Super 8 Baseball Projection, Version 3.0

Brendan C. Hall/ESPNBoston.com

Each week in May, ESPNBoston.com will be releasing its projections for the field of eight in the MIAA Division 1A Tournament, right up to the official selection at the end of the month. First-round home games for the Super 8 commence on June 3.

With two weeks left in the 2015 regular season, here is our third projection of the eight-team field. Click here for previous projections: Version 2.0 | Version 1.0

Be sure to check back next week for "Version 4.0".



Record: 14-2

ESPNBoston Rank: 1

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 North

Key Wins: BC High (3-0, 5-0), Xaverian (4-0, 4-2), Catholic Memorial (8-6, 8 inn.; 6-4), Newton North (5-0), St. Peter-Marian (15-1), Chelmsford (9-6), Malden Catholic (3-1), St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (9-4)

Key Losses: St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (3-1), Peabody (5-2)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 7-0

Record vs. Division 1: 12-2

Players to Watch: Keith Leavitt, Sr. OF; Nick Latham, Jr. 1B; Jacob Yish, Jr. 3B; Ted McNamara, Sr. INF; Justin Foley, Sr. RHP; Justin Kerhulas, Sr. RHP; Dan Trulli, Sr. SS; Drew Farris, Jr. RHP

Outlook: At this point, barring an utter collapse, the Eagles should have at least a top-four seed locked up. Having already clinched the Catholic Conference outright by virtue of Xaverian’s loss to BC High last weekend, a win Wednesday over Malden Catholic would mark just the second time since 1998 that a team has gone a perfect 8-0 in the league. Sandwiched around the MC meeting are battles with St. Mary’s of Lynn, Swampscott and Marblehead. With any luck, they should be voted in unanimously for the second straight year come selection time.



Record: 14-1

ESPNBoston Rank: 2

League: Bay State Conference

District: Division 1 South

Key Wins: Silver Lake (11-3), Wellesley (11-3), Brookline (11-1, 9-0) Walpole (5-4), Natick (5-3), Newton North (2-0, 6-1), Walpole (5-4)

Key Losses: BC High (8-6)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-1

Record vs. Division 1: 13-1

Players to Watch: Connor Columbus, Sr. 3B; Bobby McNiff, Sr. RHP; Scott Creedon, Jr. RHP; Scott Strachan, Sr. LHP, Cal Berman, Sr. 1B; Anthony Venuti, Sr. 2B; Kevin Troy, Sr. OF; Colin Rios, Sr. C; Erik MacDonald, Jr. OF

Outlook: A weekend sweep of defending champ Newton North might just be enough to get the Wamps into this field. They have thus far gotten everything they wanted – and then some – out of the top of their order, led by the blistering pace of Columbus (.571, 3 HR, 18 RBI), but perhaps most impressive is their average of just two runs allowed per game in the wood bat-only Bay State Conference. McNiff has the star power, but Creedon (5-0, 1.09 ERA) has been a revelation this spring, along with Strachan (4-0, 1.55 ERA) to form what should be one of the stronger rotations in the Super 8 field.



Record: 14-1

ESPNBoston Rank: 3

League: Old Colony League

District: Division 1 South

Key Wins: Plymouth North (5-2), Hingham (6-2), Barnstable (2-0), Acton-Boxborough (9-0), Durfee (8-4), Billerica (13-6)

Key Losses: Lincoln-Sudbury (5-4)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 9-1

Players to Watch: Jack Connolly, Sr. RHP; Andrew Noviello, Sr. C/INF; Kyle Horsman, Sr. SS; Jon Livolsi, Sr. 3B; Cory Wasylow, Sr. OF; Mike Manning, Jr. LHP/OF; P.J. Walsh, Jr. RHP; Colin Trahon, Soph. OF, Paul LaFond, Sr. 1B; Nick Andrews, Jr. 2B

Outlook: Trojans scored their biggest resume win to date last Tuesday by blasting MVC front-runner Billerica for 13 runs, capped with Noviello’s mammoth fifth. If Noviello – who has now homered in four straight games – showed rust after missing the first five games of the season, he’s certainly exploded into form as of late. Couple that with the breakout junior season of Mike Manning, who threw a no-hitter in the Trojans’ win over Brockton last week, and this is another squad that is hitting peak condition at the right time. A cross-town battle with East Bridgewater on Wednesday should be another good barometer.



Record: 13-3

ESPNBoston Rank: 5

League: Northeastern Conference

District: Division 1 North

Key Wins: St. John’s Prep (5-2), Xaverian (4-3), Danvers (4-0), Beverly (6-1), Marblehead (6-1), Malden Catholic (6-0)

Key Losses: Swampscott (7-3), Lynn Classical (8-5), Lynn English (6-5)

Last 5 Games: 3-2

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 3-0

Record vs. Division 1: 3-1

Players to Watch: Matt Correale, Sr. LHP; Mike Petrosino, Sr. 1B; Christian Morales, Sr. 2B; Mike Raymond, Sr. RHP, Ryan Collins, Sr. SS; David Hoar, Sr. LHP; Matt Gonick, Sr. RF; John Oliviera, Jr. CF

Outlook: One month ago, it was Correale at the top of the rotation, pitching his way to wins with his trademark fire and spunk. Now, it appears Hoar has taken the reins at the top of the rotation. He was brilliant in the Tanners’ 6-0 win over Malden Catholic last week, which now gives them wins over each of the top three teams in what’s perceived to be the state’s most competitive league. They have six games to go, including rematches with Classical and English, but as long as they win out the rest of the way their 3-0 record against the Catholic Conference ought to be enough to get them in – especially given how muddied the rest of the field of contenders is becoming.



Record: 12-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 4

League: Central Mass. Conference

District: Division 1 Central

Key Wins: St. John’s Prep (3-1), Springfield Cathedral (4-3, 8 inn.), Algonquin (7-1), Leominster (5-2), BC High (7-6, 7-6), Doherty (12-3, 8-6)

Key Losses: Xaverian (2-1), Wachusett (9-0), St. Peter Marian (2-1), St. John’s Prep (9-4)

Last 5 Games: 3-2

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 3-2

Record vs. Division 1: 12-4

Players to Watch: Danny Barlok, Sr. RHP; Kevin Quinlivan, Sr. OF; Jake Rosen, Jr. SS; Ian Seymour, Soph. LHP; Jared Wetherbee, Jr. LHP; Sam Shaw, Jr. OF; Jack Gardner, Soph. C/3B; Craig Corliss, Jr. 1B/3B; Shane Combs, Sr. RHP

Outlook: As other contenders continue to pile up wounds, the Pioneers continue to rise to the top, even as they have hit some turbulence of late. They allowed 26 runs in April, a month in which they went 8-2; halfway through their May slate, they’ve allowed 41 but have stayed afloat, going 4-2. Maybe it’s just a rut, but they have a challenging slate to end the season, including rematches with Wachusett and SPM. This stretch run will test the depth of their quality pitching staff.



Record: 13-3

ESPNBoston Rank: 8

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

District: Division 2 North

Key Wins: Andover (8-5), Central Catholic (4-1), Chelmsford (7-2), Billerica (3-1, 11-0), Lawrence (6-0)

Key Losses: Lowell (3-2), Tewksbury (6-4), Lawrence (5-1)

Last 5 Games: 4-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 10-1

Players to Watch: Evan Glew, Sr. LHP; Ryan Bessette, Jr. OF; Brendan Parisotto, Jr. OF; Max Guertin, Sr. RHP; Chris Bosco, Sr. C; Myles Kouyoumjian, Sr. OF

Outlook: Scarlet Knights can lay legitimate claim as the top dog in the MVC after clinching the second division outright and going 4-1 against the top tier (which includes wins over D1 front-runners Andover and Central Catholic). But there was perhaps no bigger statement made than last Wednesday, when they scorched Super 8 contender Billerica 11-0 with their ace Kyle Murphy on the mound. As was the case last year with MVC champ Lowell, which went on a second-half tear to springboard into the tournament, the league’s top team should get into the field, provided they take care of business the rest of the way. Pitching and defense are the calling card of this squad, and they are undefeated when their crafty lefty Glew is on the hill.



Record: 12-5

ESPNBoston Rank: 7

League: Dual County League

District: Division 1 North

Key Wins: Bridgewater-Raynham (5-4), Xaverian (5-3), Acton-Boxborough (8-0), Boston Latin (5-4), Newton South (12-4), Waltham (6-2)

Key Losses: Acton-Boxborough (4-1), Boston Latin (14-6), Waltham (6-2, 13-2), Westford Academy (3-2)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-0

Record vs. Division 1: 9-5

Players to watch: Scott Holzwasser, Jr. INF; Chris Galland, Jr. OF; Alex Benton, Sr. OF/P; Tom Novick, Sr. RHP

Outlook: Hard to believe after such a disappointing start that the Warriors could be in the conversation here. Written off in early April, they have two big trump cards working in their favor: Wins over Bridgewater-Raynham and Xaverian. Plus, a win tomorrow over BC High would then put them at 2-0 against the Catholic Conference this year. But simply put, they will literally have to win out the entire rest of the way to stay afloat. There are simply too many teams behind them that could fit here – including two other DCL frontrunners, Acton-Boxborough and Waltham, both of whom they split the regular-season series with – to get any more benefit of the doubt.



Record: 13-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 21

League: Mid-Wach A

District: Division 1 Central

Key Wins: Shrewsbury (8-0, 4-3), Algonquin (4-3), St. John’s of Shrewsbury (9-0), Leominster (3-2, 4-3), Catholic Memorial (1-0)

Key Losses: BC High (7-6), Acton-Boxborough (1-0), Westborough (7-5), Algonquin (6-1)

Last 5 Games: 3-2

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-1

Record vs. Division 1: 7-2

Players to Watch: Tim Post, Sr. CF; Jordan Teevans, Sr. SS; Tanyon Ventres, Sr. 1B/RHP; A.J. Papandrea, Sr. LF; Dan Jancura, Sr. 3B; Connor Gill, Jr. RHP

Outlook: The Mountaineers took a nose dive in recent weeks after losing three in four games, but they have to be back on the map now after Gill no-hit Catholic Memorial on Tuesday afternoon. With sweeps of Shrewsbury and defending D1 state champ Leominster, a 9-0 thrashing of St. John’s, and now a .500 mark against the Catholic Conference, things are looking pretty good. They can get even better next Tuesday if they can sweep the series with their bitter rivals St. John’s.



Acton-Boxborough (12-5)

East Bridgewater (13-1)

Lexington (13-4)

Pittsfield (12-3)

Plymouth North (11-4)

Silver Lake (11-5)

Waltham (13-3)

West Springfield (11-5)

Xaverian (11-6)