Posted: 11:22 am Monday, April 21st, 2014

Baseball: Inside the final Top 10, plus district tournaments to watch out for 

By Anthony Chiang

Baseball’s regular season is over and district tournaments begin this week.

Palm Beach Central will rely on pitcher/leadoff hitter Shane Sawczak in this week's District 9-8A tournament. (Photo by Bill Ingram)

We posted our district tournament preview over the weekend, including a breakdown of every bracket involving an area team. But with the start of the playoffs, PBgametime’s weekly rankings have to come to an end. Here’s the season’s final edition of the Post Top 10.

1. West Boca Raton (18-1): Starts District 13-7A tourney as No. 1 seed.
2. Park Vista (21-3): Ended regular season by dropping two of final six games.
3. Trinity Christian (20-4): Despite good record, enters district tourney as No. 4 seed.
4. Palm Beach Gardens (18-7): Enters postseason on five-game winning streak.
5. Dwyer (15-6): One-two punch of Colton Rendon and Thomas Szapucki tough to beat.
6. American Heritage (17-8): Finished with perfect 8-0 district record.
7. Palm Beach Central (15-9-1): Young, but dangerous well-coached team.
8. Jupiter (14-11): Held opponents to two runs or less in five of past six games.
9. Spanish River (16-9): Anthony Acino batting .338 for Sharks.
10. Wellington (17-8): Enters district tournament on two-game wining streak.

District tournaments to watch out for:

District 9-8A
: This district tournament is hard to predict. Four of the five teams in this district are in the Post’s Top 10 and even first-round games are going to be fun to watch. Jupiter enters the tourney as the No. 1 seed after ending the season on an eight-game winning streak. But Palm Beach Gardens is the most talented team of the group, and the presence of future MLB Draft picks Pavin Smith and Jj Schwarz gives them a good chance to win this district tournament. Palm Beach Central and Wellington cannot be ignored either. The Broncos’ matchup against Gardens on Tuesday will be one of the better early week games in the county. Although Seminole Ridge enters as the fifth seed, the Hawks are capable of making a run. In other words, don’t try predicting this bracket.

District 13-4A:
American Heritage went a perfect 8-0 in the district, but King’s Academy and Cardinal Newman will fight it out for the district’s second spot in regionals. The Lions will rely on Dominic Mercurio (4-1, 2.67 ERA in 39.1 innings). Mercurio also gets it done at the plate, as he is hitting .519 with eight doubles. But the Lions struggled against the Stallions in the regular season, as American Heritage outscored King’s 23-4 in two games. Cardinal Newman gave the Stallions a tougher test, falling 3-2 and 11-8 to American Heritage in the regular season. But the Stallions are heavy favorites to win the tournament this week.