If a team has two top-tier arms at the front of its rotation, that club is a serious threat to win postseason baseball games.
However, early in the season, those big arms don’t always lead to wins with coaches keeping their aces to tight pitch counts until they are ready to extend their outings later in the year.
Add to that the unpredictability of both the weather and game itself and it becomes almost impossible to sort out the top 10. However, based on the early season results I’ve seen and reports from around the state, I tweaked both the Class 4A and 3A rankings this week.
Note: Our high-school baseball preview will be running in Tuesday’s paper. Also, if you didn’t catch my interview with Lake Washington baseball coach Derek Bingham, here’s a replay.
Richland suffered its first loss of the season against Kamiakin, Redmond recovered from last week’s doubleheader disaster against Southridge and Newport is off to a 4-1 start.
The Bombers, Mustangs and Knights take the top three spots this week with Kentwood, the defending 4A champs, dropping to No. 5 after a 2-2 start to its season.
Redmond and Newport are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Monday at Hartman Park, so if you want to see two of the top teams in the state, check that out.
I knew coming into the season that there was plenty of talent in the WesCo this year. I wasn’t sure the best order to place teams like Lake Stevens, Jackson and Edmonds-Woodway.
With both Jackson and Edmonds-Woodway carrying unblemished records I moved Jackson up to No. 5 and the Warriors check in at No. 7 this week. It was tough to drop Lake Stevens out of the rankings at 2-2, especially considering the Vikings have a win against Shorewood, which opened the year ranked No. 1 in 3A.
However, I expect Lake Stevens to be back in the rankings shortly. Also keep an eye on Marysville-Pilchuck, which is off to a 4-0 start.
Puyallup jumps from No. 10 to No. 8 after opening the year 5-0.
The other new addition to the rankings this week is Kentridge, which has already knocked off both Kentlake and Kentwood and has started 5-0.
After a 5-0 start to the season Enumclaw moves up to the top spot in 3A, while Shorewood drops one spot after a 2-2 start.
Both of the Thunderbirds’ losses have come against WesCo 4A contenders (Lake Stevens and Edmonds-Woodway) and with three high-level D-I players on the roster it’s hard to drop Shorewood far.
Camas is undefeated at 5-0 and is now ranked third. There are two new additions to the rankings. Mountain View (Vancouver) is 5-1 and moves to No. 9. After knocking off Richland, Kamiakin is now No. 10.
Kelso and Mt. Spokane fall out this week, but I’ve heard good things about both programs and wouldn’t be surprised to see those teams return soon.
The team that I really wanted to get into the rankings this week, and I’m sure I will find a spot soon, is Mountlake Terrace. The Hawks have wins against Lake Stevens and Mercer Island this year with their two losses coming against Jackson and Kamiak. It was a tough choice between Mountain View, Kamiakin and Mountlake Terrace for the final two spots this week.
As I’ve said, I would expect these rankings to change often as we move through the season. Also, and I mentioned this last week, if you see a record that is wrong let me know. It can be incredibly difficult to find accurate results.
1. Richland (5-1)
2. Redmond (5-2)
3. Newport (Bellevue) (4-1)
4. Jackson (Mill Creek) (5-0)
5. Kentwood (2-2)
6. Emerald Ridge (Puyallup) (3-1-1)
7. Edmonds-Woodway (5-0)
8. Puyallup (5-0)
9. Ferris (Spokane) (4-1)
10. Kentridge (5-0)
On the bubble: Curtis, Bothell, Federal Way, Gig Harbor, Gonzaga Prep, Inglemoor, Issaquah, Kentlake, Lake Stevens, Marysville-Pilchuck, Mount Rainier, Olympia, Skyline, Tahoma, Woodinville, Union.
1. Enumclaw (5-0)
2. Shorewood (Shoreline) (2-2)
3. Camas (5-0)
4. Southridge (Kennewick) (3-1)
5. Mercer Island (4-1)
6. Bishop Blanchet (5-2)
7. O’Dea (4-4)
8. Mount Si (Snoqualmie) (3-1)
9. Mountain View (Vancouver) (6-1)
10. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (4-0)
On the bubble: Bellevue, Eastmont, Hanford, Hazen, Highline, Lake Washington, Kelso, Liberty, Meadowdale, Mountlake Terrace, Mt. Spokane, Nathan Hale, Seattle Prep, Shadle Park, University, West Seattle.