Baseball: New Top 10

Cherokee moved up to No. 4 in the rankings in the latest Top 10.

The Chiefs have won seven in a row and all seven wins have been over solid programs.

Washington Township, Gloucester Catholic and Audubon stayed at 1-2-3 but WT will face a big challenge from Cherokee in a game Monday at 10 a.m. in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Here's the new Top 10, with records through Saturday and previous record in parentheses:

1. Washington Twp. (1) 13-0
Freshman twins Chris and Nick Hartz are like another leadoff man and No. 2 hitter at the bottom of the lineup. The Minutemen meet Cherokee Monday in Cooperstown in a game that could decide the Olympic American division race, and  has major Top 10 and Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic implications.

2. Gloucester Catholic (2) 13-2
The Rams will play North Jersey power Don Bosco Prep in a possible preview of the Non-Public A state title game on Sunday in year-old Provident Bank Park, home of the Rockland Boulders of the CanAm League in Pomona, N.Y. The Rams were off last week.

3. Audubon (3) 12-2
Through Saturday, the Green Wave had 39 doubles in their first 14 games, led by senior catcher Derek Wickersham's dozen. East Carolina-bound Andrew Schorr has four triples and six doubles.

4. Cherokee (6) 9-2
Senior shortstop Shane Garrett has six extra-base hits in the Chiefs' seven-game winning streak. The seven wins have been over Eastern (twice), Cherry Hill East, Moorestown, Lenape, Bishop Eustace and Holy Cross. That's an impressive streak.

5. Millville (4) 10-3
Excluding a 12-0 loss to Washington Township, the Thunderbolts have allowed 13 runs in their other 12 games. Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Mainland in 10 innings was an instant classic. Aaron Cox and Andrew Biggs combined for 20 Ks in that game. Big game Monday against Cape American rival Hammonton.

6. Hammonton (7) 10-2
A berth in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic could be on the line when the Blue Devils visit No. 5 Millville on Monday at 4 p.m. Hammonton likely will go with sophomore ace LHP Justin Smith, Millville with senior RHP Aaron Cox.

7. Buena (4) 10-4
Monday's 4 p.m. showdown with No. 8 Sacred Heart will be special for Chiefs' senior Justin Geri, who used to play for the Lions.

8. Sacred Heart (8) 10-2
Kevin Allen has four doubles in the Lions' last four games. Tovine Potts is tied for the SJ lead in triples with four.

9. Eastern (10) 10-6
The Vikings are 7-3 in their last 10 with losses to No. 4 Cherokee (twice) and No. 7 Buena. La Salle-bound senior Mike Marchitto is starting to drive the ball with four doubles and a homer in the last four games.

10. Paul VI (NR) 9-4
The Eagles have won four of five with the only loss by 5-4 to No. 1 Washington Township. Senior shortstop Brian Almand has been sparking PVI. Senior first baseman Paschal Petrongolo is hitting .400 with 16 runs and 20 RBIs.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically):

Holy Cross (11-2): Lancers have hit a little rough patch after a strong start. They'll bounce  back.

Pennsauken (11-1): Indians grabbed first place in the Olympic Patriot with a win over Shawnee on Wednesday. Senior third baseman Alex Polanco has seven HRs.

Shawnee (9-3): Connor Arsenault and Brian Lawler each have five doubles for the Renegades.

Sterling (10-1): Silver Knights host Haddonfield Monday in a key Colonial Liberty game.

-- Phil Anastasia

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