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Monday, April 29, 2013
St. John's Prep new No. 1 in baseball poll

By Brendan Hall

We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 baseball poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The next poll update will be Monday, May 6.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

St. John's Prep is new No. 1: Following its 6-5 thriller over BC High last Wednesday, St. John's Prep ascends to the top spot in the land for the first time since last season. The Eagles have won 10 straight since their season-opening loss to rival Xaverian, and a big reason is for the explosion of bats. Offensively, they are averaging 8.5 runs per game.

Catholic Conference reigns supreme: Catholic Memorial makes its season debut at No. 18, following a 5-0 upset of Xaverian on Friday. With the Knights' entry into the poll, as the fifth Catholic Conference school, this marks the first time since 2011, a league's full membership has been represented in the poll. Along with Prep's ascent to No. 1 the Catholic Conference also boasts BC High (3), Malden Catholic (8) and Xaverian (10) this week.

For the unfamiliar, the last time all five Catholic Conference schools were represented was in ESPNBoston.com's very first baseball poll of existence, the 2011 preseason poll. That list had none other than CM, with three Division 1-bound arms, as the top team in the land.

SPM making moves: St. Peter-Marian scored a huge victory on Saturday afternoon when they knocked off Malden Catholic 2-1 in extra innings. It marked the first time all season they have reached .500, and it also avenged a 3-1 loss to the Lancers back on April 13. With the win, SPM makes its season debut this week at No. 17.

The Guardians had a brutal start to their 2013 campaign, opening at 1-5 with losses to Hudson, St. John's (Shrewsbury), Billerica, Shrewsbury and the aforementioned Lancers -- all of whom are currently ranked, or have been ranked, in our poll this season. Since then, the Guardians have won four straight, getting excellent production out of its pitching staff led by D1 commits Zach Zona (UMass) and Jack Riley (UConn).

Making returns: SPM and CM are the lone teams making debuts this week, while a number of teams make returns after short absences. Westfield (20) returns after a one-week hiatus, followed by Braintree (22), Coyle-Cassidy (23) and Hudson (25).

Here's how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 5
Bay State - 3
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Northeastern - 2
Old Colony - 2
Southern Worcester County - 2
Valley League - 2
Atlantic Coast - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Merrimack Valley - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Patriot - 1
Valley Wheel - 1