Maryland Notebook: Playoff Edition



MD TPG

By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

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The Maryland Notebook is an all-encompassing blurb about thoughts from the high school season, summer season, fall ball, etc.

Welcome back to the playoffs—the time of the year where the cliché of throwing your records out the window holds true. The time where we all remember Jim Mora and his rant of epic proportions (YouTube it if you don’t know). Included here are the playoff pictures for majority of the state, private and public, and also some thoughts as well. Enjoy.

+ Mother Nature was not kind to baseball in the state of Maryland this season. The final month has been a rush and lack of practice had its effect on teams in numerous ways in the early going. Plenty of teams had pitchers that weren’t able to get enough work in to be ready when called upon early.

+ The injury bug has taken a stronghold on plenty of programs throughout the state and has changed the outlook for some public and private high school playoff pictures.

+ The MIAA playoffs should be a great one. Although numerous rumblings have said it is a down year in the conference, I think otherwise. There is a great blend of young and old talent in the conference this year, which bodes well for the future.

+ Not a surprise, but my finals pick for the MIAA is Spalding and Calvert Hall. The two teams have been consistent all year and should be facing each other at the end. Spalding is playing some good baseball as of late with young talent (2017 Nick Vermillion, 2016 LaVale Hodges) really coming into their own right now. Calvert Hall is getting some keys players back at the right time with Brandon Dorsey getting healthy and a huge comeback is Nick Delp after almost a month out from injury and starting to get back into form.

+ Two weeks ago I would have put Gilman into that equation, but the Greyhounds have taken a slight step back. They could easily get back on track over the playoffs. Mount St. Joseph could make a run, the Gaels have given up the second fewest runs overall, and come playoff time its pitching and defense that can get you that championship.

+ I said St. Mary’s was going to run away with the MIAA B conference and I was partially right, they are sitting in first but Boys’ Latin is right on their tail and will tie if they win today against Friends (St. Mary’s 17-1 in conference, Boys’ Latin 16-1 both have two losses overall). If Boys’ Latin wins, 1st place will be decided on a coin flip. That should be an exciting finals pairing for the MIAA B crown.

+ DeMatha has really been playing some inspired baseball the second half of this season. Stuck in the middle of the pack around that half-way point of the season, they are now playing for the WCAC championship this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Maryland against St. John’s (DC). That should be a great series.

+ Georgetown Prep should be getting back their title in the IAC. Landon and St. Alban’s should be the two teams that are the biggest road blocks for the Hoyas, so don’t count them out. Prep is full of talent and they are playing some solid baseball this second half of the season.

+ Put credit where credit is due, Colonel Richardson wrapped up the Bayside championship with a 1-0 victory over Stephen Decatur and finished a perfect 19-0 this season. That is a great accomplishment.

+ Some other great public school seasons of note: Chopticon (17-1), Paint Branch (18-2), Middletown (16-3), Brunswick (17-1-1), Gaithersburg (18-1) Parkside (18-2), Decatur (16-1).

1A PLAYOFFS

+ I think the toughest region is the West division. Brunswick is the top seed, but they will face a tough matchup against the winner of Clear Spring and Smithsburg. That section II pairing is a good one.

+  I like McDonough in the North. They’ve played some tough competition in conference which should have prepared them well for the playoffs.

+ Col. Richardson will not have an easy time getting out of the East and will have some pressure carrying that perfect season with them.

2A PLAYOFFS

+ The West Division looks to be a tough one, as South Carroll and Middletown are the top seed in their respective sections. Middletown will have a tough road facing the Boonsboro-Catoctin winner, then a possible Williamsport matchup in the Region semis.

+ I like Eastern Tech in the North, another team that has played a nice schedule in preparation for the playoffs.

+ The South should also be a good battle with Southern being the top seed in section II and Marriotts Ridge and Patuxent should battle for Section I.

+ Parkside took a step back after losing to Dover which took their chances of a Bayside Championship and they will look to redeem that in the East. An interesting matchup could be if they face Rising Sun in the Region championship with a potential Hunter Parsons against Cole Benjamin pitching matchup. There is potential of a repeat of last year’s championship.

3A PLAYOFFS

+ The South division might be the toughest bracket in the entire playoffs. Decatur, Chopticon, La Plata, JM Bennett and Huntingtown are not to be taken lightly. Whoever makes it out should take the crown, but they could also be exhausted from the road to get to the final four.

+ In the north, Towson looks to come out but could face their biggest challenge in Westminster. If Westminster can put it all together, they could be a finals team. Question is whether they will or not.

+ I like Reservoir to represent the East again although Mt. Hebron is going to make it a tough one and could potentially take them.

+ The West looks tough in Section I and whoever can make it out of there should be the West representative.

4A PLAYOFFS

+ The North looks to be the toughest division with Paint Branch, Sherwood, Howard, and Dulaney all potential winners. A potential Paint Branch verses Howard in the Region Semis looks to be an exciting one.

+ Coach Milton at Severna Park has done a great job as they head up an equally tough East division. The Falcons are in new territory so it will be interesting to see if they can perform in playoff baseball. Watch out for Old Mill being a Cinderella out of the east. Defending champ Chesapeake will not go lightly. South River has had a nice year and they are hoping to finish with a state finals birth.

+ Gaithersburg should get out of the West but one blemish on the year could be their potential Region Semifinals opponent in Quince Orchard. BCC could also make a run and challenge the favorites.

+ Northwestern has had an impressive season putting up some numbers on the offensive end. They should be the South representatives.

Playoff Predictions

1A playoffs
North: McDonough
East: Col. Richardson
South: Forest Park
West: Brunswick

Finals: Col. Richardson v. Brunswick

Champ: Col. Richardson

2A Playoffs
North: Eastern Tech
East: Parkside
South: Southern
West: South Carroll

Finals: Parkside v. Southern

Champ: Parkside

3A Playoffs
North: Towson
East: Reservoir
South: Decatur
West: Urbana

Finals: Decatur v. Reservoir

Champ: Decatur

4A Playoffs
North: Paint Branch
East: Severna Park
South: Northwestern
West: Gaithersburg

Finals: Gaithersburg v. Paint Branch

Champ: Paint Branch

Good luck to all teams this playoffs.

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