Cavaliers leave no doubt; Chesapeake-Anne Arundel and Glenelg complete surprising state championship runs with spot in Top 5
by Pat O’Malley
Archbishop Spalding High went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the VSN Baseball Top 20 this spring. The Cavaliers notched their fourth MIAA A Conference championship under the 10-year tenure of coach Joe Palumbo.
Palumbo’s dad, Jeff, led the Cavs to the 2010 title giving the Severn school five A Conference crowns under the duo.
While Spalding won it all this spring and squeezed the No. 1 ranking with the most wins (27-4) in the metro area, including a perfect 14-0 in the regular season. The Cavaliers went 3-0 in the season-ending double elimination tournament.
There was a slew of constant surprises in the VSN rankings, making it without a doubt the wildest, unpredictable season of parity.
Two of the huge surprises were Class 2A Glenelg of Howard County (Class 2A) and Chesapeake-Anne Arundel (3A) copping state titles.
When the season opened, it appeared Severna Park was finally going to bring coach Eric Milton his first state championship. Class 3A would be quite a battle among the likes of Reservoir, River Hill and Towson, but scrappy and competitive Chesapeake-AA in his 10th season and that the 3A would be quite a battle among the likes of Towson, Reservoir and River Hill. Chesapeake would be it’s usual scrappy, competitive self under first-year coach Jeff Young.
Severna Park advanced to a fourth 4A title game in 10 years, and again, it fell short, losing for a second straight year to Montgomery County’s Sherwood.
Young, a 1991 graduate and longtime Chesapeake assistant coach under Ken King, had the Cougars ranked every week in the VSN Top 20. The Lake Shore school is No. 2 in the final poll.
Glenelg was not ranked to start but was by week #2 and remained in the double-digit ranks, nearly dropping out when they slotted at No. 20 in the fifth week. In week No. 8, the Gladiators of coach Steve Tiffany had steadily climbed to No. 17 then zoomed to No. 9 last week after advancing to the state semifinals
After upsetting UCBAC Chesapeake champ and No. 9 North East in the 2A state semifinals, Glenelg stunned undefeated Calvert County’s Patuxent, 4-1, in the final to notch the Howard County school’s first state baseball crown since 1999.
It was quite a year – never a dull moment – and we lost Calvert Hall College’s veteran coach Lou Eckerl to retirement. Eckerl went out as the Hall’s all-time winningiest coach and was also named the VSN Baseball Coach of the Decade.
Here’s the final VSN Baseball Top 20 for 2022:
1. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING
Previous rank: 1
Last week: defeated No. 14 John Carroll School, 7-2, MIAA A Tournament final
SEASON RESULT – MIAA A CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
2. CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL
Previous rank: 5
Last week: defeated Thomas Johnson, 6-2 (Class 3A state semifinal) and then-No. 3 Towson, 5-1 (3A state final)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONS
3. CALVERT HALL COLLEGE
Previous rank: 4
SEASON RESULT – MIAA A CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALIST
4. SEVERNA PARK
Previous rank: 2
Last week: defeated then-No. 16 Dulaney, 10-0 (Class 4A state semifinal) and lost to Sherwood, 11-0 (4A state final)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 4A STATE FINALIST & ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 9
Last week: defeated then-No. 8 North East, 4-2 (Class 2A state semifinal) and Patuxent, 4-1 (2A state final)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 3
Last week: defeated then-No. 6 Reservoir, 2-1 (Class 3A state semifinal), and lost to then-No. 5 Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, 5-1 (3A state final)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 3A STATE FINALIST & BALTIMORE COUNTY CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 6
Last week: lost to then-No. 3 Towson, 2-1, Class 3A state semifinal
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 3A STATE SEMIFINALIST
8. RIVER HILL
Previous rank: 7
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 3A EAST REGION II FINALIST & HOWARD COUNTY CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 11
Last week: lost to Patuxent, 3-1, Class 2A state semifinal
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 2A STATE SEMIFINALIST & CARROLL COUNTY ATHLETIC LEAGUE CO-CHAMPIONS
10. NORTH EAST
Previous rank: 8
Last week: lost to then-No. 9 Glenelg, 4-3 (Class 2A state semifinal)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 2A STATE SEMIFINALIST & UCBAC CHESAPEAKE CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 10
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 2A STATE QUARTERFINALIST
Previous rank: 12
SEASON RESULT – ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY FINALIST & CLASS 4A EAST REGION I SEMIFINALIST
Previous rank: 13
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 4A EAST REGION II SEMIFINALIST
14. JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL
Previous rank: 14
Last week: lost to No. 1 Archbishop Spalding, 7-2, MIAA A Conference Tournament finals
SEASON RESULT – MIAA A CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT FINALIST
15. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY
Previous rank: 15
16. PERRY HALL
Previous rank: 17
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 4A NORTH REGION I FINALIST
Previous rank: 18
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 2A WEST REGION FINALIST & CARROLL COUNTY ATHLETIC LEAGUE CO-CHAMPIONS
Previous rank: 16
Last week: lost to then-No. 2 Severna Park, 10-0 (Class 4A state semifinal)
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 4A STATE SEMIFINALIST
19. SOUTH CARROLL
Previous rank: 19
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 1A STATE QUARTERFINALIST
20. BEL AIR
Previous rank: 20
SEASON RESULT – CLASS 3A STATE QUARTERFINALIST
20. INDIAN CREEK SCHOOL
Previous rank: Not ranked
Last week: defeated St. Paul’s School, 10-0 and 9-8, MIAA B Conference Tournament finals
SEASON RESULT – MIAA B CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS