Baseball rankings: Can't mess with perfection
Our top-five teams three weeks into the season,, along with honorable mentions. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
There’s still a long way to go, and the warm weather is just starting to break through (and, hopefully, stay for a bit).
With that being said, it’s time for our first batch of YAIAA baseball power rankings this spring. Here's who made our top five:
Respect is earned, and the Warriors have done just that in 2017.
Gettysburg made the move up to YAIAA Division II this season, yet holds an 8-0 record. This team has a veteran core and is solid across the board – good pitching, quality defense, and a patient offensive approach that caters to putting the ball in play.
Gettysburg captured a surprise 6-4 win over Dallastown to start the season, and its resume also includes a victory against YAIAA Division I program Spring Grove.
Currently, standout senior Michael Tempel is taking a break from the pitcher’s mound because of arm soreness. The Warriors could use his healthy return to aid the rotation.
With that being said, it looks like head coach Ryan Brady has this team humming on all cylinders early in the year.
2. Red Lion
The Lions appear to have a solid team with some pitching depth.
Left-hander Tyler Stabley has shown his mettle early in the season, and relief pitcher Cameron Czerwinski, a sophomore, has made a habit of getting out of tight jams in clutch moments.
Junior Tyler Burchett is also tough to miss – a 6-foot 5, hard-throwing right-hander who’s verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.
Gotta give credit where it’s due, and a 7-1 overall record along with a 5-3 win against chief rival Dallastown puts the Lions near the top of the early-season rankings.
Circle the date: Red Lion plays at Gettysburg on April 24. Should be a good one.
The Wildcats are off to a slow start. At 4-4, they’re the only team with more than three losses currently on our power poll.
But it’s early. Teams are still finding their identity at this point of the season. And the Wildcats do have talent.
The absence of Nick Parker — out with an arm injury — certainly has played a factor in the slow start as well. Parker is more than just a Division I-bound pitcher for this club. His bat is surely missed in the lineup, and he’s also a very good shortstop whose presence would help solidify the team’s infield.
In short, give Dallastown some time to find itself. They have the players to make moves down the stretch.
A well-coached team, the Warriors are in the mix this season.
Susquehannock is 9-1 on the year, with their one loss coming in a 4-2 road dual at Cumberland Valley. Nothing to frown upon with that.
It also means the Warriors haven't lost to a YAIAA team this year, collecting all nine of their wins in the league.
Susquehannock made the move down to YAIAA Division III this season, and the Warriors match up well against the Division III and Division IV squads on their schedule.
They’re not going anywhere. Expect the wins to keep coming.
5. Central York
The Panthers’ 6-3 record garners consideration for the No. 5 slot.
This squad also piles up runs: In the Panthers' last four wins, Central York has scored 15, 10, eight and nine runs.
With that said, the Panthers must find a way to stop the opposition. They gave up 18 runs in two games this week, in a 9-7 win over South Western on Monday followed by an 11-5 loss to Spring Grove on Wednesday.
Could things change moving forward? Certainly. But for now, the Panthers are our pick at No. 5.
West York: Expect the Bulldogs to continue improving as the year moves along. They have their act together.
Kennard-Dale: A mystery team with a 6-2 overall record? That would be the Rams, who are 3-0 at home this season.
Spring Grove: The Rockets improved to 5-5 thanks to three straight wins, and four victories in six games. Our prediction: They’ll be right there for the stretch run.
York Catholic: Is YAIAA Division IV going to be hotly contested? Tough to tell, but the Irish currently sit in first place, with wins over rivals Biglerville (4-1 final score) and Delone Catholic (14-1).