Posted: 11:32 am Monday, March 3rd, 2014

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

By Anthony Chiang

We are three weeks in and Park Vista is still the No. 1 team in our rankings.

Cardinal Newman senior Anthony Zalesk has allowed just one earned run in 14 1/3 innings on the mound this season. (Photo by Madeline Gray)

This won’t change until the Cobras lose a game. Park Vista has dominated opponents this season, winning every game by at least four runs. But there is a new team in the No. 2 slot.

Post Top 10
1. Park Vista (6-0): Scoring 9.67 runs per game this season.
2. West Boca Raton (6-0): Allowed just one run in six games this season.
3. Palm Beach Gardens (5-2): Tough matchups against PB Central and Boca Raton this week.
4. Trinity Christian (6-1): Suffered first loss of the season to Pompano Beach-Highlands Christian.
5. Seminole Ridge (5-2): Cooled down after 5-0 start, losing two games last week.
6. Cardinal Newman (6-2): Won six of past seven.
7. Royal Palm Beach (5-2): Brandon Hernandez and Sean Malynn batting over .400 for Wildcats.
8. American Heritage (6-3): After 2-3 start, Stallions have won four straight.
9. Dwyer (4-2): Outscoring opponents 34-0 over past three games.
10. Boynton Beach (4-1): Tigers off to surprising hot start.

West Boca is the big winner this week. The Bulls jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 after winning another three games last week. West Boca has allowed just one run this season, outscoring opponents by a combined margin of 56-1. Wow. As the Bulls moved up, Palm Beach Gardens and Trinity Christian moved down a spot. The Gators fell to Jupiter and the Warriors fell to Highlands Christian last week.

The bottom of the rankings changed quite a bit. American Heritage, Dwyer and Boynton Beach jumped into the rankings this week. The Stallions have won four straight behind a team-high nine RBIs from Tyler Frank. Dwyer is also riding a four-game winning streak thanks to stellar pitching from junior Thomas Szapucki (0.93 ERA), who is committed to Florida, and sophomore Colton Rendon (0.00 ERA). And Boynton Beach occupies the last spot in the Top 10. Under new coach John Drouin, the Tigers have already matched last season’s win total.

Games of the Week

No. 2 West Boca Raton (6-0) at No. 7 Royal Palm Beach (5-2), Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.: This will be a fun matchup to watch between two of the hottest teams in the county. The Bulls’ pitching has been incredible this season, allowing just one run in six games. West Boca has already earned quality wins over Spanish River and Wellington, and they will be looking to add another on Tuesday. Starting pitchers Brandon Houk (0.53 ERA) and Tristan McKenzie (1.80 ERA) have been two of the catalysts for the Wildcats’ success this season.

Spanish River (5-3) at No. 1 Park Vista (6-0), Tuesday at 7 p.m.: Spanish River fell out of the rankings this week after dropping two games, but a win over Park Vista on Tuesday will fix that. The Cobras have one of the strongest teams in the county, sporting a team batting average of .366. Park Vista junior Austin Smith is leading the way, batting .625. Smith has also allowed zero runs in 13 innings on the mound. Spanish River will have its hands full in this one.

No. 6 Cardinal Newman (6-2) at No. 9 Dwyer (4-2), Saturday 6 p.m.: If you like good pitching, this is the game to watch. The Crusaders have allowed eight runs over their past seven games. Meanwhile, the Panthers have not allowed a run during their current three-game winning steak. In this type of matchup, the room for error is very small and one mistake can decide the result. In other words, we have some high quality Saturday night baseball to look forward to.