Phil Anastasia: Diamond Reflections

The first round of the Diamond Classic reflected well on the Olympic American and Cape-Atlantic.

The Colonial? Not so much.

Olympic American teams went 3-1, which was as good as possible since one of those games was a matchup between division rivals Cherokee and Lenape.

Cherokee won that slugfest -- can always count on the Diamond for crooked numbers, as teams usually are maxed out of pitchers; that's what made last year's 1-0 final such a stunner -- while Eastern 10-runned Audubon and Washington Township beat Highland in a 12-inning instant classic.

The Cape also went 3-1 as Buena handled Delran, St. Augustine 10-runned Holy Cross and Holy Spirit 10-runned Haddon Heights. Only loss was Millville's 12-10 setback against Paul VI. No disrespect to Eagles but that game might have been different if Millville pitcher Chet Godfrey doesn't hurt his arm and leave the game in the first inning.

Holy Spirit, likely No. 1 seed in the South A tournament, must be the real deal. Haddon Heights was playing well and Spartans rolled, 19-7.

Not a good weekend for the Colonial. Both Heights and Audubon got 10-runned. I kind of saw the Wave's demise coming; that team is reeling from the loss of ace left-hander Andrew Schorr and just not hitting the ball with any consistency against solid pitching.

Audubon's struggles could open up South 1 for Pitman, Haddon Twp., Pennsville, even fiesty Gloucester.

Heights' lopsided loss surprised me, which could mean that Spirit is better than we think up in the northern edge of South Jersey. I've heard a lot of good things about the Spartans' offense, and maybe most of them were true.

Diamond second-round predictions coming later this week.

-- Phil Anastasia

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