Three ranked in state’s first baseball standings

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

The baseball season is now in full swing and has already lasted longer than last year, which is giving teams the chance to prove themselves as playoff contenders early in the season.

That’s something that was reflected in the first ASWA baseball poll released on Wednesday night, March 17, which featured three local teams ranked inside their respective top 10.

In Class 7A, the Oak Mountain Eagles and Spain Park Jaguars earned a spot in the rankings after impressive starts, while the Helena Huskies did the same in the 6A classification.

While those were the only three teams ranked, the Chelsea Hornets were nominated for a spot after an 8-8 start against one of the state’s most difficult schedules.

Other local teams, including Thompson, Calera, Briarwood, Shelby County and Montevallo have all taken on difficult schedules, which has led to growing pains early in the season, but each has potential and will have the opportunity to prove they are among the most talented teams when area play gets here.

As for the ranked teams, Helena was the highest ranked team, coming in at No. 3 in the 6A standings.

The Huskies were 12-4 at the time of the rankings and had won three games in a row ahead of area play kicking off.

Helena’s only losses at the time of the rankings release came to other top teams with three of them coming by one run.

Spain Park and Oak Mountain have both gotten off to similar starts in Class 7A, which led to them following one another in the 7A top 10.

Oak Mountain (11-5) was the higher of the two ranked teams at No. 8, while the Jaguars (11-4) came in at No. 9.

Oak Mountain’s losses have come to Chelsea (twice), Vestavia Hills, Spain Park and Prattville. All are ranked aside from the Hornets, who received nominations for a spot in the 6A top 10. The Eagles also bounced back from a one-run loss to the Jags and beat them 8-1.

Spain Park’s loss to the Eagles was one of four this season, but the Jags lost back-to-back games to Fairhope and Smiths Station before the rankings were released, which took them from a possible top-five ranking to No. 9.

With each team set to begin area play soon, each will have challenges ahead, but will also look to separate themselves as legitimate contenders for a state championship this year.

CLASS 7A

  1. Auburn (13-1)
  2. Hewitt-Trussville (14-2)
  3. Florence (11-4)
  4. Prattville (13-4)
  5. Central-Phenix City (16-1)
  6. Vestavia Hills (11-5)
  7. Dothan (10-3)
  8. Oak Mountain (11-5)
  9. Spain Park (11-4)
  10. Bob Jones (13-8)

Others nominated: Daphne (5-5), Grissom (12-3), Enterprise (11-6), James Clemens (10-5), Smiths Station (13-5).

CLASS 6A

  1. Faith Academy (11-2)
  2. Oxford (13-3)
  3. Helena (12-4)
  4. Cullman (9-5)
  5. Saraland (11-4)
  6. Stanhope Elmore (15-1)
  7. Hartselle (8-5)
  8. Southside-Gadsden (14-2)
  9. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (9-5)
  10. Chilton County (12-3)

Others nominated: Chelsea (8-8), Eufaula (9-4), Gardendale (9-2), Gulf Shores (9-8), Jasper (9-5), Mountain Brook (12-6), Mortimer Jordan (15-2), Pinson Valley (9-3), Robertsdale (12-4).

CLASS 5A

  1. Russellville (11-2)
  2. Andalusia (10-4)
  3. St. Paul’s (10-4)
  4. UMS-Wright (10-4)
  5. Holtville (8-2)
  6. Leeds (12-2)
  7. Alexandria (6-4)
  8. Pike Road (8-2)
  9. Lawrence County (8-4)
  10. Madison Academy (8-5)

Others nominated: Greenville (10-6), Headland (8-4), Rehobeth (8-2), Sylacauga (6-4), West Point (8-6).

CLASS 4A

  1. Mobile Christian (11-1)
  2. Northside (11-0)
  3. West Limestone (13-2)
  4. Gordo (8-1)
  5. Straughn (7-1)
  6. American Christian (10-6)
  7. Deshler (9-4)
  8. Brooks (7-5)
  9. North Jackson (12-5)
  10. Bibb County (8-5)

Others nominated: Etowah (6-6).

CLASS 3A 

  1. Hokes Bluff (7-1)
  2. T.R. Miller (12-0)
  3. Phil Campbell (11-1)
  4. Piedmont (9-3)
  5. Fyffe (8-0)
  6. Bayside Academy (10-2)
  7. Houston Academy (9-3)
  8. Ohatchee (8-2)
  9. Prattville Christian (8-1)
  10. Opp (10-3)

Others nominated: Montgomery-Catholic (8-4), Childersburg (10-5), Collinsville (8-6), Cottage Hill (7-3), Danville (7-3), East Lawrence (8-7), Goshen (4-1), Lauderdale County (6-3), Plainview (7-5), Wicksburg (6-4).

CLASS 2A 

  1. Westbrook Christian (8-3)
  2. St. Luke’s (7-3)
  3. G.W. Long (7-6)
  4. Decatur Heritage (11-1)
  5. Sand Rock (5-1)
  6. North Sand Mountain (6-1)
  7. Spring Garden (8-5)
  8. Mars Hill (6-7)
  9. Ariton (6-6)
  10. Ider (11-5)

Others nominated: Colbert County (10-3), Falkville (5-5), West End (4-5).

CLASS 1A 

  1. Brantley (4-3)
  2. Lindsay Lane (10-1)
  3. Lynn (7-2)
  4. Bayshore Christian (7-3)
  5. Sweet Water (7-3)
  6. Florala (4-2)
  7. Red Level (5-2)
  8. Hackleburg (7-4)
  9. Athens Bible (3-4)
  10. Covenant Christian (7-5)

Others nominated: None.

AISA

  1. Pike Liberal Arts (11-3-1)
  2. Glenwood (17-3)
  3. Bessemer Academy (14-3)
  4. Wilcox Academy (10-1)
  5. Macon East (13-5)
  6. Lowndes Academy (8-4)
  7. Clarke Prep (8-7)
  8. Patrician (7-2)
  9. Jackson Academy (10-1)
  10. Escambia Academy (8-4)

Others nominated: Abbeville Christian (6-6).