Today is the final day of the regular season and with the campaign starting on a 35-degree day, I for one, welcome the heat. Now it feels like baseball, and the District 1 Class AAAA and Class AAA playoff meeting is slated for Thursday night. This season, more than any in recent years, it's hard to predict who gets in and who is left out.
In the Ches-Mont League, it looks like Downingtown East, Downingtown West, Great Valley, and I think Avon Grove and Coatesville. Bishop Shanahan will surely get in in the Class AAA bracket and the Eagles will be very tough in that tournament. Shanahan coach Brian Boyko has restored the pride in the program and the Eagles could be one of the two teams in Class AAA to qualify for the PIAA tournament. With two good pitchers in Brennan March and Frank Chubb, I think the only Class AAA team the Eagles have to worry about is Pope John Paul.
Last Monday night, West Chester Rustin tagged Coatesville phenom Brian Brown for four hits and five runs. Golden Knights catcher Frank Siderio took Brown deep, but the Red Raiders ace got things under control and still won the game. It proves that Brown is human, something I did not think he was after watching him pitch.
In the Central League it looks like Strath Haven, Garnet Valley, Penncrest and Conestoga will make the district tournament. Conestoga lost a tough one-run game to Garnet Valley last week. The Pioneers are one of those teams that can get hot and go all the way or lose in the first round.
Malvern Prep has righted the ship and the Friars are on the verge of winning their fourth straight Inter-Ac title. Led by Dan Gandieri and Matt Maul, Malvern needs just one more league win to claim the crown. And the Friars have already played 29 games so if you are a kid that likes to play a lot of baseball, the Inter-Ac is the ticket.
In the Class A bracket, Devon Prep will be hard to handle. With University of Penn bound infielder Sean Phelan and junior catcher Dominic Hardaway, who is headed to Boston College, it would be no surprise to see the Tide win the District 1 Class A crown.
It will all come out in the wash Thursday night and make sure to check the Daily Local News on Friday to see who officially made the district playoffs and who they will be facing.
Daily Local News
Baseball Top 10
1. Malvern Prep (23-6): Friars close in on another Inter- Ac title.
2. Downingtown East (14-4): Call the Cougars National Division champs.
3. Great Valley (12-6): Patriots claim American Division title.
4. Downingtown West (11-7): Whippets look ahead to districts.
5. Conestoga (13-5): Pioneers get ready for district run.
6. Bishop Shanahan (11-7): Eagles are going to be tough in Class AAA.
7. Coatesville (11-7): Who wants to face Brian Brown in playoffs?
8. Avon Grove (11-7): Big win over Coatesville for Red Devils.
9. W.C. Rustin (10-8): Knights only team to hit Brownie.
10. Devon Prep (15-4): Tide will be tough in Class A.