Here we are at the seasons end on the doorsteps of the tournament. As usual the top two teams are the same from years past. The rest of the field, I’m sure, is chomping at the bit to get a chance to unseat the two Delaware baseball powerhouses, Caravel and St Marks.
As I’ve stated in the past, I personally would like to see a new face in the finals and hoisting the trophy. Especially a public school. Don’t take that as anything but respect for the coaching staff’s and programs at both Caravel and St. Marks. I’d just like to see some parity, and typically root for the underdogs in most situations.
The clear favorite is Caravel this year. They have been tested throughout the season with a strong schedule, both instate and out of state. That gives them a significant advantage in the tournament. As always, they have two solid pitchers, which a lot of teams in the tournament do not. This will serve them well in later rounds when most teams have exhausted their number one starter. Building on last years Championship, I’m sure the coaching staff and players are motivated by the possibility of a repeat.
2. St. Marks
As always, the Spartans will have a say in the tournament. This year’s team isn’t as strong last year’s, or in years past. However, they still have plenty of talent, and great baseball minds that will help them in the tourney. Like Caravel, they have played a strong schedule. Having played in some real tight games throughout the year should also help them. I expect a strong showing again from the St Marks.
The Sals are my sleeper team, as they have been off the radar most of the year. It’s great to see the Sals back in contention. They are riding a 10 game winning streak, and playing fantastic baseball. Great pitching and solid defense has been the key to there recent success. More importantly they are the hottest team in the tournament. They appear to have a swagger this year and confidence I haven’t seen for some time. I like them to make a great run and wouldn’t be surprised if they make it to the finals.
Appo is an interesting team in the playoffs. They had the toughest public school schedule this year, having played every top team in the tourney. This makes them more battle tested than most other public schools. An early win over Sals, and narrow defeats to Caravel and St. Marks, should give them confidence and put a chip on their shoulder going into the tournament.
Dover rounds out the favorites, although they have somewhat stumbled to the finish with losses to Delmar and a blowout loss to St Marks to finish their season. I’m sure Gordon will have them ready to play in the tournament.
Schools to Watch:
Archmere and Chuck Clausius have quietly put together another great season this year. The Auks finished at 14-4 and can certainly do some damage in the first round. Expect a great showing by the Auks.
Hodgson and the Player of the Year Brandon Walters, in my opinion is the team no one wants to see in the first round. They can beat anyone with Walt on the mound. Although they struggle without him. Hope you don’t draw the Silver Eagles in round #1.
My guess is there will be some upsets in the first two rounds. The field is well balanced and only Caravel really stand out and are a notch above the rest. This year has been extremely even with every team having some great wins, and some losses to teams they usually dominate. Good luck to all, and have a great tourney!