By Matt Cohen
Photo by Mike Clark of the Montgomery Sentinel
Parity. It is the third week of the 2018 Montgomery County baseball season, and no word can better describe how the year has played out so far. Teams expected to be near the top of the rankings have been up-and-down this season, going through losing streaks. A few teams that were strong last year have fallen off. Many of the top teams have records hovering around .500.
Well, except Sherwood. Without any sort of a doubt, the Warriors hold the top spot in the rankings. Sherwood has dominated everyone they’ve played, and remain undefeated.
Behind the Warriors, chaos ensued in this week’s pool. Seven teams changed place from last week’s ranking, Good Counsel falls from fourth to out of the rankings completely after losing six of their last seven. Blair joined the rankings last week, but quickly fall out after losing to Churchill. With two teams dropping out, two new faces joined the rankings for the first time this season. Sherwood is the clear top team, but after the Warriors, the order gets tricky. Here are my rankings after three weeks of play in Montgomery County:
1. Sherwood, 7-0 (Last Week: 1)
Are there any holes on this roster? Ben Vok leads an incredible pitching staff. Pre-season All-State pick Michael Bouma and Vok have led a dominant lineup. They clearly have the best resume of any team in the County, with wins over Poolesville (defending 3A state champ), Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Whitman and defending 4A state champ Northwest. The gap between Sherwood and the rest of the County couldn’t be any bigger right now.
2. Poolesville, 3-2 (Last Week: 2)
Poolesville is a talented team, but had a rough week against two very strong teams, losing in extra innings to Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and struggling against Sherwood. Whitman is Poolesville’s best win thus far, a 7-5 victory on April 7. All-State pick Brady Pearre leads a very strong Falcons team that is about to enter an easier part of their schedule.
3. Damascus, 5-1 (Last Week: 6)
Damascus was beaten badly by Wootton in their second game of the season, but have rattled off four straight wins since, and thus move up the rankings. Led by Ethan Wentzlaff, Damascus picked up a revenge victory over Wootton, and took down Quince Orchard two days later. Damascus could push its win streak up to eight before a showdown at Poolesville on April 23.
4. Georgetown Prep, 5-5 (Last Week: 5)
Georgetown Prep’s 13-12 win over DeMatha still serves as one of the best wins of the season for any team, but the Little Hoyas are hovering around .500. They will be in the thick of the IAC title race, starting IAC play with a win over Bullis in early April. They lost to St. Albans on Tuesday, and will play them again tomorrow.
5. Landon, 4-2-1 (Last Week: 8)
After starting the year 0-2, Landon has been rolling. The Bears are winners of three in a row, beating St. Albans, Maret and Episcopal respectively. They shoot up the rankings as a result.
6. Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 4-4 (Last Week: 3)
B-CC moves down in the rankings this week after losing their rhythm over their last three games. B-CC was dominated by Blair, losing 15-6, and blew a lead against Bullis, losing 4-3 with the game winning run for the Bulldogs coming in the top of the seventh. B-CC broke the skid with a win over Churchill, but it was an ugly game (read more about that game here). B-CC has had the highs of taking down Poolesville in extra innings, to the low of the Blair loss. It’s hard to tell which is the real B-CC team right now.
7. Gaithersburg, 6-1 (Last Week: NR)
With their sole loss coming to B-CC, Gaithersburg has had a hot start to the 2018 season. The Trojans have wins over Walter Johnson, Einstein and Blair, and are winners of five in a row. They will get a visit from Sherwood in late April, a game that will be circled on many calendars as Gaithersburg will attempt to show that they are for real.
8. Walter Johnson, 5-2 (Last Week: 7)
Led by the dominant Kyle Peterson on the mound, the Wildcats haven’t taken a step back after losing Leo Bucello. WJ’s best win came against Whitman in extra innings, and destroyed Kennedy 28-7 yesterday. Peterson pitched a complete game shutout against Watkins Mill on April 7. The Wildcats will play Whitman again on Saturday.
9. Whitman, 3-3 (Last Week: 9)
Whitman has a lot of talent with Tyler DeMartino and Justin Carboni, but they have had to face a brutal schedule thus far. The Vikings played, and lost, to both Poolesville and Sherwood, though they kept the game against Poolesville close. Whitman has beaten two teams just on the outside of the rankings (Wootton and Einstein), and will play Walter Johnson on Saturday.
10. Bullis, 9-4 (Last Week: NR)
Bullis joins the rankings on the heels of a late win over B-CC. The two teams went back and forth for the whole game, and in the top of the seventh put themselves in front with a home run. Bullis got out of a jam in the bottom of the inning to win the game, and make their rankings debut.
Dropped Out: Good Counsel, Blair
On the Bubble: Good Counsel, Blair, Wootton, Einstein, Rockville