Category: Feature

Top-ranked Curley goes for first MIAA A title since 2001 


by Pat O’Malley

Archbishop Curley retains the No. 1 ranking in the VSN Baseball Top 20 as the Friars go after their first MIAA A Conference championship since 2001 tonight (Mon. May 21, 7:00 p.m.) at Harford Community College vs. No. 14 Gilman. The Friars coach Brooks Norris was a star pitcher (8-2, 1.84 ERA) and hitter (.396, 3 dingers, 33 RBIS) on the 2001 team that was the last title for their late legendary coach Al Frank.

Curley (27-4) won the MIAA A Conference regular season title and now hopes to add the post season double-elimination tournament title against a streaking sixth-seeded Gilman Greyhounds team (15-13) that started off by upsetting then No. 2 John Carroll, 5-3. The Greyhounds then dropped a 4-3 decision to Curley, 4-3, but bounced back to eliminate Calvert Hall, 4-3 and Loyola, 2-1 to advance to the finals where they have to win two straight over the Friars.

Gilman, winners of six of their last seven games, has vaulted from No. 17 to No. 14 in the Top 20 this week while Calvert Hall dropped from No. 11 to No. 15 after being eliminated in the MIAA A Conference Tournament. Coach Mike Kelly’s Loyola Dons (16-11), the 2017 A Conference champion, made another good showing in the post season tourney before bowing to Gilman on Sunday.

With John Carroll (20-6) being eliminated by Loyola, 8-2, the Patriots slipped from No. 2 to No. 3 as Severna Park (20-3) moved up to the second spot from 3. The 4A East champion Falcons will go after the Class 4A State title this week, starting Tuesday night (May 22) at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda vs. C.H. Flowers of Prince Georges’ County.

Hard-hitting Severna Park out-slugged Leonardtown, 9-7 to win to the 4A East region Saturday night at Blandair Regional Park in Columbia and with a win over Flowers will face the winner between No. 5 Howard (18-4) and Bethesda Chevy Chase Friday night at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen (7:30 p.m.). A Severna Park/Howard matchup would be wild since the Howard County Lions upset the Falcons in last year’s 4A State semifinals.

Howard moved up one spot in the VSN Poll as did No. 4 Marriotts Ridge (17-3). The Mustangs of Howard County are seeking the Class 2A State crown, but must win on the road at LaPlata (18-5) of Charles County to win the 2A South and a berth in the final four.

There were only a few minor changes elsewhere in the rankings but Sparrows Point (14-6), which debuted in the Top 20 a couple of weeks ago, has returned at No. 20 with Baltimore County neighbor, the Kenwood Bluebirds (14-5), who were eliminated 8-2 in 3A North by No. 7 Bel Air (15-2). The Pointers visit Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass at Druid Hill Park today (May 21) to settle Class 1A North Region.

Boonsboro (20-1) awaits the winner for a 7:00 p.m. contest tomorrow in the Class 1A State semis (Tues. May 22) at McCurdy Field in Frederick.

Editor’s Note: The VSN Baseball Top is compiled by veteran high school baseball writer and historian Pat O’Malley. He welcomes input from coaches on the poll. He can be reached at 410-647-2499 or patomalleysports@aol.com.

Here is the entire VSN Baseball Top 20 for week 8:

VSN BASEBALL TOP 20 POLL - WEEK 4

1. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (27-4)

Last week's rank: #1

Last week: defeated C. Milton Wright, 10-0; defeated then No. 9 Loyola, 12-2, MIAA A Conference Tournament; defeated then No. 17 Gilman, 4-3 MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: vs. No. 14 Gilman MIAA A Conference Tournament Finals, at Harford Community College, 5-20

2. SEVERNA PARK (20-3)

Last week's rank: #3

Last week: defeated then No. 4 Arundel, 4-1, Class 4A East Section 1 Final; defeated Leonardtown, 9-7, Class 4A East Region Final

This week: Class 4A State semifinals vs. CH Flowers, 4 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field, 5-22

3. JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL (20-6)

Last week's rank: #2

Last week: lost to then No. 17 Gilman, 5-3, defeated then No. 18 Archbishop Spalding, 11-6 and lost to then No. 9 Loyola, 8-2 MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: Season complete

4. MARRIOTTS RIDGE (17-3)

Last week's rank: #5

Last week: defeated Glenelg, 10-0 Class 2A East Section 1 final

This week: at. La Plata Class 2A East Final, 5-21

5. HOWARD (18-4)

Last week's rank: #6

Last week: defeated then No. 7 Dulaney, 2-1 Class 4A North Section 1 final; defeated Urbana, 11-10 Class 4A North Region final

This week: Class 4A State semifinals vs. Bethesda Chevy Chase at Shirley Povich Field at 7 p.m. 5-22

6. ARUNDEL (18-5)

Last week's rank: #4

Last week: lost to then No. Severna Park, 4-1 Class 4A East Section 1 Final

This week: Season complete

7. BEL AIR (14-2)

Last week's rank: #8

Last week: defeated then No. 20 Kenwood, 8-2 Class 3A North Section 1 Final

This week: vs. Towson Class 3A North Final, at Yankee Stadium, Ripken Complex, 4 p.m., 5-21

8. LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD (16-11)

Last week's rank: #9

Last week: lost to No. 1 Archbishop Curley, 12-2, defeated then No. 2 John Carroll, 8-2 and lost to then No. 17 Gilman, 2-1 MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: Season complete

9. DULANEY (17-3)

Last week's rank: #7

Last week: lost to then No. 6 Howard, 2-1 Class 4A North Section 1 Final

This week: Season complete

10. PATTERSON MILL (16-6)

Last week's rank: #10

Last week: lost to Colonel Richardson, 2-1 Class 1A East Section 1 final

This week: Season complete

11. RESERVOIR (16-4)

Last week's rank: #12

Last week: defeated then No.15 Mount Hebron, 1-0 Class 3A East Section 1 Final

This week: vs. No. 13 Chesapeake-AA Class 3A East Final at Blandair Regional Park, 5-21

12. CENTURY (16-2)

Last week's rank: #13

Last week: defeated Winters Mill, 24-3 Class 2A West Section 1 Final

This week: vs. Walkersville Class 2A West Final, 5-21

13. CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL (11-6)

Last week's rank: #14

Last week: defeated Stephen Decatur, 4-2 Class 3A East Section 1 Final

This week: vs. No. 11 Reservoir Class 3A East Final at Blandair Regional Park, 5-21

14. GILMAN SCHOOL (15-13)

Last week's rank: #17

Last week: defeated then No. 2 John Carroll, 5-3, lost to No. 1 Archbishop Curley, 4-3, defeated then No. 11 Calvert Hall, 4-3, defeated then No. 9 Loyola, 2-1 semifinals MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: vs. No. 1 Archbishop Curley MIAA A Conference Finals, at Harford Community College, 5-21

15. CALVERT HALL COLLEGE (17-11)

Last week's rank: #11

Last week: lost to then No. 17 Gilman, 4-3 and then No. 18 Archbishop Spalding, 4-3 MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: Season complete

16. NORTH COUNTY (14-7)

Last week's rank: #16

Last week: Did not play

This week: Season complete

15. MOUNT HEBRON (12-6)

Last week's rank: #15

Last week: lost to then No. 12 Reservoir, 1-0 Class 3A East Section 1 Final

This week: Season complete

18. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING (17-13)

Last week's rank: #18

Last week: defeated then No. 11 Calvert Hall, 4-3, lost to then No. 9 Loyola, 4-2 and lost to then No. 2 John Carroll, 11-6 MIAA A Conference Tournament

This week: Season complete

19. CATONSVILLE (12-6)

Last week's rank: #19

Last week: Did not play

This week: Season complete

 

20t. KENWOOD BLUEBIRDS (14-6)

Last week's rank: #20t.

Last week: lost to then No. 8 Bel Air, 8-2 Class 3A North Section 1 Final

This week: Season complete

20t. SPARROWS POINT (14-6)

Last week's rank: Not ranked

Last week: defeated Loch Raven, 8-1 Class 1A North Section 1 Final

This week: at Douglass-Balto., Class 1A North Final at Druid Hill Park, 5-21