So I’ve been cooped up in the office the past two nights with no games to cover (and Thursday will likely be the same), so I got to looking at the District 3 power ratings.
It’s been a fun, rain-soaked season thus far, and with all this available data (and cabin fever starting to set in) let’s take a bit of a look at how the local ball clubs are faring.
This power ranking is a bit tricky simply because you have teams from AAAA to AA and teams in different caliber divisions. I’ve tried to weigh in these factors into where each team stands, but still wanted to stack them up against one another rather than going the traditional route of ranking teams within each class.
So let the fun begin.
Cumberland Valley (7-4, 7-2 Commonwealth)
3-AAAA: 4th (+1 spot from Apr. 24)
The good: They can hit – with five guys hitting at a .290 clip or better (min. 25 at-bats). They can pitch – with Christian McClure (2-1, 2.95 ERA), Michael Adams (3-0, 1 save, 2.95 ERA) and Mitchel Lacey (1-1, 3.29 ERA) pitching between 21.1 and 17 innings apiece. And with seven games, and a continuation with CD East, still to play, they have plenty more to add to their resume.
The bad: With 18 extra-base hits, the Eagles don’t have a ton of pop. And the other edge of the scheduling sword is they still have plenty of room to falter.
Susquenita (9-4, 7-2 Capital)
3-AA: 3rd (+1)
The good: The Blackhawks at one point where the sole owners of a seven-game winning streak, which included a 5-3 win in 12 innings over West Perry. John Daum (2-2, 1.70 ERA) and Brett Morrison (5-2, 2.39 ERA) have done everything they need to. And the Blackhawks are one of the better hitting teams, averaging .296 behind Evan Miller’s 16 runs scored and .304 average. Jeremy Sultzaberger hasn’t gone yard yet, but he and Morrison are each hitting north of .375 with four-plus extra-base hits.
The bad: Even their options after Daum and Morrison on the mound boast sub-2.00 ERAs, so there’s nothing to pick at there. The Blackhawks could use a little more power, maybe, with 20 extra-base hits, but coach Bryon Wilson’s squad has mastered the art of advancing the runner, playing small-ball to a T.
Red Land (8-5, 6-5 Commonwealth)
3-AAAA: 10th (+13)
The good: They tied Northern with their own six-game win streak. Better news is, they’re in the middle of that streak. Jeremy Hileman (4-2, 0.98 ERA) and Zach Newmyer (3-2, 1.31 ERA) have been lights out all season, but especially of late. Of the 88 innings Patriot pitchers have thrown, those two account for 73 of them. Newmyer is also hitting .406 with six extra-base hits.
The bad: Batting .253 as a team is certainly nothing to be scared about, but there’s room for improvement. They just put up an eight-spot on Chambersburg, so that could be a sign. Hileman and Newmyer are carrying the brunt of the work, but with seven games the next two weeks, there are big question marks behind them. Those two can’t pitch every inning.
West Perry (11-4, 8-2 Capital)
3-AAA: 12th (-1)
The good: The Mustangs started out 5-0, and outside a 7-6 loss to James Buchanan, every loss has been to a high-quality opponent. Ben Dum (6-0, 0.98 ERA) has picked up right where he left off last year and is the only Sentinel-area pitcher with six wins. The Mustangs also have good know how to handle the lumber, batting a collective .317. Six players have scored double-digit runs, the most in the area, and Joel Clabaugh has been the main reason with 17 RBIs and a .435 average.
The bad: Trinity, Northern and Camp Hill still remain, so even though the Mustangs sit in the driver’s seat in the division, they’re far from in the clear. Tregg Liebel (0-3, 5.10 ERA) hasn’t provided the performance West Perry’s likely hoping for behind Dum. Coach Jeff Sanno has to find innings when he can’t throw his ace somewhere.
Northern (9-5, 5-4 Capital)
3-AAA: 15th (-5)
The good: An inability to get in good practices early in the season caused a 3-3 start. But then the Polar Bears ripped off six straight, the second best in the Sentinel-area. They’ve pushed their batting average to .311, thanks in large part to Zach Zinn’s .444, three homers, 13 runs and 13 RBIs. Jeremy Gilbert is also hitting .415 with 14 RBIs. The two co-aces, Rodney Copenhaver (2-3, 1.71 ERA) and Ryan Schreiber (3-1, 1.48 ERA) are efficient and play to their defense. Nick Sacoman (2-0, 0.00 ERA) has been a great reliever and spot starter.
The bad: They lost by a run in both games against Susquenita and still have West Perry and Camp Hill, who they lost to 8-4, remaining. Plus, a 3-0 stunner at the hands of the Bulldogs took quite a bit of steam out of that six-game streak. They’re hanging on the edge in the district field, and need to bounce back right away.
Camp Hill (9-4, 5-4 Capital)
3-AA: 5th (+0)
The good: The Lions boast one of the top offenses, batting .312 – they were hitting .241 after three games – with 20 extra-base hits and 103 runs scored. Michael Hope (4-2, 2.67 ERA) is striking out 1.22 batters per inning and is batting .368 with 15 runs and 16 RBIs.
The bad: Susquenita, Northern and West Perry have put an early claim for division contenders, and Camp Hill is 2-2 against those teams. But that’s nitpicking.
Cedar Cliff (8-6, 5-5 Commonwealth)
3-AAAA: 15 (+6)
You have free articles remaining.
The good: The Colts have overcome a 1-5 start and are now riding a 7-1 streaking, including five in a row. Noah Malone (3-1, 3.50 ERA) and Joe Kidd (2-1, 2.88 ERA) provide a solid one-two punch. They’re a bunch of mashers, too, with 29 multi-base hits and four batting over .300 (min. 25 at-bats).
The bad: A collective 3.64 ERA isn’t terrible, especially in a division with plenty of hitters. And it was far worse during the losing streak. But the staff needs to maintain this level. Spinning it positively, they’ve allowed three runs or less in four straight games.
Trinity (7-5, 5-4 Capital)
3-AA: 6th (+0)
The good: They have two of the better pitchers in Andrew Scarpelli (2-3, 1.05 ERA) and Andrew Shillingsford (2-2, 1 save, 1.80 ERA), and the Shamrocks relievers have done a solid job as well. Scarpelli is a strikeout machine, punching out 55 batters in just 33.1 innings. Shillingsford prefers to get his defense involved, fanning just 15 in 23.1. Scarpelli also carries a big stick, hitting .371 in 35 at-bats.
The bad: The bats just aren’t there. With a .228 average, Trinity has scored two or fewer runs in seven contests. They’re 3-1 in games decided by two runs or less but so often they have to rely on superb starts from the Andrews that if one of them falters, it doesn’t bode well. They still have a date with West Perry and a double-header with Susquenita, so three losses could prove devastating in an eight-team 3-AA field.
Mechanicsburg (8-6, 5-4 Keystone)
3-AAAA: 22nd (+3)
The good: The Wildcats aren’t far off, having won six of the last eight. Jeff Allen’s (4-1, 1 save, 1.20 ERA) no-no against Trinity is the peak of a very good season on the hill, and he’s hitting .293 to boot. Josh Herring may be one of the biggest unsung heroes in the area, batting .435 in just 23 at-bats. His four RBIs rank tied for third on the team, and he’s hit out of the two hole the past three games, so maybe he’s finally earned a permanent gig.
The bad: After Allen, Mechanicsburg doesn’t have a true No. 2 starter. Ben Dubas (2-2, 3.15 ERA) and Hayden Seig (2-1, 3.00 ERA) have been solid. Only Dubas is batting over .300 of anyone with 25 at-bats.
Carlisle (8-7, 6-6 Commonwealth)
3-AAAA: 21st (-7)
The good: Isaiah Lippert (4-4, 3.12 ERA) and Billy Burger (3-2, 2.62 ERA) have eaten up all but 27.1 innings, fanning a combined 73 batters. Josh Winton leads the offense with a .306 average.
The bad: The Herd are simply an enigma. They’re batting just .217 in a brutal division, but are still 6-6. They’re being outscored by nearly two runs per contest but are still above .500 overall. They haven’t scored more than seven runs all season but have given up double digits three times.
Boiling Springs (6-6, 4-4 Colonial)
3-AAA: 24th (-1)
The good: The pitching staff, led by Josh McCoy (3-3, 1.40 ERA) and Travis Wickard (2-2, 1.97 ERA) has a combined 1.88 ERA, among the best in the area. The Bubblers have a very balanced offense. Five players have at least five runs, four have at least five RBIs, and five are batting at least .280 (min. 25 at-bats)
The bad: Simply put, the Bulldogs just seem to have bad luck. They have four shutouts and have outscored opponents by an average of a run a game. Yet they haven’t won more than two straight.
Shippensburg (5-8, 4-4 Colonial)
3-AAA: 25th (+2)
The good: Cordell Shannon’s (2-4, 1.58 ERA) record absolutely doesn’t reflect his performance this season. He’s also batting .308 this season. Levi Varner and Daulton Brenize know how to score, with 12 and 10 runs respectively, while Nate Reiner knows how to drive them home, with 13 RBIs.
The bad: After Shannon, Shippensburg doesn’t really have another arm to turn to. Dustin LaBonte is 2-0 but has only logged 11.2 innings. They’ve also allowed 10 or more runs in four games this season.
East Pennsboro (4-7, 3-5 Capital)
3-AAA: 31st (+0)
The good: The Panthers have gone 3-2 after starting 1-5. They’re led by one of the best hitters in the conference, Grayson Miller. Miller is crushing the ball this season, batting .529 with 10 runs scored, 13 knocked home, three long balls and eight total extra-base hits. He’s scored nearly a quarter of their runs and knocked home exactly one-third their RBIs.
The bad: The pitching staff is struggling, with a 4.48 ERA. Connor Yoder has fanned 35 in just 22.1 innings, but he holds a 5.02 ERA. They have a brutal slate remaining, with Northern, Camp Hill (twice), Trinity, Susquenita and Red Land still on the docket.
Big Spring (5-10, 3-5 Colonial)
3-AAA: 28th (-2)
The good: Lowell Singer (3-5, 3.18 ERA) has been the most heavily used pitcher in the area, logging 55 innings thus far, with his biggest contribution eating up massive innings to ease the burden of an inexperienced rotation. Hunter Shannon is batting .333 out of the three hole, with nine runs and 10 RBIs.
The bad: The offense is batting just .210 and after Singer, the pitching staff is struggling. They sit 12 spots out of the 3-AAA tournament with only a few games to go.