It was a year of new contenders in high school baseball: Only two teams in this year’s final top 10 were also in the 2017 year-end rankings.
It just so happens they occupy the top two spots, just as they did last year. The Riverdale Baptist Crusaders finish on top after holding that spot for the entirety of the spring. St. John’s was the other repeat world-beater, having won the WCAC championship for the fifth straight year.
In Maryland, Howard took home the 4A crown with another late-game rally against Severna Park. The Falcons, as well as La Plata and Huntingtown, had to settle for a championship-game appearance.
In Virginia, West Springfield seemed to grow stronger as the year went on, putting together a postseason run that included two victories over Lake Braddock and the Class 6 title. Potomac was the only other local program that made a Virginia final.
In the District, Wilson finally carried its conference success over to the state tournament. Its walk-off win over St. Albans in the DCSAA championship game is one of many moments from the past few weeks that local baseball fans will remember for a long time.
1. Riverdale Baptist (32-1) Last ranked: 1
The Crusaders finished with two more wins than last year’s 30-1 mark.
2. St. John’s (26-6) LR: 2
Cadets senior outfielder Zach Tsakounis was named Gatorade’s baseball player of the year for the District.
3. West Springfield (22-5) LR: NR
This year’s state title was the Spartans’ first since 2010.
4. Howard (20-5) LR: 5
The Lions’ season ended with the Maryland 4A title.
5. Lake Braddock (22-5) LR: 4
The Bruins were dominant against local teams — except West Springfield, which beat them twice in the postseason.
6. Severna Park (19-4) LR: 6
The Falcons fell short of a state championship after a dominant regular season.
7. Potomac (Va.) (21-5) LR: NR
The Panthers were shut out for the first time in an 8-0 loss to Prince George in the Class 5 title game.
8. Battlefield (19-6) LR: 7
The Bobcats had a five-run fourth inning, but that wasn’t enough to keep their season alive against Lake Braddock in the state quarterfinals.
9. Wilson (23-7) LR: 9
The Tigers won the DCSAA title for the first time. Sam Himmelfarb had the game-winning single.
10. Freedom-South Riding (21-6) LR: NR
The Eagles couldn’t get their bats going in a 7-0 loss to Potomac in the Class 5 semifinals.
On the bubble: Paul VI, Sherwood, Briar Woods (18-7), Riverside