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Babe Ruth, American Legion and other youth league Updates

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Continuing my coverage this year of youth baseball.  We covered the local High School tournaments and Little League tournaments so far.  We talked about all the local area draft prospects ahead of the draft.   I have a draft post covering the multitude of College Wood Bat leagues, but since those leagues are almost over I may just save it for next year.  Now lets try to bridge the gap between little league and high school.

The youth landscape in baseball has changed a ton since I was a kid in Northern Virginia.  It used to be simple:

  • you’d play Little League until  you were 12
  • then you’d play Babe Ruth til you were 15
  • then if you were good enough you’d play HS ball in the spring and you’d play American Legion in the summers.  But you could always play “Senior” Babe Ruth from the time you were 16-18.
  • and that was it.  If you weren’t playing some other sport there was always “fall ball” at each age level, but the above were the leagues that “counted.”

Now a days, I’m not even sure what is going on with youth baseball.  We all know about the wide growth of travel baseball, which has essentially destroyed Babe Ruth at its older levels (thanks to the siphoning off of any one talented enough to pitch).  But now apparently there’s a whole slew of leagues i’m not familiar with:

  • “Major60″ and “Major70″ distinctions for 11 and 12 year olds
  • Modifications to the classic “little league” rules to try to capture those kids they’re losing to travel teams
  • Pony League baseball (more prevalent in southern virginia; is there even a northern virginia league?)
  • Cal Ripken youth leagues, which I guess is a division of Babe Ruth for youngsters
  • Travel teams; do they even have “leagues?”  Or do they just go to tournaments?

Back in the day, when Babe Ruth had no competition for the youngest teens, winning the 13-year old and/or the 13-15 year old Babe Ruth tournaments still meant something.  Likewise, American Legion was essentially a hand-picked/all-star team of your hometown high schools.  Now, I’m not so sure.  How is American Legion faring, considering that big-time travel teams now have all the major prep prospects out there?   As far back as 2005, there were stories in the Washington Post about how Legion ball was badly suffering.  It seems to me now that Legion ball is struggling just like senior Babe Ruth ball.

That being said, I did go looking for district and state results for the leagues I grew up knowing.  We reveiwed Little League’s local and state tournaments, so here’s the subsequent state results for Babe Ruth and other amateur youth leagues:

American Legion’s district tournaments are complete; the state tournament kicks off on 7/28/14 from the great Fireman’s Field in Purcellville.  Your 8 teams in the Virginia American Legion state tournament are from Roanoke #3, hosts Leesburg #34, Stafford #290, Williamsburg #39, Albemarle #74, West End (Richmond) #361, Big Island (outside of Lynchburg) #217 and lastly my “home post” of 180, Vienna.  Editor Update: Here’s the tourney results: Vienna Post 180 went two and out, losing to Albemarle and then Williamsburg (by forfeit of all things) to end their involvement in the tournament.   Albemarle breezed through the state tournament, winning 4 straight to win the State title.  Big Island fought through the loser’s bracket to

Cal Ripken Leagues (not to be confused with the Cal Ripken Collegiate league, nor “Ripken Baseball,” a for-profit academy run by the Ripken brothers) have all finished their state tourneys as well, and most of those state champs are already deep into their regional tournaments.

I have no information on Pony League baseball, other than what’s on their incredibly confusing website.  Pony baseball has more divisions than … well something with a lot of divisions.  My pun-making ability failed me here.


I have no idea if there’s even organized leagues for these multitude of travel teams.  I know there’s an official Northern Virginia Travel League, but nowhere on this site can i find something like a “schedule” or “standings.”  Do these teams just exist to go play weekend tournaments?   The locally based EvoShield Canes “schedule” is just a list of tournaments they’re playing in.   So what do these teams do the rest of the time?  Don’t they play regular games?

I dunno.  My kid is too young to force me to know all these things yet.  Hell, he may not even play baseball.  Are there readers out there who can fill me in?  Is it even worth tracking these all-star results anymore, thanks to the complete dilution of talent?

Feedback welcome/encouraged.

Written by Todd Boss

July 29th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Local Baseball

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Local Little League Results: DC/MD/VA States

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We reviewed the local Little League All Star results for the District tournaments in Northern Virginia and Maryland in mid July.  Here’s a review of how the three local state tournaments went.

Maryland and DC’s champions move on to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Little League Regional, comprised of DC,MD,PA,NJ,NY and DE, and this year held in Bristol Connecticut.  Virginia’s champion moves on to compete in the Southeast Little League Regional, comprised of VA,WV,NC,SC,TN,GA,FL and AL, and this year is being held in Warner Roberts, Georgia (outside of Macon).

Virginia

Virginia State Little League is divided into 16 districts, four of which are local to the DC area.

Local representatives Great Falls, West Springfield American, SYA West (Centreville/Clifton) and Loudoun South headed to the Virginia State Little League tournament this year is in Bridgewater, which ran between 7/17/14 and 7/22/14.   Here’s how our local representatives fared (Pool play results here and the knockout rounds here).  The 16 district champions were divided into four “pools,” and the two best teams from each pool advance to a knockout round.

  • Great Falls: Came in 2nd in Pool A and was waxed by SYA West 11-1 en route, and indicator of just how strong SYA is this year.  Advanced to knockout round.
  • West Springfield American: Allowed just two runs in three pool games to win Pool B and advance to the knockout round.
  • SYA West: Allowed 4 runs in 3 pool games (including wins over Great Falls and Loudoun South) to win Pool A and advance to the knockout round.
  • Loudoun South: Unfortunate to be grouped in with powerhouses SYA and Great Falls; eliminated in Pool play.

In the State quarters, the three remaining Northern Virginia teams advanced along with defending state champs Tuckahoe.   In the state semis on 7/21/14, SYA handled West Springfield easly and Tuckahoe eased by Great Falls, likely pitting the two best teams in the state together in the final.  In the State final,Tuckahoe repeated as state champs with a 5-2 victory over SYA.

Virginia State Champion: Tuckahoe American (Richmond)

Links to past Virginia State little League champs: its only up to 2011.  Great Falls was your 2012 champ and Tuckahoe in Richmond was 2013.


Maryland

Maryland is divided into 8 districts (though only 7 of them compete in the State Tournament; read below for the DC “district 3″).   Links to the district results are here.

Maryland’s state tournament finished over the 7/19/14 weekend; West Salisbury came out of the loser’s bracket to sweep Sharpsburg in the state final.

Maryland State Champion: West Salisbury


DC

As a reminder, despite being just a “district” within Maryland, DC’s champion is treated like a state champ and heads directly into the regionals at the “major little league” level.

DC’s playoffs finished up on 7/22/14.   As expected, the two dominant programs in the city (Capitol City and Northwest Washington) met for the title (though they both had to work to get there), which was won on 7/22/14 by Northwest 5-2.

DC “State” Champ: Northwest Washington

 


Congrats to Tuckahoe, West Salisbury and NW Washington as our three local state champs, heading off to regional play.  Lets hope for a local representative in Williamsport this year.

Written by Todd Boss

July 24th, 2014 at 9:55 am

Posted in Local Baseball

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Local Little League District Tournament Results MD/VA

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We covered college and high school this season, and I have a summer ball post in the works.  Might as well close the loop on local amateur baseball and talk a bit about Little League :-)

Little League district all-star tournaments are finished up in MD and VA.  Here’s some quick results to the local leagues:

Northern Virginia

Virginia State Little League is divided into 16 districts, several of which are local to the DC area:

  • District 4: Representing areas north of I-66 US Route 50 from the DC line all the way out to Loudoun County.  Includes powerhouse local programs from Vienna, McLean and Great Falls.   The tournament pool play was held the first week of July.  Both McLean teams, Great falls and Vienna National advanced to the District Semis.   There, McLean American squeaked by McLean National 3-2 while Great Falls destroyed Vienna National 11-1.  In the final, Great Falls outlasted McLean American 9-4.   District ChampGreat Falls (2012 Virginia champ)
  • District 9: Representing Springfield and Woodbridge areas.  Tournament results are here.  In the knockout rounds, West Springfield American came through the losers bracket to beat Fort Hunt Little League.  District Champ: West Springfield American (2005 Virginia State Champ)
  • District 10: Representing Fairfax County areas south of I-66, including Fairfax, Annandale, Manassas, Chantilly.  Tournament pool play results here.  Both teams from Southwestern Youth (Centreville) and Chantilly advanced to the knockout rounds.  In the final matchup of the two SYA leagues,
    SYA West continued their dominance winning the district 10.2   District ChampSouthwestern Youth West (SYA East was the 2007 and 2010 VA champ)
  • District 16: Representing Loudoun and Fauquier counties.  Tournament bracket here.    District Champ: Loudoun South Little League, who outlasted Dulles Little League American in the final.

Local representatives Great Falls, West Springfield American, SYA West and Loudoun South head to the Virginia State Little League tournament this year is in Bridgewater, starting on July 17th, with a lot of history between them.  Four State championships in the last decade to be exact.  The tournament pits the winners of all 16 Virginia districts.

Links to past Virginia State little League champs: its only up to 2011.  Great Falls was your 2012 champ and Tuckahoe in Richmod was 2013.  Tuckahoe American will be back in the state tourney to defend its title.


Maryland

Maryland is divided into 8 districts (though only 7 of them compete in the State Tournament; read below for the DC “district 3″).   Links to the district results are here.

  • District 1: Hagerstown and Northwest Maryland.  District champ: Sharpsburg (just south of Hagerstown)
  • District 2: Frederick area.  District champ: Frederick National.
  • District 4: Howard County and South Baltimore: District Champ: Arbutus
  • District 5: Elkton/Rising Sun.  District Champ: Elkton Community
  • District 6: Eastern Shore (Denton, Easton, etc).  District champ: Easton
  • District 7: Mostly Southern Maryland but also including the massive Bethesda Little League.  District Champ: Hughesville
  • District 8: Eastern Shore (Berlin, Salisbury).  District Champ: West Salisbury

Maryland’s state tournament started over the 7/11/14 weekend; we’ll cover that in the State review in the next post.


DC

Little League baseball in the District historically has been a mess.  The website unpage.org has done a great job of capturing the history of little league baseball in the district, which was competitive for years but which completely dried up in the mid 1980s.  By the mid 90s though, a rebirth had occurred with DC’s dominant Capitol City league also capturing the Maryland state title.

Washington DC has 6 leagues; two of them are competitive (Northwest and Capitol City) and the others struggle (Capitol Hill, Banniker City, Satchel Paige and Southern).  It encompasses just one “district” within Maryland’s structure but for the 11/12 year olds, DC’s winner is treated like a state champ and is entered directly into the Regional tournament.   Either Capitol City or Northwest has won the city title every year a tournament has been held.  No DC team has ever advanced further than the Mid-Atlantic regional semi finals.

DC’s playoffs are underway and finish up on 7/22/14.  We’ll cover them in the state round up.

 

Written by Todd Boss

July 15th, 2014 at 10:04 am

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Final 2014 Prep Baseball Update: Virginia States

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Prep tournament Baseball updates so far in 2014:

Now we’re to the last of the local state tournaments; the Virginia State finals, which took place this past weekend at various locations around the state.  The finalists in all Virginia regionals qualified for the “final four” in each classification.  Here’s what we’re looking at by Virginia classification (all VHSL conference and regional playoff brackets here, and the State playoffs ( final four brackets are here).

Before getting to the tournament results, it is of note that the Washington Post released its All-Met teams for the year, and most of the first and second team players have been mentioned in this blog here and there for their leadership on championship teams across the local region.  All Met player of the year should be no surprise: Jacob Bukauskus, who was also one of three local players named to the Louisville Slugger All-American teams.  Bukauskas, Cody Morris of the Maryland 3-A champion Reservoir and WCAC/DCSAA champion St. John’s A.J. Lee were named to the first and/or second all-american teams.  Other local accolades announced: the 5-A North All-Region team.


Virginia State Tournament Finals

In each state semi-final each regional winner plays the runner-up from the other regional.  These games are set for Friday June 13th with the state championships the following day (except when rain pushed games to sunday 6/15).  The 6-A and 5-A tournaments are being played in Northern Virginia (at Lake Braddock and Robinson).  4-A and 3-A is being played at Liberty University.   And 2-A/1-A is being played in Salem and at Radford University.


6-A State Finals

  • 6-A North: Winner Chantilly (17-7), runner-up McLean (15-11)
  • 6-A South: Winner Western Branch (24-2), runner-up Cosby (23-1)

6-A State Bracket.  My prediction was a 6-A South regional final rematch between Virginia’s two nationally recognized powers with Cosby getting revenge for their 6-A south regional loss.

6-A State Finals Results:  In the first 6-A semi, McLean pushed nationally ranked Western Branch but ended up losing 5-4.   In the second 6-A semi, Chantilly pulled off a stunner and beat Cosby 3-2, beating 32nd round pick and UNC commit Hunter Williams behind a complete game from Eason Recto (committed to Cornell).  In the 6/15 final, Chantilly once again punched above their weight and scared a tougher team, but in the end lost 6-4 to Western Branch.

6-A State champ: Western Branch (Chesapeake) with a 26-2 record on the season.


5-A State Finals

  • 5-A North: Winner Stone Bridge (23-1), runner-up Freedom-South Riding (13-13)
  • 5-A South: Winner Douglas Freeman (25-1), runner-up Hickory (17-7)

5-A State Bracket. My 5-A prediction was seeing Freeman riding roughshod over the Bukauskas-less Stone Bridge team in the final.

5-A State Finals Results: In one semi, Freeman pounded the over-matched Freedom team 7-0 while Hickory blitzed Stone Bridge 9-1 behind junior Connor Eason‘s gem (early UVA commit), setting up an all 5-A south final.  In the 6/15/14 5-A final, Hickory got revenge against Freeman and took their first state title by outlasting Freeman 6-4 in 10 innings.  Hickory, fyi, is the alma mater of Mets 3rd baseman David Wright and veteran utilityman Scott Sizemore.

5-A State champ: Hickory (Chesapeake) with an 19-7 record.


4-A State Finals

  • 4-A North: Winner Millbrook (23-1), runner-up Sherando (16-7)
  • 4-A South: Winner Hanover (19-2), runner-up Grafton (19-6)

4-A State Bracket: My 4-A Prediction: Hanover blitzes their way to a repeat state title over Winchester’s Millbrook squad and leaves people wondering if they could have won the larger classifications as well.  4-A Results: Sure enough, the two regional champions both advanced easily to the 4-A final, with Millbrook defeating Grafton 10-3 and Hanover defeating Sherando 6-2.  In the 6/14 final, Hanover’s Derek Casey made quick work of Millbrook, capping off an undefeated prep career (27-0) with Hanover winning its second consecutive state title 7-1.

4-A State champ: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond), 21-2 on the season


Virginia Smaller Classifications

  • 3-A: Regional Champs LoudounValley, Tunstall and runner-ups Poquoson, William Byrd.  Uneducated prediction: Loudoun Valley wins the title.  In the semis, Loudoun Valley squeaked by William Byrd 3-1, setting up a 3-A East rematch with Poquoson, who downed Tunstall.   In the final, Loudoun Valley won their first baseball title since 1972 with a 9-1 blitzing of regional foe Poquoson behind a complete game 4-hitter from Jack DeGroat.  Loudoun Valley finishes the year 25-3.
  • 2-A: Regional Champs Strasburg, Virginia High and runner-ups Madison County, Randolph-Henry.  Uneducated prediction: Strasburg wins the title.  Results: Virginia High advanced to the final behind a no-hitter from Austin Miles and a blitzing 12-0 over Madison County.  Meanwhile Strasburg advanced by beating Randolph-Henry 6-1. In the 2-A final, Virginia High won its first state title since 1966 by beating Strasburg 7-2.  Virginia High finishes the year 25-4.
  • 1-A: Regional Champs Northumberland, Honaker and runner-ups William Campbell, Auburn.  Uneducated prediction: Honaker wins the title.  Results: the two regional champs advanced easily to the state final, where Northumberland easily beat the previously undefeated Honaker 9-3 for the state title.  Northumberland finishes the year 23-2.

2014 Virginia State HS champs:

  • 6-A: Western Branch (Chesapeake) d Chantilly 6-4.
  • 5-A: Hickory (Chesapeake) d Douglas Freeman (Richmond) 6-4.
  • 4-A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond) d Millbrook (Winchester) 7-1.
  • 3-A: Loudoun Valley (Purceville) d Poquoson (Newport News) 9-1.
  • 2-A: Virginia High (Bristol) d Strasburg 7-2.
  • 1-A: Northumberland (Patuxent River) d Honaker (South of Roanoke) 9-3

A good year for Chesapeake Schools, who took both the biggest classification titles.  Hanover out of Richmond “defends” its state title, though in the 4-A classification, leading many to wonder if they could have competed in the higher classifications.  The best performance by a local team remains Purceville’s Loudoun Valley, winning the state 3-A title.  With apologies of course to Chantilly, who surprised this observer by knocking off Cosby prior to pushing Western Branch despite hits un-lofty record.  I think its safe to say we’re all bummed that Bukauskas couldn’t finish out the year; I would have liked to have seen him against the two down-state 5-A powerhouses.


Recent Virginia AAA HS champs:

2013: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  DC Local teams Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then ran to a state championship.

2011: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports.

 


Maryland

See the previous posts for a full run-down on the Maryland regional and state tournaments, which ended 5/24/14.  Here’s your 2014 state champs in Maryland:

  • 4-A Champion: Chesapeake beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A Champion: Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.
  • 2-A Champion: Southern beat Parkside 3-2.
  • 1-A Champion: Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0

 


DC

See the previous post for a more complete run-down on the DCSAA tournament.  One last game remained for the DC public schools:


Private

All private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  See previous posts in this series for more detail.

  • WCAC:  St. Johns over O’Connell.
  • IAC: St. Albans over Georgetown Prep
  • MAC: Flint Hill regular season champ.
  • VISAA: Division I:  Liberty Christian (Lynchburg) over Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield.
  • MIAA: A-classification: Spalding  d Calvert Hall.  B-Classification: St. Mary’s d Annapolis Area Christian.  C-Classification: St. Johns d Chapelgate Christian

National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Baseball America’s High School top 25 (5/20/14 ranking)
  • USA Today High School top 25 (5/25/14 rankings)
  • USA Today’s Virginia-only rankings (5/25/14)
  • MaxPreps top 25/top 50 lists (5/22/14), which has a hand-picked and a computer/power ranking list.

Resources:

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC, generally in the Strasburg area.
  • WinchesterStar (Winchester) has results for Winchester teams but its pay-only.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage of Fredericksburg and Woodbridge teams.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.  They also have their own top-10 rankings for area teams.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

Prep Baseball Update: Virginia Regionals

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Here’s the next big update on the state of High School baseball in the area.  We previously talked about Maryland Regionals and Virginia regular season play wrapping up, then we posted after Maryland states and Virginia conference play had mostly finished up.  In these posts we also covered some private school tournaments and the DC tourneys as much as we could.

Now we’re through the Virginia regional tournaments and its time to check in.  The state semi-finals are set in all six divisions.  Lets recap the regionals.


Virginia

There’s been little national recognition of any of Northern Virginia’s powerhouses (Madison, Stone Bridge, Hylton, Osbourn Park or Battlefield) in any of the national high school rankings this year, but schools in Richmond and Norfolk have taken turns cycling in and out of the various top 25/top 50 lists.

At some point or another, Cosby HS (Midlothian, in the western Richmond suburbs), Woodside (Newport News), Douglas Freeman (Richmond), Western Branch (Chesapeake), Hickory (Chesapeake) and Great Bridge (Chesapeake) have all gotten national attention from the various national ranking lists in 2014.  It will be interesting to see how the Northern Virginia powers match up with these southern schools in the state tournament.  But, thanks to the re-classifications of schools we aren’t going to get the big-time match-ups we wanted to see in states.  Cosby, Western Branch, and Woodside are 6-A schools, while Freeman, Great Bridge, and Hickory are 5-A schools.  Last year’s AAA state champ Hanover is a 4-A school now and will face pretty light competition while returning its ace Derek Casey (UVA commit) from last year’s state champ. All these aformentioned teams have qualified for the regional tournaments, so we may get some juicy match-ups between northern Virginia powerhouses and the nationally-recognized southern Virginia schools in the State playoffs.  Only the regional champ and finalist qualify to the state final four.

With apologies to the smaller schools, we’re going to mostly focus on the 6-A and 5-A playoffs here.  All conference, regional and state brackets here at VHSL’s site.  Records listed for teams are as they were heading INTO the game being described, not afterwards.


6-A North Regionals Playoff Bracket is here.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Concorde: Oakton (regular season and tourney champ), Chantilly, Westfield, Herndon
  • Liberty: Madison (regular season and tourney champ), Langley, Washington & Lee, McLean
  • Potomac: West Springfield (regular season and tourney champ), West Potomac, South County, Annandale
  • Cedar Run: Osbourn Park (regular season champ), Battlefield (tourney champ), Patriot, Osbourn

Regional schedule is: first round 5/30/14, quarters 6/2/14, semis 6/4/14 and final 6/6/14, each game at the higher seed’s home field.

In the 6-A North Regional first round on 5/30/14, two Conference champions were upset and the power of the Cedar Run teams was put into question.  Annandale upset Osbourn Park and McLean upset Oakton behind a 1-hitter from Va Tech commit Joey Sullivan.  Meanwhile Patriot was blasted by West Potomac 8-2.  Cedar Run’s lone winner was Battlefield, where 3rd round pick Nick Wells (College of Charleston commit, featured here in Allmetsports as a potential 3rd-4th rounder) threw a 4-hit shutout to beat South County.  The other two #1 seeds survived (Madison getting by Herndon 6-3 and West Springfield pounding Osbourn 15-3).   The rest of the regional quarter finalists slate was filled by Langley and Chantilly (a 10-0 winner over hapless Washington & Lee).

In the 6-A North Regional Quarter finals on 6/2/14, Chantilly blanked Annandale 4-0, West Springfield handled Langley 5-2 and Madison squeaked by West Potomac 7-6 in a 12-inning thriller.  However it was the last quarterfinal that gave the biggest surprise: little known McLean and its .500 record got into the regional tournament by virtue of a big upset in the conference tournament, and continued its upsetting ways, beating a well-regarded Battlefield team 7-5.

In the 6-A north regional semis, Chantilly (15-7) upset West Springfield (15-5) 4-1 behind a big night from their ace Easton Recto.  Meanwhile, conference foes McLean (14-10) and Madison (21-2) squared off for the 3rd time this season, and McLean scored the unlikely upset 5-1 behind senior Ace and Va Tech bound Joey Sullivan‘s masterful pitching.  Madison had swept the season series against McLean by a combined score of 19-4, but McLean came up big once again.  I guess it is safe to say that Madison’s record was overstating its quality.

6-A North regional final: Chantilly (16-7) destroyed McLean (15-10) by the score of 12-0 in a pretty unlikely final.   Chantilly batted around in the first inning and never looked back.  Neither team had *ever* won a regional baseball crown, and McLean has *never* made a state baseball tournament prior to this year. Quite a turnaround from a team that (by conference seed) shouldn’t have even been in the regionals.


6-A South Regional Playoff Bracket is here.  Unlike the 6-A north, just the conference finalists qualified.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 1/Coastal: Grandby (regular season champ), First Colonial (tourney champ)
  • Conference 2/Monitor-Merrimac: Western Branch (regular season and tourney champs), Woodside
  • Conference 3: Cosby (regular season champ), James River
  • Conference 4: Hylton (regular season and tourney champ), Riverbend

Regional schedule is: Western Branch vs First Colonial, Grandby-Woodside, Cosby-Riverbend and Hylton-James River.  In the 6/2/14 quarter finals, all four conference champions advanced (a slight surprise to this witness, who thought that Woodside was a bit better, and who thought that Hylton may have had a hard time with their southern virginia opponents.  Western Branch beat First Colonial 6-1, Grandby beat Woodside 2-1, Hylton beat James River 9-0 behind a shutout from Sewanee-bound Austin Magestro, and Cosby beat Riverbend 7-2).

In the 6-A south regional semis, Western Branch (22-2) blanked Grandby (18-4 record) by the score of 6-0, while the undefeated Cosby (22-0) blitzed Woodbridge powerhouse Hylton (19-2) by the score of 11-6.  We expected a Cosby-Western Branch matchup and we got it.

6-A South regional final: Western Branch (23-2) blitzed Cosby (23-0) by the score of 8-1 in a matchup of nationally recognized power houses.  I fully expect to see this rematch in the state final in a week’s time, given the weakness of the 6-A North teams.


5-A North Regional: Regional playoff bracket is here.   Here were your qualifiers (not all conference contributed equal numbers of teams)

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall (regular season and tourney champ), Edison, Stuart , Lee
  • Conference 14: Stone Bridge (regular season and tourney champ), Freedom – South Riding, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Potomac (regular season and tourney champ), North Stafford, Brooke Point
  • Conference 16: Halifax (regular season champ), Patrick Henry – Ashland (tournament champ)

Regional schedule is: first round/play-in 5/30/14, quarters 6/2/14, semis 6/4/14 and final 6/6/14, each game at the higher seed’s home field.

In the 5-A North Regional first/play-in round on 5/30/14, Patrick Henry – Ashland, North Stafford, Freedom-South Riding and Edison all earned the right to play conference champions in the regional quarter finals.  North Stafford destroyed Stuart 10-0 and faces regional favorite Stone Bridge in what could be an interesting quarter final.  Marshall faces the unknown Patrick Henry, while Potomac likely will not be challenged by Freedom.

In the 5-A North Regional Quarter finals on 6/2/14, more surprising results.  Conference chaps Marshall, Stone Bridge and Halifax each advanced to the regional semis, but little known Freedom-South Riding pulled a monumental upset over a Potomac team that I thought could challenge for the regional title.

Just after the quarters, Stone Bridge got a huge piece of bad news when ace Jacob Bukauskas was shutdown due to elbow tendinitis.  Too bad for people who were hoping for one more shot to see him throw live.

In the 5-A North Semis, Stone Bridge (21-1) outslugged Marshall (14-6) by the score of 12-5, while Freedom-South Riding (12-12) upset conference 16 champion Halifax County (Unk record) by the score of 7-2.

5-A North regional final: Stone Bridge (22-1) eased by conference foe Freedom-South Riding (13-12) by the score of 2-1  in a Conference 14 rematch.  Stone Bridge had already beaten Freedom three times this season, each time the score got closer, so a 2-1 nail-biter wasn’t unexpected.  Stone Bridge showed how quality they are even without their Ace.


5-A South Regional: Playoff Bracket is here.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 9/Atlantic: Maury (regular season champ), Kellam (tourney champ) (Norfold/Va Beach)
  • Conference 10:  Great Bridge (regular season and tourney champ), Hickory (both teams from Chesapeake)
  • Conference 11: Douglas Freeman (regular season champ and tourney champ), Mills Goodwin (both teams in Richmond)
  • Conference 12: Matoaca (regular season champ and tourney champ, Prince George (Teams from Chesterfield and Petersburg, both in South Richmond)

The 5-A south regional faces a tough schedule; 3 games in 4 days starting on 6/3/14.  In the quarters, both Richmond teams advanced, with Freeman pounding Prince George 12-4 and Goodwin giving Matoaca just their second loss on the year in a 4-1 win.   Meanwhile the Tidewater quarters featured some interesting results, with Hickory blasting Maury 16-1 and Kellam upsetting Great Bridge 4-2.  Both Hickory and Kellam were the 2nd seeds out of their conference, and just one conference champion advanced out of the 5-A south quarters.

In the 5-A South Semis, Mills Godwin (18-5)  got another crack at Douglas Freeman (23-1) in a rematch of the Conference 11 final, but was crushed 9-1.  In the other regional semi, Hickory (16-6) outlasted Kellam (18-5) in a wild 11-10 game.

5-A South regional final: Douglas Freeman (24-1) beat Hickory (17-6) by the score of 6-4 with a 6-run sixth inning comeback.


Virginia Smaller Classifications:  Conference and Regional brackets available from VHSL’s site.

  • 4-A: One interesting note about the 4-A tournament is the fact that 2013 AAA state champion Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond) is now a 4-A school and is a clear 4-A state favorite right now.  They enter regionals with a 17-2 record.  Most of the 4-A regional-qualified schools closer to DC are based out of Winchester (Sherando, Millbrook) or Culpeper/Fredericksburg (Eastern View, Chancellor).  In the 4-A North semis, Conference 21 foes Sherando and Millbrook both advanced to force a 5th rematch on the year (Millbrook has won all four meetings).  In the 4-A South semis, Hanover and Grafton advanced.  In the 4-A North Regional finals, Milbrook beat Sherando for the fifth time this season 6-5, while in the 4-A south regional finals defending state champ Hanover handled Grafton 2-0.
  • 3-A: As with ther 4-A schools, the 3-A regional qualifiers close to DC area generally from the Culpeper area (Kettle Run, Culpeper, William Monroe) or points further remote, but Loudoun Valley HS (in Purceville) won the 3-A east and looks to be a state favorite.
  • 2-A: No DC-local schools (George Mason the only one) qualified for regionals.  Strasburg won the 2-A east regional and enters the state tournament with a 23-1 record.
  • 1-A: No DC-local schools are in the smallest 1-A classification.

Recent Virginia AAA HS champs:

2013: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports.

 


Maryland

See the previous post for a full run-down on the Maryland regional and state tournaments, which ended 5/24/14.

  • 4-A Champion: Chesapeake beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A Champion: Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.  State final winning pitcher Cody Morris named Maryland Gatorade player of the year.
  • 2-A Champion: Southern beat Parkside 3-2.
  • 1-A Champion: Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0

 


DC

See the previous post for a more complete run-down on the DCSAA tournament.  One last game remained for the DC public schools:


Private

Most all private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  See previous posts in this series for more detail.

  • WCAC:  St. Johns over O’Connell.  St. Johns junior P/SS Nick Lee named DC Gatorade player of the year.
  • IAC: St. Albans over Georgetown Prep
  • MAC: Flint Hill regular season champ.
  • VISAA: Division I:  Liberty Christian (Lynchburg) over Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield.
  • MIAA: A-classification: Spalding  d Calvert Hall.  B-Classification: St. Mary’s d Annapolis Area Christian.  C-Classification: St. Johns d Chapelgate Christian

National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Baseball America’s High School top 25 (5/20/14 ranking and final HS top 50 ranking 6/3/14).  Cosby finishes at #12, Western Branch #28, Madison #40.
  • USA Today High School top 25 (6/5/14 rankings).  Freeman #21, but no mention of Cosby
  • USA Today’s Virginia-only rankings (5/25/14); these are very old and only have about 2/3s of the regular season listed.
  • MaxPreps top 25/top 50 lists (5/22/14), which has a hand-picked and a computer/power ranking list.  Cosby, Stone Bridge and Freeman mentioned.

Resources:

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg/Winchester) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage of Fredericksburg and Woodbridge teams.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.  They also have their own top-10 rankings for area teams.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

Prep Baseball Update: Virginia Districts/Conferences, Maryland & DC States

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When we last checked in with Prep Baseball on 5/20/14, Maryland was through its regionals, the private schools were mostly done, DC was still finishing the regular season, and Virginia was just starting up its District (aka “Conference”) tournaments.  Lets see where we stand now after the Memorial Day weekend and a slew of tournament results.  I’m publishing this now that the entirety of the northern Virginia 6-A and 5-A conference tournamants are complete; some of the other conferences elsewhere in the state as well as the smaller divisions are still ongoing.  We’ll update those when we get to regional tournament results.  Red text marks locations where we’re missing results and/or results are pending because of future games.


Virginia

Virginia HS Baseball has been, for at least the past 50 years or so, divided up simply into AAA, AA and A divisions.  Hence for a long time you could state who was the “AAA State Champ” and it was basically the best team in the state (the odds of a AA school competing with a AAA school were slim).  Now, we have 6 different divisions; 6-A, 5-A, 4-A, down to 1-A.  I guess it could be worse: Florida has even more divisions (they go up to 8-A) and teams in 5-A and 6-A are often ranked higher than 8-A teams there.

So in 2014, we’ll have a six champions crowned and may have a tough time stating with certainly whose better, especially between the 6-A and 5-A schools that used to compete against each other for decades.  But so be it; on with the tournaments.

Important Virginia tourney links: Upcoming Schedule (VHSL site and VHSL Conference and Regional Playoff Brackets).

  • Regular Season ending: week of May 13-May 16th.
  • Virginia District Tournaments are scheduled from May 18th to May 27th or so.
  • Virginia Regionals: from May 30th to June 6th.
  • Virgina State Semis and finals: June 10-13th.

Here are the Northern Virginia Conference champions, regular season and tournament.  Each team that makes a Conference quarter final qualifies for the Regional tournament.

6-A North Region (which roughly equates to the old “Northern Region”).

  • 6-A Conference 5/Concorde (playoff bracket): Oakton regular season champ.  In the playoffs, Oakton and #2 seed Chantilly got byes to the semis, while Centreville lost to Herndon 1-0 and Westfield handled Robinson 7-4 on 5/21/14 in big-school matchups (which if it were football would be each be Regional final quality).  In the 5/23/14 semis, Chantilly beat Herndon 7-3 and Oakton topped Westfield 4-1.  This sets up a #1/#2 final on 5/26/14; Chantilly (the 2nd seed) swept Oakton in the regular season so Oakton has its hands full.  However, Oakton persevered, topping Chantilly 5-1 behind Conference player of the year Tommy Lopez‘s pitching and hitting exploits.
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty (playoff bracket): Madison regular season champ.  In the playoffs, #2 seed South Lakes was upset by McLean (taking South Lakes out of the regional picture) paving the way for #3 seed Langley to return to the conference final (beating McLean in the semis).  There Langley meets Madison on 5/23/14, who shut-out #5 Washington & Lee in the conference semis behind 6 shut-out innings from conference Pitcher of the Year John DeFazio (a junior who threw a perfect game earlier this year).   Langley expects to throw conference Player of the year Jake McSteen in the final; McSteen is undefeated on the mound this year and is committed to Nebraska.  Madison swept Langley in the regular season but never faced McSteen. In the Conference Final at Madison on 5/23/14, Madison’s Nick Brady (heading to Princeton) threw 5 shutout innings and Madison got to McSteen for a 3-0 victory (insidenova.com story) This is Madison’s 3rd district/conference title in four years and they head into the Regional tournament as presumably the #1 overall seed and clear favorite.
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac (playoff bracket): West Springfield regular season champ.  In the playoffs Annandale took out perennail baseball power Lake Braddock in the quarters, while the seeds played true to form with South County facing West Potomac in the other conference semi.   In the conference semis West Potomac easily handled South County while West Springfield outlasted Annandale to setup a #1 vs #2 conference final on 5/23/14.  In the final, West Springfield beat West Potomac 8-5 to sweep the regular and tourney titles.
  • 6-A Conference 8/Cedar Run (playoff bracket): Osbourn Park regular season champ.  The playoffs went according to seed, with #1 Osbourn Park facing #2 Battlefield for the conference title.  Battlefield took out fellow PW powerhouse Patriot 4-0 behind a shutout from lefty senior Nick Wells (committed to College of Charleston) in the #2/#3 seed  conference semi matchup.  In the 5/23/14 final, Battlefield upset Osbourn Park 7-3.

6-A North Regional Qualifiers (in seed order).  Regional Playoff Bracket is here: the semi finalists from the four 6-A North conferences all qualify.  First round is Friday 5/30/14 at the higher seed’s home site.

  • Concorde: Oakton, Chantilly, Westfield, Herndon
  • Liberty: Madison, Langley, Washington & Lee, McLean
  • Potomac: West Springfield, West Potomac, South County, Annandale
  • Cedar Run: Osbourn Park, Battlefield, Patriot, Osbourn (went by regular season rankings not tourney)

Its hard not to say that Madison is your Region favorite; there’s not another All-Met top 10 ranked team here and Madison’s only local loss this year was to Stone Bridge’s Jacob Bukauskas.  But Madison has a tough road ahead: they face Herndon on 5/3014, then (likely) Patriot.  Meanwhile Oakton faces a tough 2nd round potential matchup with Battlefield; are teams from the Cedar Run conference  strong or weak?  Myquick Regional semis predictions would be Osbourn Park, West Springfield, Battlefield and Madison.

6-A South Region: which is mostly big-time schools in Richmond and the Virginia Beach area.  But there are just enough schools in Woodbridge proper to form a 6-A conference closer to DC with teams that are typically considered for All-Met rankings.

  • 6-A Conference 4(playoff bracket): Hylton (Woodbridge) regular season champ with a playoff bye.  In the quarters Forest Park (Woodbridge) beat Stafford 4-1, Gar-Field (Woodbridge) was pounded by #2 Colonial Forge (Stafford) 8-0, and Woodbridge lost to #3 Riverbend (Fredericksburg) 4-2.   In the 5/30/14 semis, Hylton beat Forest Park 3-0 and Riverbend upset Colonial Forge 5-1.  In the 5/31/14 final, Hylton scored in the bottom of the 7th to take the crown 2-1.
  • Other 6-A South conferences are slow to get started; the brackets are available (spotty) online at the above VHSL link).

Unlike the north regional, just the conference champs and semi-finalists qualified for


5-A North Region (which also roughly equates to schools from the old Northern Region, with the exception of Conference 16 … which includes schools all the way to South Boston).

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol  (playoff bracket): Marshall regular season champ.  In the playoffs, the seeds held mostly to form in the quarters, with Marshall beating Wakefield, #2 seed Edison pounding Falls Church, #3 Lee taking out Jefferson and #5 Stuart squeaking by Mount Vernon.  In the semis on 5/21/14 the #1 and #2 seeds advanced to the final, with Edison beating Lee and Marshall handling Stuart.   5/23/14 final: Marshall beat Edison 4-2 for their first district/conference championship in nearly 15 years.
  • 5-A Conference 14 (playoff bracket): Stone Bridge regular season champ.  Broad Run and Tuscarora won their quarters, making the semis Stone Bridge vs Broad Run in a battle of Ashburn high schools, and Freedom (South Riding) versus Tuscarora (Leesburg).    In the Semis 5/23/14 the seeds held true, with #1 Stone Bridge getting past Broad Run 3-0 and #2 Freedom taking out Tuscarora 5-0.  In the 5/27/14 final Stone Bridge squeaked by Freedom-SR 6-5.
  • 5-A Conference 15 (playoff bracket): Potomac (VA) regular season champ.   In the semis, Potomac (Dumfries) pounded Mountain View (Centreville)  while North Stafford handled Brooke Point in an all-Stafford semi.  Final on 5/27/14: Potomac blanked North Stafford 8-0 and looks like a force in the regional tournament.
  • 5-A Conference 16 (playoff bracket): Comprised of four schools far away from the DC area.  Halifax (South Boston) was the regular season champion, followed by Patrick Henry (Roanoke), Albemarle (Charlottesville), and Orange (north of Charlottesville, not quite to Culpeper).  Wow that’s a lot of driving for those schools to play district games.  In the 5/23/14 Halifax crushed Orange and Patrick Henry beat Albemarle, setting up a #1/#2 seed final in this small conference.  Patrick Henry upset Halifax 4-2 to take the conference final on memorial day, but the seedings went by regular season standings for the regional tournament.

5-A NorthRegional Qualifiers (in seed order): Regional playoff bracket is here.  Unlike in 6-A, only the top 3 seeds advanced in some of these conferences.  Maybe its based on the size of the conference.

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall, Edison, Stuart , Lee
  • Conference 14: Stone Bridge, Freedom – South Riding, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Potomac, North Stafford, Brooke Point
  • Conference 16: Halifax, Patrick Henry

I’d say that your regional favorite was Stone Bridge on the back of Bukauskas, but Potomac has a strong lineup (8 college committed players) and the Southern Virginian schools are complete unknowns.  Lets hope Potomac and Stone Bridge are on opposite sides of the bracket.  The regional bracket was published 5/29/14 and it looks like the semis will play out as Marshall-Stone Bridge and Potomac-Halifax.  I’m predicting a Stone Bridge-Potomac final with Potomac taking it (depending on when Bukauskas pitches…)

5-A South Regional: Playoff bracket here.


Smaller Virginia Classifications: for years Northern Virginia didn’t have anything smaller than 6-A and 5-A schools (with apologies to George Mason HS in Falls Church); now the proliferation of newer high schools in Loudoun County has led to a slew of 4-A and 3-A schools.  They have to do some serious commuting though; most of their conference foes are significant distances west and south.  None of these schools are considered baseball powers in the same vein as the 5-A and 6-A schools above.

4-A North:

  • 4-A conference 21 (playoff bracket): Millbrook was the regular season champ, going 12-0 in conference.  In the qtrs on 5/23/14 Heritage (Leesburg) beat Park View (Sterling) 3-0, Dominion (Sterling), lost to Millbrook (Winchester) 9-0, Loudoun County (Leesburg) beat James Wood (Winchester) 5-4, and  Sherando (Stephens City, outside Winchester) blanked Woodgrove (Purceville, outside Leesburg) 6-0. In the 5/27/14 semis, Sherando beat Heritage 4-3 and Loudoun County was blanked by Millbrook 4-0.  In the 5/29/14 final, Milbrook beat Sherando for the fourth time this year 5-4.  

3-A East Region

  • 3-A Conference 27 (playoff bracket): Culpeper regular season champ.  Quarters 5/26/14 #4 Manassas Park lost to #5 Spotsylvania 2-0, #3 Brentsville crushed #6 James Monroe 10-0.  Semis 5/28/14, #1 Culpeper beat Spotsylvania 5-2, while the other semi #2 Kettle Run beat Brentsville. The #1/#2 Final is 5/31/14, won by Kettle Run in an upset 8-4.
  • 3-A Conference 28 (playoff bracket): Loudoun Valley regular season champ.  Quarters 5/26/14: #4 Skyline beat #5 Warren County 5-0 and #3 Central beat #6 John Champe  6-5.  In the 5/28/14 semis, #1 Loudoun Valley beat Skyline by the astounding score of 27-6, and #2 William Monroe beat Central 5-0.  In the Final on 5/30/14: Loudoun Valley pounded William Monroe 12-1.  Wow; that’s quite a conference tournament showing for Loudoun Valley.

2-A East Region

  • 2-A Conference 35 (playoff bracket): Strasburg was the regular season champ with just a single loss all year.  This conference is home to Falls Church’s George Mason HS, the smallest high school in the Northern Virginia area.  They were the #2 seed but were upset in the 1st round of the playoffs 6-5 by Madison County, ending their season.  Strasburg won the conference with ease and enters the regionals with a 20-1. record.

 


Maryland

The Maryland state semis were on 5/20/14 and the finals were at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen on Friday 5/23/14 and Saturday 5/24/14.  Links: MPSSAA home page.  Here’s how things turned out by classification:

  • 4-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps)
    • Semifinalists and regional champions were: repeat regional champion Elanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt), Sherwood (Sandy Spring/Olney), Gaithersburg and Baltimore’s #4 ranked Chesapeake (Pasadena, near Annapolis).
    • In the first state semi, Sherwood’s Matt Chanin (UMBC commit) threw a no-hitter and Sherwood blitzed Elanor Roosevelt 10-0.  In the other semi, Chesapeake blanked Gaithersburg 6-0 behind Chris Ruszin‘s shutout (Towson commit) as Gaithersburg committed 5 errors in the field.
    • In the state final on 5/23/14, Chesapeake’s Drew Spinnenweber (committed to the US Merchant Marine academy) threw a 13-k shutout to beat Sherwood 2-0.
  • 3-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps):
    • Semifinalists and regional champions were: La Plata, Baltimore #5 North Harford (Plysville, near PA border north of Baltimore), Thomas Johnson (Frederick) and Baltimore’s #2 ranked Reservoir (Fulton, near Columbia).
    • In the state semis, North Harford blitzed La Plata 8-2, and Reservoir similarly blitzed Thomas Johnson 12-4.
    • In the State final on 5/24/14, junior Cody Morris threw a 2-hitter and Reservoir beat North Harford 2-0.  Morris struck out 11 and dominated in the final; he’s just a junior but has already hit 94 in showcase events, was holding 92 in the state final and is an early commit to South Carolina.  He’ll be one to watch next year, to see if he can become a high-draft pick prospect.
  • 2-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps)
    • Semifinalists were: Poolsville, joined by Southern (in Harwood, south of Annapolis), Hereford (in Parkton, north of Baltimore on I-83) and Parkside (in Salisbury).
    • In the state semis, Poolsville’s great season came to an end in a 5-4 loss to Parkside.  Poolsville rallied from an early deficit, tied the game late to send it into extra-innings but gave up the winning run in the 9th.  Southern beat Hereford in the other semi.
    • In the state final on 5/24/14, Southern beat Parkside in a tight 3-2 affair to cap a surprising state title (they were just 16-9 on the season and at one point were 3 games under .500).
  • 1-A State Playoff Bracket (alt Bracket via maxpreps):
    • Semifinalists were: Maritime Academy (Baltimore), Sparrows Point (Baltimore), Smithsburg (outside of Hagerstown) and Cambridge-South Dorchester.
    • In the state semis, Sparrows Point beat Maritime Academy 24-0 (that’s not a typo; Sparrows Point won its regional final 24-1), and Smithsburg beat Cambridge-South Dorchester 4-3 (preventing Cambridge’s attempt to repeat as state titlists) to set-up a possibly lopsided state final.
    • In the state finals on 5/24/14, Smithsburg blanked Sparrows Point 9-0, the exact opposite result that I anticipated.

A quick list of past champions by division:

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:

Wilson HS is the dominant team and has been for two decades; no surprise here who won the regular season league championship.  The 2014 DCIAA championship has yet to be scheduled (they usually wait for an open date at Nats park in early June: June 7th and 14th are candidates dates this year).

(In 2013, Wilson defeated Mckinley Tech 16-2 for the DCIAA championship).

DCSAA: DC State Athletic Association

The Inagural DCSAA “State” Baseball tournament for the District of Columbia kicked off on 5/20/14.   The “state” tournament is going on at the same time as the DCIAA regular season, making scheduling rather difficult for some teams (aka Wilson, who had four games in four days this past week!).   The field of 9 teams seems to be invite-only; it contains a cherry-picked list of DC schools, mostly private though with a couple of public schools.  And the schedule is awful; teams must play at least three games in four days (or four in five days if they are in the play-in game) in order to win this tournament.  The championship game took place on 5/24/14 at Nats park, so that’s quite a carrot.  #1 seed St. Johns seems likely to meet #2 seed (and fellow WCAC conference foe) Gonzaga for the title, but must go through DCIAA power Wilson to get there.

In the Quarters, the seeds mostly held to form with #1 St. Johns, #5 Wilson, #3 St. Albans and #2 Gonzaga all advanced.  In the semis on 5/23/14, St. Johns blanked a tired Wilson 4-0 and St. Albans upset Gonzaga 2-1 to setup a great grudge-match settling final between the champions of Washington’s two biggest private leagues.  In the final, St. Johns outlasted their IAC counterparts 6-3 in the season finale for both squads.

 


Private Leagues

Most all private leagues in the DC, VA and MD areas are complete at this point.  Here’s a list of winners per league:

 


Resources:

  • Thanks to the Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports.
  • The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
  • MaxPreps.com also has some non-paywall HS information that comes in handy too.
  • Nvdaily.com (Strasburg/Winchester) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC.
  • The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
  • Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section (and here’s the updated Baltimore top-20, akin to the AllMetSports top-10 list).
  • I use perfectgame.org to look up high-end HS prospects.
  • VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for playoff brackets and updates for VA and MD respectively.

If you have any other good sources for local prep baseball information, i’m all ears.

CWS Field of 64 announced; teams and analysis

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CWS 2014 logo

Hot on the heels of our “local college team” post earlier this week, the full 64-team field has been announced.  (here’s a cool picture of all 64 uniforms in the tourney)

A preliminary announcement earlier on 5/26/14 stated the 16 regional hosts, each of whom is also automatically in the field.  The full field announcement came later in the day (link from College Baseball Blog and nicely formatted regional pairings from BaseballAmerica).  Oregon State got the #1 overall seed in the field of 64 and the Top 16 National seeds are:

  1. Oregon State: Pac-12 regular season champ (no tourney)
  2. Florida: SEC Eastern Division and overall regular season champion, Conference tourney runner-up
  3. Virginia: 2nd ACC coastal division
  4. Indiana: Big-10 regular season and conference tourney champion.
  5. Florida State: ACC Atlantic division champion.
  6. Louisiana-Lafayette: Sun Belt regular season and conference tourney champion.
  7. TCU: Big-12 2nd place regular season, conference tournament Champion
  8. LSU: 2nd SEC Western division, conference tourney champion.
  9. Rice: Conference USA regular season and conference tourney champion.
  10. Cal Poly: Big West regular season champ (no tourney)
  11. Ole Miss: SEC Western Division champion
  12. Louisville: American Athletic Conference regular season champion, Conference tourney runner-up
  13. Vanderbilt: 3rd SEC Western division
  14. South Carolina: 2nd SEC Eastern division,
  15. Miami: ACC Coastal Division and overall regular season champion,
  16. Oklahoma State: Big-12 regular season champion, Conference tourney runner-up

By inferring the stated match-ups of regional hosts, we infer the 9th-16 national seeds from the regional hosts: The 16 regional hosts *usually* are also the top 16 seeds of the tournament, though there have been some deviations from this in the past.  However these seem accurate based on RPI rankings and typical top-25 votes.

Seeding Analysis: I thought Oregon State was slightly over-seeded at #1; I think you have to put Florida or Florida State there based on their record, Strength of Schedule (SoS) and the conferences they play in.   Otherwise in some form or fashion I think your top 8 seeds are correct.   Some are complaining about Indiana but their RPI and BA ranks are top 8 material and there’s no team seeded 9-12 that can make a real strong case to rise.   I think teams like Houston, Washington and Texas were pretty hard done by not getting at least a regional host/9-16 seed.  How does the Pac-12 get the #1 overall seed but its 2nd best team doesn’t even rate a top 16 seed?  Meanwhile Houston is 10th in RPI and #15 in the latest BA poll, and they have to go to LSU to compete against a championship-calibre team.

(Note: CollegeBaseballBlog is reviewing every regional this week ahead of the weekend games.  Click here for an example).

Easiest RegionalsMiami, who in their 42nd consecutive CWS appearance gets Ivy league champ Columbia as its regional THREE seed and a team with a losing record as its 4th seed.  Of course, Miami’s prize will be a super-regional matchup with my tournament favorite Florida and a likely trip home.   Oregon State’s regional looks incredibly straight forward; its #2 and #3 seeds are from smaller baseball conferences and its #2 seed (UNLV) just lost their friday starter (Erick Fedde) to Tommy John.   Indiana’s regional looks pretty easy all things considered, and Florida State’s regional isn’t difficult, with middling SEC team Alabama and small conference schools to contend with.

Hardest Regionals: LSU; they get Houston, a team that should have been seeded as well as conference champ Bryant.  Oklahoma State got no favors with Nebraska and traditional power Cal-State Fullerton.  Rice gets #12 RPI ranked Texas to go with Texas A&M.  Ole Miss gets 14th ranked and under-seeded Washington to go with 25th ranked Georgia Tech and a pesky 4th seed in Jacksonville State.   Florida has three teams ranked inside of the RPI #50 in its regional; no cupcakes here and it includes the best #4 seed in the tourney (College of Charleston with local favorite Taylor Clarke).  TCU gets baseball powerhouse Dallas Baptist to go along with Sam Houston State, a team ranked in and out of the top 25 all year.  Lastly Louisville has a regional that looks like a fantastic basketball tournament; they have Kentucky, Kansas and Kent State.  Kentucky and Kansas were in the top 25 as recently as earlier this month and this could be a very competitive regional.

Snubs: West Virginia was the highest RPI ranked team left out (#38) but that was mostly on their SoS; they were barely a .500 team overall and were just 9-14 in divisional play.  Next in RPI rankings missing out were Mercer (#46), UCF (#48), and UC Santa Barbara (#50).  Central Florida likely was the “last team out” and Clemson/UC Irvine were the “last teams in.”  Duke may feel a bit unfairly done by; they finished ahead of two other NCAA teams in the conference standings.  CAA champ William & Mary just didn’t have the SOS to get in after losing the conference tournament.   Wright State won its conference going 25-4 in division only to lose the tournamnet to the team that finished dead last in conference play (Youngstown State).

(Links to other analysis from CollegeBaseballDaily blog, BaseballAmerica cool facts and tidbits, and BaseballAmerica field of 64 analysis by Aaron Fitt).

Local Rooting Interests: #3 overall seed and regional host UVA.  Liberty (#3 seed in Charlottesville region), Old Dominion (#3 seed in South Carolina’s region), George Mason (#4 seed in Rice’s regional), and U of Maryland (#2 seed in South Carolina region).  Tough matchup for Liberty.  Maryland returns to the tournament for the first time in 43 years, an amazing fact.  George Mason not only has to travel to Dallas, but they get two top 12 ranked teams in Rice and Texas.  Its hard to envision any of these teams besides host UVA advancing.

Big-time draft prospects to watch: Many of the biggest names in the upcoming draft failed to make the tourney (Carlos RodonBradley ZimmerSean Newcomb and Jeff Hoffman).  But you will have:

  • Aaron Nola, LSU’s friday night starter for the 2nd year running
  • Max Pentecost catches for Kennesaw State.
  • Michael Conforto, an OF with #1 seeded Oregon State
  • Brandon Finnegan, TCU’s #1 starter (a lefty who may be in Washington’s sights if he drops to #18 in the draft)
  • Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt’s #1 starter, who was a first rounder in 2011 out of HS but who failed to sign and has purported “make-up” issues (though finding links to whatever his transgressions may be are difficult)
  • Kyle Schwarber, Indiana’s backstop
  • Erick Fedde‘s team (UNLV) is in the tourney but he isn’t; he had Tommy John surgery a couple of weeks back.  Remember this name; more than one pundit has the Nats drafting him in 2 weeks time.
  • UVA has three 1st-2nd rounders of note as discussed here frequently: Derek FisherMike Papi and Nick Howard.

See more of the guys in play by scanning down MLBdraftInsider’s latest mock draft.  And mlb.com posted its link to the Tourney teeming with talent.

Regionals run from Friday 5/30/14 to Monday June 2nd (if needed).

My Regional winner predictions: I’ll go chalk with national seeds 1-8.  After that most of the 9-16 seeds could be in trouble:

  • I think Texas beats out perennially over-ranked #9 Rice.
  • I think #10 Cal Poly doesn’t have the SoS to compete with either Arizona State or Pepperdine and will get beat.
  • I like Washington over #11 Ole Miss.
  • I think Kentucky can outlast #12 Louisville.
  • I think #16 Oklahoma State could be in trouble with Cal State Fullerton looming as a pretty tough #3 seed.
  • I worry about small-conference #6 Louisiana-Lafayette’s lofty ranking (they’re #1 in the final BA poll) but they got a pretty easy regional.
  • Despite Houston’s pedigre I don’t think they can beat out #8 LSU, and someone has to go through Aaron Nola.  And despite some complaints with #4 Indiana’s seeding their bracket is pretty easy.

Other pundit regional predictions: CollegeBaseballBlog and MinorLeagueBall/Chris Slade.

But no matter what happens, I hope they bring along the “Bat Dog” for one of the regionals :-)


Useful College Baseball links to use: BaseballAmerica, and their top-25 lists.  d1baseball.com is fantastic and is the best place to get updated information on day-to-day data, standings, and tournament results.  PerfectGame.org has the best data on college players in their vast prep database.  Warrennolan.com has the best guesses on college baseball RPIs.  NCBWA does top-30 polls and other analysis.

DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report

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Now that the prep high school regular seasons are (for the most part) over, here’s a review of some of the DC-area local prep high school tournaments.   Last year I only covered the Virginia tourneys (in the interest of openness; i’m a resident and an alum of Northern Virginia and have more interest in the Virginia side of the house), but this year i’ve thrown in coverage of the Maryland side, the private leagues and DC.

The Maryland tournament nearly finishes before the Virginia districts start, as do the private high school tournaments.  Meanwhile there’s not much to report in DC, but we’ll talk about them at the end of the post.

Here we go:

Virginia

Conference tournaments are starting this week, so we’ll talk more about how some local favorites are doing in the next iteration of this post.

Thanks to the beauty of bureacracy, Northern Virginia’s old district “names” have gone by the wayside (the “Northern Region” used to be the Concorde, Liberty, National and Patriot districts, and before that it was Northern, Great Falls, Alexandria and Potomac), and we now have the unemotional numbering of districts.  Except there seems to be some transition between the old names and the new conference numbers.   Conference #’s 5-8 are basically the 6-A schools in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and some PW counties.  Conference #s 13-15 are basically the 5-A/smaller high schools from around Northern Virginia.  Links to conference standings at allmetsports.com are here and standings at insidenova are here but results are spotty in some/most cases.

Confusing matters are the fact that some of the conferences with PW and Fauquier schools also have schools that aren’t considered proximiate to the DC area, so sites like allmetsports.com and InsideNova.com don’t really cover them.  And, the conference tournament schedules seem all in dis-array this year, with some conferences starting their district tournaments earlier than others.

  • Conference 4: Bigger PW and Fauquier schools from the old Northwestern Region: Hylton and Colonial Forge are powers this year.
  • Conference 5/Concorde: Contains regional powerhouses Oakton, Chantilly, Robinson, Westfield and Centreville.  Led by Chantilly this year.
  • Conference 6/Liberty: Dominated this year by Madison, with last year’s upstarts like Yorktown/Washington & Lee and the McLean schools struggling.  Conference play kicked off on 5/18/14 with Langley beating Hayfield and McLean upsetting South Lakes.
  • Conference 7: Several big-time baseball programs historically in Lake Braddock, WT Woodson and South County.  This year led by West Springfield.
  • Conference 8: a smaller grouping of Western Prince William/Fauquier County high schools; contains strong teams (by record) Battlefield, Osbourn Park and Patriot.
  • Conference 13: A weaker collection of smaller high schools from Arlington/Alexandria and Fairfax counties.  Marshall seems like the contender here.
  • Conference 14: Newer/smaller high schools from Loudoun County and includes Stone Bridge, which is dominating its district this year led by 1st round talent Jacob Bukauskas.
  • Conference 15: Smaller high schools from Southern PW county and behond: historic power Potomac (VA) is here and they play mostly schools from further south.

Upcoming Schedule (VHSL site and VHSL Conference/Regional results, which won’t get populated until the tourneys start).

  • Regular Season ending: week of May 13-May 16th.
  • Virginia District Tournaments are scheduled from May 25th-May 30th, but some kicked off on 5/18/14.
  • Virginia Regionals: June 5th
  • Virgina State Semis and finals: June 10-13th.

Maryland

Some of the best Maryland-based baseball programs are either private (WCAC’s St. Johns and Riverdale Baptist) or are considered lesser talents than their Northern Virginia counterparts.   But, there are some good Maryland teams to keep an eye on during the upcoming Maryland “Section” Finals.  (MPSSAA home page), here’s a review of where we stand in the Maryland playoffs.

Maryland is divided into these four “sections” by size, and then each section has a North/South/East/West division that encompasses the entire state.  The winners of each section/division then make up the state semi-finalists, played at Cal Ripken’s Aberdeen stadium.

Schedule: By looking at each classification as one big bracket (see the links from MPSSAA’s page):

  • the round of 64 was on Saturday 5/10/14, held at the higher seed’s location.
  • the round of 32 (where the #1 seeds start)  was held on Monday 5/12/14, also at the higher seed’s location.
  • The round of 16 is being held on Wednesday 5/14/14 at the higher seed’s field.
  • The round of 8/Sectional championships are are on Friday 5/16/14 at a field determined (as far as I can tell) by a coin flip.
  • The round of 4 or the State semi finals are on 5/20/14 at various neutral fields around the state (Joe Cannon near BWI, U Maryland’s home field are example sites).
  • The state finals are at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen on 5/24/14.

Here’s the summary of the Maryland State Sectionals and State tournament so far:

  • 4-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxprepsBowie and Elanor Roosevelt, Chesapeake, Arundel, Gaithersburg and Blair all look promising at the onset to make the state tournament.  In the round of 32 state-wide, the seeding mostly held as no #1 seeds were upset and nearly every #2 seed advanced.   The round of 16s saw the Bowie-Elanor Roosevelt anticipated matchup, with Elanor Roosevelt coming out on top 10-8.  Laurel blitzed sectional #1 seed Duval 20-3 to face Elanor Roosevelt in the state quarters.  And Bethesda’s Walt Whitman faces off with its sectional #1 seed Gaithersburg after upsetting #1 seed Blair in the state round of 16.  5/18/14: Regional champs crowned and state semis set: Elanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt), Sherwood (Sandy Spring/Olney), Gaithersburg and Chesapeake (Pasadena, near Annapolis) are in the state final four.
  • 3-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps): Columbia’s Atholton and La Plata in Southern Maryland are WP top-10 teams to keep an eye on.   In the round of 32 state-wide a couple of #1 seeds faltered but otherwise the favorites stayed alive.  In the round-of-16 Atholton was upset but LaPlata stormed onwards, joined by local schools Seneca Valley and Thomas Johnson in the state quarter finals.  5/18/14: Regional Champs crowned: La Plata, North Harford (Plysville, near PA border north of Baltimore), Thomas Johnson (Frederick) and Reservoir (Fulton, near Columbia) are into the state-semis.
  • 2-A State Playoff Bracket (alt bracket via maxpreps) features Poolesville’s lofty 17-1 team amongst the few DC-local high schools small enough to qualify.  The round of 32-statewide went mostly to form, with Poolesville getting by.   Poolesville continued to  hold serve in the round of 16, joined by Calvert in a #1 sectional-seed heavy state quarterfinals bracket.   5/18/14: Regional Champs crowned: local favorite Poolsville is joined by Southern (in Harwood, south of Annapolis), Hereford (in Parkton, north of Baltimore on I-83) and Parkside (in Salisbury) in the state semis.
  • 1-A features no DC-area local schools and is populated by smaller schools from the state’s further reaches.  Bracket via maxpreps is here.  Two small high schools from Baltimore are joined by schools from Cambridge and Smithsburg (outside of Hagerstown) in the state semis.

Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

The major local Catholic League (WCAC) featured several good baseball programs this year (perennially tough Paul VI and St. Johns) as well as upstart DeMatha and Gonzaga.  St. Johns faced O’Connell for the WCAC championship and swept the two-game final series by a combined score of 19-0 to win the WCAC.   Flint Hill has dominated the MAC behind UVA commit Tommy Doyle, and easily took the title in mid-May over St. James.  And in the IAC, Georgetown Prep finished undefeated in group play and played a very tough out-of-conference schedule, facing most of the heavyweight private schools in the area.  However St. Albans upset the Little Hoyas in the IAC final.

Oddly, the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association (VISSA)’s state tournament runs concurrent to both the local district tournaments, causing teams to really stretch their pitching to win both competitions.   Three big-time NoVa based programs are all grouped in the VISSA Division I bracket (Paul VI, O’Connell and Flint Hill), though only Flint Hill has advanced to the state quarter finals.  They were subsequently blanked in the semis by Charlottesville’s St. Anne’s-Belfield, who lost in the final to Lynchburg’s Liberty Christian HS.

Lastly, the Maryland Private High School tournament kicks off the week of 5/19/14, featuring 6 of the best private schools on the Maryland side.  We’ll see DC local private schools DeMatha, Riverdale Baptist, Good Counsel and Spalding (If anyone has a link to this tournament with more information, let me know).

DC Public Schools/DCIAA

As was chronicled earlier this year in the Washington Post, there’s not much in the way of suspense when it comes to DCIAA baseball tournaments.  Wilson HS has a 21-year winning streak against its DCPS league mates and has won games in the city this year by scores of 15-0 (Anacostia), 16-0 (Theodore Roosevelt) and an astounding 30-0 (over Ballou).

Written by Todd Boss

May 20th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Adult/Amateur and College baseball in the DC Area for 2014

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I know its 20 degrees out, but we’re only a month away from opening day for the Nats, colleges started playing two weekends ago in the warmer states, and local amateur leagues can start as early as April 1st.  So lets talk some local baseball.

I thought it’d be of service to readers to summarize information of known local  adult/amateur leagues for anyone who is perhaps interested in getting back to playing, or who knows someone looking for a team.  If you’re looking for a place to play this summer, now is the time to reach out and start making contacts/sign up to play.  I’ve also gone over the Division 1 schools playing in the area and put in some links for those that want to go see some college ball.

I’ll list these leagues in perceived order of talent/skill/intensity from highest to lowest.  Each site also has links for those who may want to look into playing or watching.  I’m not including any youth, AAU, travel, American Legion, Babe Ruth or Cal Ripken (not to be confused with the Cal Ripken collegiate league) baseball here; we’ll start with College-age Adult baseball.  I will have a post coming later on that discusses draft prospects in the area worth following, which will give an overview of what high schools are worth looking up this spring.   Honestly I don’t know a ton about the big DC area travel league other than listening to complaints from my adult baseball buddies about how they get all the good fields :-) .

1. Local College-area Baseball teams.  If you’re looking for some division 1 area baseball, Washington DC has four teams to consider: (ACC), George Mason (A-10), George Washington (A-10) and Georgetown (Big East) all play division 1 schedules of varying strength (in roughly the order I just listed).  Their home fields are:

  • Maryland: on Shipley Field in College Park
  • George Mason: across 123 from campus behind the big Track and Field pavilion
  • Georgetown: on Shirley Povich field in Bethesda
  • George Washington: in Barcroft Park on Four Mile Run in South Arlington

Maryland (being in the ACC for one last season) features several marquee teams visiting this year (2014 schedule here), including UNC, NC State (with consensus 1-1 overall pick Carlos Rodon), and Clemson.   Mason’s best home opponent (2014 schedule here) may be 2013 CWS participant St. Louis.  Georgetown’s 2014 home schedule‘s best visitor may be Seton Hall (the new Big East isn’t that big into baseball), and GW’s home slate for 2014 highlight may be Rhode Island.  These schools are playing each other in mid-week stand-offs here and there, and new A-10 rivals GW and Mason face off more than a few times this year.

Personlly, I’m kind of bummed by Mason’s exit to the A-10; it means no more visits to or from my alma mater JMU, an itinerant baseball power.   JMU does a mid-week visit to Maryland after playing a 3-game set in Towson; that’s about as close as they come to DC this year.

2. DC-Area Summer Collegiate Leagues: Once the NCAA seasons are done, lots of college players debunk for wood-bat leagues.  The local wood-bat Cal Ripken Collegiate League has teams from DC, Maryland and Virginia and is the successor to the long-running Clark Griffith League (one of the first wood-bat leagues in the nation but now defunct: the Clark Griffith league suspended operations in 2010 and has not been able to re-start itself).  The Cal Ripken league has flourished and expanded since its inception, taken some of the former Griffith teams and now has at least 12 teams competing.  The marquee team is the Bethesda Big Train, named after Senator’s great Walter Johnson and whose home games are at the fantastic Shirley Povich field in Bethesda (also the home-stadium of Georgetown University).  If you havn’t seen games at Povich, you should take a drive up there one night this summer and take in a game.  The quality of play is good (the players are either Division-1 college players or elite HS prospects) and the field is great.

The Cal Ripken league is a step down from the famed Cape Code League in terms of summer college talent … but then again nearly every other wood bat summer league is a step down as well.  Of the dozens of summer leagues out there, most pundits would rank the Cal Ripken league as a 3rd tier quality league (2nd tiers being leagues like the Valley League, the Northwest league, the Alaska league or the Coastal Plains leagues).  But the Cal Ripken league definitely has its share of pro alumni.

Eligibility: you must have college eligibility left to play in this league.  High Schoolers are eligible but rare.  Teams are competitively assembled and hand selected.  Most players are contacted through their college coaches, but some are placed via relationships with GMs.  The Cal Ripken teams are always looking for host families; if you are interested in hosting a player definitely reach out to the league to volunteer.

3. The Industrial League: The Industrial League is the most elite level of adult amateur baseball in the area, filled with ex-Collegiate players and ex-Pros to serve as close to a “semi pro” league as we have in the area.  The current incarnation of the Industrial league plays wood bat and is the combination of two long-standing leagues (the “Industrial League” and the “Credit Union” league).   The old Credit Union used to play with aluminum, but went to Wood fully upon its dissolvement.  There’s only a handful of teams; this league used to be much healthier.  The “history” page on the website is informative and gives some great background on the league itself and its origins.  A quick check on 2013′s season showed that they played just a partial slate of games compared to the 40-50 game schedules they used to play.

By way of talent comparison; recent industrial teams used to scrimmage the Griffith/Ripken teams and would get wiped out.  Not so much because of talent, but because of depth.  These college summer league teams have full rosters and massive bullpens.  However, many years ago the tables were turned when these industrial teams featured significantly more talent and would dominate the Clark Griffith teams of the time.

Personal connection: I played in the predecessor league (Credit Union) for a brief time while in college, and can attest to the quality of play at the time.

Eligibility: no restrictions; anyone can play at any age.  No restrictions on time sitting out if you are an ex-pro.

4.  DCMSBL/MABLDC Mens Senior Baseball League: a large adult baseball league (the 2nd largest Adult league in the Nation according to MSBL’s records) with divisions ranging from 19 and up to 55 and up.   DCMSBL started in 1991 with just a 30+ division and now has dozens of teams split amongst 19+, 25+, 35+,45+,55+ and a wood-bat only league that crosses age divisions.  In 2012 the league had no less than 75 teams among all these divisions (each team has to have a minimum of 15 registered players, meaning there’s more than 1100-1200 players in the league).  Note: MABL stands for Mens Adult Baseball League, which was formerly the under 30 adult league now rolled into one organization).

The DCMSBL amateur league is pretty decent baseball.  The 19-and up is essentially a low-end collegiate summer league (though not nearly as talented as Cal Ripken).  There is some overlap with teams in the Industrial league and the Cross-age group woodbat leagues.  The 25 and up division has a large number of ex-college players and ex-pros, and the 35-and up teams have more than their fare share of ex-major leaguers as well.  Its not uncommon to face a guy in the upper 25+ division who was a starter for his Division-1 college team for 4 years and is just a few years removed from that level of competition.  There’s enough teams so that there are “upper” and “lower” divisions of play within each age group.  From an intensity standpoint, the “upper” divisions are quite competitive each year while the “lower” divisions are less intense but certainly not a “beer drinking” division like you’d see if you were playing softball.

Teams are organizing right now for play that starts in the first week of April.  There’s a player waiting list that you can sign up for at the website www.dcmsbl.com.

Note: there is also the Chesapeake MSBL that covers the Annapolis, Southern Maryland and Howard county areas with similar rules and talent levels to DCMSBL.  The two leagues play an all-star game at season’s end in one of the local minor league stadiums (this year in Frederick).

Personal Connection: I played in this league for more than a decade, finally “retiring” temporarily (?) to rehab injuries and get our kid out of infancy.  We played two seasons in the “upper” 25+ league and the rest in one of the lower leagues; the upper leagues are pretty good baseball, though not nearly as good as the Credit Union of old.

Eligibility: ex-professionals must sit out a year before being eligible to play.

5. DC Wood Bat League, formerly associated with NABA and which absorbed teams from the old WARBL.  It had 12 teams for 2012 and expanded to two divisions and 14 teams in Spring/Summer 2013 (in prior years they had as many as 20 teams; its good to see them growing).  There seems to be some overlap between DCWood and DCMSBL teams, and this league definitely has had some talented teams in the past.

Eligibility: 19+, no known pro restrictions.

6. Ponce de Leon league, owned and operated by Bob Duff, serves as an excellent low-key competitive league for players to play.   There are a slew of very specific competition rules that control the flow of games, prevent blowouts and limit the ability of pitchers to dominate the league.  But this league also guarantees participation and is a great option for guys who havn’t played in years or who are nervous about the intensity of the above leagues.

It is now affiliated with the DC Wood bat league somehow; this is a new affiliation and I don’t know all the details other than what’s on the websites.

Ponce has two age divisions; 30+ and 48+.  You have to be at least 30 and cannot pitch unless you’re at least 36 in the younger division.  There are no pitching restrictions in the older division.

To show how much inter-linking and cooperation there is between the leagues mentioned here, we met Ponce league owner Duff when he ran a fantastic DCMSBL 28+ team back in the late 90s (they’re now a dominant 35+ team), he owns and operations the Ponce league, which has an affiliation with the Wood bat league, and Duff used to own/sponsor one of the Clark Griffith teams.  That’s some serious participation in the local DC baseball scene.  Just to add one more note about Duff; he started and runs the Diamond Dream Foundation, which runs baseball programming for youths, has an association with the Nationals and runs a charity golf event every August that features many current and former pros with connections to the Orioles, the Nationals and baseball in general.  If you’re interested in playing in this golf event, I’ll be sure to put an announcement out when he starts organizing.

Eligibilty:  30+ with restrictions as noted above.  No known pro restrictions.

[Editor's note: after the 2013 publication of this, I noticed an advertisement in a local publication for new adult baseball league, discussed here.]

7. Legends Sports Leagues: Has two divisions (19+ and 30+) and advertises itself as a “less pressure” league.  Has been in operation for a while based on the pictures from their website.  I can’t believe i’ve never heard of it; anyone know anything about this league?

8. Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference: the EWBC is an Adult Womens baseball league with teams from DC to Baltimore that plays competitively.  I must admit; I had not heard about them until prompted by suggestions in the comments from last year’s post.


I’d love to hear from you if you’re familiar with any other area leagues that I may have missed, or if you have some thoughts on the post here.  I know there were lots of corrections and clarifications from this post last year; apologies if I didn’t get them all in for this year.

Editor’s note: some of this is reposted from last year’s PSA informational blog about area baseball leagues.

Written by Todd Boss

February 28th, 2014 at 9:16 am

Happy Holidays!

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Happy holidays to everyone who reads and (especially) participates here.  I really enjoy our conversations and I hope you do too.

I hope you and yours are well this holiday season.

Written by Todd Boss

December 25th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Non-Baseball

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