two runs or less in every game this season.

Cardinal Newman is another team that made its debut in the Top 10 this week. The Crusaders earned a quality win over King’s Academy last week and have already pitched four shutouts this season. Royal Palm Beach, Spanish River and Boca Raton also jumped into the Top 10 after solid stars to the year. Meanwhile, King’s Academy dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 this week. The Lions lost a hard fought game to Cardinal Newman 4-3 last week. King’s Academy will have a chance at revenge on March 25, when it faces the Crusaders in a rematch.

Games of the Week

Jupiter (2-3) at No. 5 Seminole Ridge (5-0), Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.: It has been a rough start to the season for the Warriors. On the other side, Seminole Ridge couldn’t have asked for a better start. The Hawks are 5-0 and have been one of the most impressive teams so far. But Jupiter could continue its climb back into the Top 10 with a win over Seminole Ridge. The Warriors have talent, so it would not be surprising if the Hawks suffer their first loss Tuesday.

No. 6 Cardinal Newman (5-1) at American Heritage (3-3), Tuesday at 7 p.m.: Crusaders shortstop Bruce Steel is one of the best players in the county and he has proved it this season. The senior is sporting a .500 batting average with four RBIs and six stolen bases. Those stats have helped Cardinal Newman begin the season with a 5-1 record. Meanwhile, American Heritage is struggling. The Stallions have dropped three of their past four games. Which private school will will win this battle Tuesday?

No. 1 Park Vista (4-0) at No. 9 Boca Raton (3-2), Wednesday at 7 p.m.: The Cobras have not even been tested yet. Park Vista is outscoring opponents 39-8 this season behind seven RBIs from Joey Genord. But Boca Raton may test the Cobras. The Bobcats have shown to be competitive this year, recording quality wins over Dwyer and American Heritage. This may mark Park Vista’s first close game of the season.