By Phil Anastasia
Last week's ranking in parentheses
(Records through Saturday)
1. Gloucester Catholic (1) 10-1
The Rams are 21-1 since a loss to Millville in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic last May 12. They've been getting great pitching this season, with freshman Tyler Mondile at 2-0 with 18 total Ks.
2. St. Augustine Prep (3) 4-1
Senior catcher Barry Buchowski, a Tulane recruit, hit home runs in consecutive games last week. The Hermits took a hit late last week as rival Holy Spirit scored an 11-9 victory. But this is a deep, talented, seasoned team.
3. Bishop Eustace (5) 6-1
Five different players have hit a home run for the Crusaders. BE bounced back from that loss to Audubon in the Ralph Shaw final with a 3-0 week.
4. Eastern (7) 6-1
Senior second baseman Nick Tierno, a La Salle recruit, turns double plays "like a major leaguer," according to coach Rob Christ. The Vikings pitched four shutouts in Florida, then came back and scored 25 runs in their first three games in New Jersey. Quite a combination.
5. Washington Twp. (2) 5-3
Junior Mark Scarpa went the distance in a 1-0 win over Cherokee in Saturday's Grand Slam Classic championship game. The Minutemen shook off a rough stretch and beat Lenape and Cherokee in the space of three days, getting great work on the mound from Matt Long and Scarpa.
6. Lenape (4) 5-1
Senior lefty Kevin Milley has 21 strikeouts in his first two outings. The Indians are a veteran team with a lot of pitching. They will be in the mix all season.
7. Audubon (9) 4-0
The Green Wave has been off since a 10-5 win over Bishop Eustace on April 7. This is a young team that should get better as the season progresses. And the return of senior infielder Justin Jannetti from brain surgery will provide an emotional lift.
8. Shawnee (NR) 6-1
Senior outfielder Jarret DeHart has four doubles and two triples for the Renegades. These guys are hitting the baseball and Scott Leventon has three pitching victories. Senior Nick Montefusco is tied for the SJ lead in HRs with three.
9. Rancocas Valley (NR) 5-0
Junior Mason Anderson has a pair of pitching wins for the Red Revils. Nick Cieri and Alex Finelli are leading the attack.
10. Cherokee (6) 5-3
Junior Matt Curry has a pitching win, two doubles and two triples for the Chiefs. Big game Friday at home vs. Eastern, an Olympic American and SJ Group 4 rival.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically):
Buena (6-0): With great work from sophomore Denny Brady, the Chiefs are building on last season's success.
Holy Spirit (5-1): Brandon Ott and Ricky Hopkins are leading the waty for heavy-hitting Spartans, who scored big win over St. Augustine Prep by 11-9.
Moorestown (3-1): The Quakers were off last week. Deep pitching staff will keep them in the mix all season.
Sterling (4-0): Senior Connor Walsh is tied for SJ lead in pitching wins with three.
In the mix:
Williamstown (4-2): Big game Monday vs. Clearview.
Delsea (5-1): Crusaders visit No. 1 Gloucester Catholic on Wednesday.
Holy Cross (3-1): The Lancers have a no-hitter by Pat Graham and a one-hitter by Jon Mackie.
Hammonton (4-1): Junior Alex Padovani has a pair of HRs.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter