Archbishop Curley claims honor with postseason on horizon; Catonsville returns


by Pat O’Malley

With an area-best 25-3 record, including last week’s 9-2 victory over then-No. 1 John Carroll School, Archbishop Curley have rightfully moved to the No. 1 spot in the latest VSN’s Baseball Top 20.

Of course, that is for now because to stay there pretty much means surviving the postseason as the MIAA A Conference Tournament kicks off this weekend. The Friars might have the edge because the rumor around Curley is coach Brooks Norris has told his players they can shave his beard if they win it all for the first time since 2001.

Curley will close its regular season by hosting No. 6 Calvert Hall College on Tuesday and will await the winner of one of the two quarterfinal games to be played Friday. The Paul Nixon-led Friars have secured a bye and won’t play until May 14. They can take the top seed over John Carroll School with a win over The Hall.

The Friars are 15-2 in conference while second-ranked John Carroll is 13-3 with two games left. Finals for the MIAA championship are Sunday, May 20 and the if necessary game in the double-elimination affair is May 21, both for Harford Community College’s plush field.

There were five ranked teams that went undefeated last week with Curley leading the way at 4-0 and each of the other four rung up a 3-0 log. Three of the teams the Friars beat were ranked and remain in the Top 20 in the mentioned John Carroll, No. 9 Bel Air (12-2) and No. 11 Loyola Blakefield (12-9).

Arundel (17-3) and Severna Park (16-3), climbing to #3 and #4 respectively in the Top 20, were among the 3-0 teams last week. The two will play for the Anne Arundel County championship Tuesday 7 p.m. at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans before starting the Class 4A East Region playoffs. 

The Falcons and Wildcats split their two games this season and besides the county final could also tangle again in the regional. The seedings for the state tournaments will be announced tomorrow.

No. 12 Reservoir and 13th-ranked River Hill also went 3-0 last week in Howard County action to jump three and four places, respectively. Reservoir has a league makeup game at Oakland Mills today, and if the Gators win the road game they will tie No. 5 Marriotts Ridge for the Howard County championship. Each would be 14-3 in league games.

Defending county champion Marriotts Ridge lost its first of four games last week by 9-5 to then-No. 3 Howard Lions (15-5, 13-4), but bounced back to win the other three while the Lions dropped their last two of four to Long Reach and Reservoir. The Mustangs advanced from No. 7 to No. 5 with their finish and clinching at least a tie for the county crown. 

NOTE: The seedings for the state public school tournaments in Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A will be announced Tuesday. The tournament begin with section quarterfinal games on Thursday.     

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 6:

VSN BASEBALL TOP 20 POLL – WEEK 4

1. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (25-3)

Last week’s rank: #2

Last week: defeated No. 9 Bel Air (13-12), then-No. 1 John Carroll School (9-2), then-No. 14 Loyola Blakefield (13-4) and C. Milton Wright (10-0).

This week: vs. No. 6 Calvert Hall College, May 8; MIAA A Conference Tournament

2. JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL (18-3)

Last week’s rank: #1

Last week: lost to then-No. 2 Archbishop Curley (9-2) and then-No. 14 Loyola Blakefield, 5-2; defeated then-No. 19 St. Mary’s, 5-2.

This week: at No. 15 Archbishop Spalding, May 7; at Mount St Joseph, May 8; MIAA A Conference Tournament

3. ARUNDEL (17-3)

Last week’s rank: #4

Last week: defeated Southern (16-5), South River (13-3) and Broadneck (5-1).

This week: vs. No. 4 Severna Park, Anne Arundel County final at Joe Cannon Stadium, May 8; Class 4A East Region Section I quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

4. SEVERNA PARK (16-3)

Last week’s rank: #6

Last week: defeated South River (7-4), Annapolis (10-4) and Southern (10-4).

This week: vs. No. 3 Arundel, Anne Arundel County final at Joe Cannon Stadium; Class 4A East Region Section I quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

5. MARRIOTTS RIDGE (14-3)

Last week’s rank: #7

Last week: lost to then-No. 3 Howard, 9-5; defeated then-No. 16 Mount Hebron (7-5), Wilde Lake (9-8) and Hammond (10-0).

This week: Class 2A South Region Section I quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

6. CALVERT HALL COLLEGE (16-8)

Last week’s rank: #5

Last week: lost to then-No. 14 Loyola Blakefield, 4-2, and St. Paul’s School, 13-2.

This week: at No. 1 Archbishop Curley, May 8; MIAA A Conference Tournament, May 11

7. HOWARD (15-5)

Last week’s rank: #3

Last week: defeated then-No. 7 Marriotts Ridge (9-5) and Atholton (15-10); lost to Long Reach (18-6) and then-No. 15 Reservoir, 8-3.

This week: Class 4A North Region Section I semifinals, May 12

8. DULANEY (14-2)

Last week’s rank: #12

Last week: defeated Sparrows Point, 3-2; lost to Catonsville, 5-1; defeated Towson, 10-0.

This week: vs. C. Milton Wright, May 7; at Gilman School, May 9

9. BEL AIR (12-2)

Last week’s rank: #9

Last week: lost to then-No. 2 Archbishop Curley (13-2); defeated C. Milton Wright (8-5) and Perry Hall (12-2).

This week: at No. 18 Westminster, May 7; Class 3A North Region Section II quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

10. PATTERSON MILL (13-5)

Last week’s rank: #10

Last week: defeated North Harford (10-4) and then-No. 11 Century (12-0); lost to Fallston (7-6), and defeated Havre de Grace (7-1).

This week: vs. Francis Scott Key, May 7; Class 1A East Region Section I playoffs

11. LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD (12-9)

Last week’s rank: #14

Last week: defeated then-No. 5 Calvert Hall College (4-2) and then-No. 1 John Carroll SChool (5-2); lost to then-No. 2 Archbishop Curley (13-4); defeated McDonogh School (9-2).

This week: at Caravel Academy (DE), May 7; at St. Mary’s, May 8; MIAA A Conference Tournament, May 11

12. RESERVOIR (13-4)

Last week’s rank: #15

Last week: defeated Hammond (11-2), Centennial (11-1) and then-No. 3 Howard (8-3).

This week: at Oakland Mills, May 7; Class 3A East Region Section I semifinals, May 12

13. RIVER HILL (12-4)

Last week’s rank: #17

Last week: defeated Centennial (6-4), Atholton (4-2), and then-No. 16 Mount Hebron (2-0).

This week: vs. Eleanor Roosevelt, May 8; Class 2A South Region quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

14. CENTURY (13-2)

Last week’s rank: #11

Last week: defeated Mount St. Joseph (12-8) and Liberty (12-5); lost to No. 10 Patterson Mill (12-0); defeated Patuxent (7-3).

This week: at Franklin, May 7

15. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING (13-12)

Last week’s rank: #12

Last week: lost to Gilman School (6-4) and Mount St. Joseph (3-2); defeated McDonogh School (11-1) and then-No. 19 St. Mary’s (10-5).

This week: vs. No. 2 John Carroll School, May 7; vs. St. Paul’s School, May 8; MIAA A Conference Tournament

16. CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL (10-6)

Last week’s rank: #13

Last week: defeated Old Mill (8-5) and Northeast (13-3); lost to No. 20 North County (1-0).

This week: Class 3A East Region Section II semifinals, May 12

17. MOUNT HEBRON (11-6)

Last week’s rank: #16

Last week: defeated Long Reach, 6-2; lost to then-No. 7 Marriotts Ridge (7-5) and Oakland Mills (12-1); lost to then-No. 17 River Hill, 2-0.

This week: Class 3A East Region Section I quarterfinals or semifinals, May 10 or May 12

18. WESTMINSTER (10-4)

Last week’s rank: #18

Last week: defeated Manchester Valley (7-2) and Franklin (13-6); lost to McDonogh School (7-2); defeated St. Vincent Pallotti (14-1).

This week: vs. No. 9 Bel Air, May 7; vs. South Carroll, May 8; Class 3A West Region Section I quarterfinal or semifinal, May 10 or May 12

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19. CATONSVILLE (12-5)

Last week’s rank: Not ranked

Last week: defeated Lansdowne (9-3) and No. 8 Dulaney (5-1); lost to Winters Mill (12-5); defeated Eastern Tech (1-0).

This week: Class 4A North Region Section I semifinals, May 12

 

20. NORTH COUNTY (13-6)

Last week’s rank: #20

Last week: defeated Meade, 10-0; lost to Old Mill, 11-4; defeated Wilde Lake (9-8) and Hammond (10-0).

This week: Class 4A East Region Section I quarterfinals, May 10