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Super 8 baseball tournament projection, Version 4.0

Each week throughout the month of May, leading up to May 26's official selection for the inaugural MIAA Division 1A "Super 8" Tournament, editor Brendan C. Hall will release his latest projection for the eight-team field. Ahead of Monday night's selection, this is the fourth and final projection in our series. Last week's projection can be found HERE.

Monday's selection meeting for the inaugural Super 8 should be no less thrilling. Unlike this year's hockey selection, which came and went with minimal drama, this one could be a long, drawn-out process, with so much still unsettled. My advice to those planning on making the trek to MIAA Headquarters in Franklin for the selection: Get there early. There could be plenty of theatrics.

Here is my final projection, ahead of Monday night's selection.

1. NEWTON NORTH

Record: 19-1

League: Bay State Conference

District: Division 1 North

Last Week's Projection: 2

Key Wins: Braintree (2-1, 10 inn.), BC High (2-1), Xaverian (7-1), Catholic Memorial (4-0), Walpole (7-3)

Key Losses: Braintree (2-1)

Last 5 Games: Beat Weymouth, 9-0; Beat Waltham, 2-0; Beat Needham, 6-0; Beat Framingham, 13-0; Beat BC High, 2-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 3-0

Record vs. Division 1: 18-1

Players to Watch: Jr. OF Ben Porter, Sr. C Alex Joyce, Soph. OF Tom Joyce, Sr. 2B John Little, Jr. RHP Theo Resnick, Sr. LHP Teddy Rodliff, Sr. RHP Dylan Sbordone, Sr. 1B Kevin Alexy

Outlook: With St. John’s Prep and Bridgewater-Raynham plateauing in recent weeks, one has to think the Tigers have an inside track for the top seed here. They finish the regular season on a nine-game win streak, punctuated with a 2-1 walk-off thriller over BC High, and have allowed just 11 runs since their loss to Braintree on May 7 –- including four straight shutouts to end the regular season.

2. ST. JOHN'S PREP

Record: 16-4

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 North

Last Week's Projection: 1

Key Wins: BC High (8-0), St. John’s of Shrewsbury (6-4, 9 inn.; 2-0), Catholic Memorial (4-1; 7-6, 8 inn.), Xaverian (5-0, 3-0), Chelmsford (9-4), Gloucester (11-9, 8 inn.), Malden Catholic (3-1)

Key Losses: Peabody (3-0), Malden Catholic (2-0), BC High (4-3), Danvers (3-1)

Last 5 games: Beat Gloucester, 11-9, 8 inn.; Lost to Malden Catholic, 3-0; Lost to BC High, 4-3; Beat Swampscott, 9-0; Lost to Danvers, 3-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 6-2

Record vs. Division 1: 11-3

Players to Watch: Jr. OF Keith Leavitt, Jr. LHP Justin Snyder, Sr. RHP Evan Roberts, Jr. OF Nick Latham, Sr. SS Max Burt, Sr. 3B Ted McNamara

Outlook: After a 15-1 start, Eagles have dropped three of their last five, a swing that could keep them out of the top seed in the field. Still, as outright winners of the Catholic Conference, they deserve a top-four seed. And behind a one-two punch of Evan Roberts and Justin Snyder in the rotation, many feel they will do some damage in the tournament.

3. BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM

Record: 17-2

League: Old Colony League

District: Division 1 South

Last Week's Projection: 3

Key Wins: Lincoln-Sudbury (12-4), Silver Lake (10-0), Marshfield (4-0, 21-1), Acton-Boxborough (6-3), New Bedford (4-1, 13-3), Hingham (10-5, 17-2), Dennis-Yarmouth (7-5, 6-5)

Key Losses: Durfee (7-6), Stoughton (6-4)

Last 5 Games: Lost to Stoughton, 6-4; Beat Hingham, 17-2; Beat Dennis-Yarmouth, 6-5; Beat Durfee, 6-2; Tied with Barnstable, 4-4, 12th inning (play resumes Monday 10 a.m.)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 13-1

Players to Watch: Sr. C Joe Freiday, Jr. RHP Jack Connolly, Jr. RHP/INF Andrew Noviello, Sr. OF Corey Dinunno, Sr. 2B Connor Sullivan, Sr. OF Tyler Carey

Outlook: Dropping two decisions to teams that finished the regular season a combined 18-22 keeps the Trojans out of the top spot here. But they got an added boost in the strength of schedule department when Silver Lake – a team they mercy-ruled in the Brad Martin Tournament back in April – beat Catholic Conference powers BC High and Xaverian on back-to-back days to finish their regular season. If the Lakers make the field now, B-R has to be a top-four.

4. CATHOLIC MEMORIAL

Record: 13-5

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 South

Last Week's Projection: 5

Key Wins: Lowell (5-2), Malden Catholic (2-1, 2-0), Wellesley (9-4), Xaverian (3-2, 6-1), BC High (3-1)

Key Losses: BC High (1-0, 8 inn.), St. John’s Prep (4-1; 7-6, 8 inn.), Newton North (4-0), Holy Name (3-2)

Last 5 Games: Beat Lexington, 3-1; Beat Brookline, 2-1; Beat Xaverian, 6-1; Beat BC High, 4-1; Lost to St. John’s Prep, 7-6 (8 inn.)

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 5-3

Record vs. Division 1: 12-5

Players to Watch: Soph. RHP Tyler Bell, Jr. RHP Trevor Cooley, Jr. INF Aaron Clancy, Sr. INF Sean Scales, Sr. RHP/INF Curtis Tirone, Jr. INF Kevin Doody, Sr. RHP Pat Shore, Sr. RHP/INF Nate Webber

Outlook: Three of CM’s five losses are to teams directly ahead of them in this projection, while their other two losses are a combined 25-15 and considered favorites in their respective Division 1 districts. Where the bats have come into question at times, pitching always seems to bail them out. This could be a breakout tournament for Bell, already climbing the ladder as one of Massachusetts’ top 2016 pitching prospects.

5. SILVER LAKE

Record: 19-3

League: Patriot League

District: Division 1 South

Last Week's Projection: 8

Key Wins: BC High (3-2), Xaverian (4-3), Plymouth North (3-2, 5-2), Middleborough (9-1), Duxbury (6-0), Quincy (3-2)

Key Losses: Bridgewater-Raynham (10-0), Duxbury (12-1), Quincy (8-4)

Last 5 Games: Beat Xaverian, 4-3; Beat BC High, 3-2; Beat Brighton, 10-4; Beat Plymouth South, 8-2; Beat Whitman-Hanson, 3-2

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 2-0

Record vs. Division 1: 7-2

Players to Watch: Soph. RHP Anthony Videtto, Soph. RHP Jason Johndrow, Jr. OF Tanner Bouchard, Jr. OF Adam Gay, Soph. UT Will Gallagher, Jr. 1B Dan Cole

Outlook: Few have done as much for their resume as the Lakers did in a span of 24 hours, rallying past BC High on Friday afternoon then turning around and delivering a similar late-inning rally over Xaverian on Saturday morning. That swing, the piece de resistance of a perfect 10-0 campaign for the month of May, should be enough to get them in to the field.

6. BRAINTREE

Record: 17-3

League: Bay State Conference

District: Division 1 South

Last Week's Projection: 5

Key Wins: Newton North (2-1), Walpole (7-1, 6-0), Quincy (17-1), Wellesley (10-0), Middleborough (8-3), Marshfield (7-0)

Key Losses: Newton North (2-1, 10 inn.), Norwood (4-2), BC High (2-0)

Last 5 Games: Beat Walpole, 6-0; Beat Weymouth, 5-0; Beat Needham, 5-0; Lost to BC High, 2-0; Lost to Norwood, 4-2.

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-1

Record vs. Division 1: 15-3

Players to Watch: Sr. OF Matt Bickford, Jr. 3B Connor Columbus, Jr. RHP Bobby McNiff, Jr. OF Colin Rios, Sr. C Gino La Rossa, Sr. 1B Dylan Casserly, Jr. DH Cal Berman, Sr. OF Billy Keane

Outlook: Wamps could have used a win over BC High to strengthen their resume, and the loss to Norwood was puzzling. Still, they had an impressive May campaign, going 11-2 for the month, allowing just 17 runs – half of them coming in a 10-8 win over Milton – and posting seven shutouts. That includes no runs allowed in their final three games of the year.

7. LOWELL

Record: 16-6

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

District: Division 1 North

Last Week's Projection: NA

Key Wins: Acton-Boxborough (2-0), Andover (3-2, 1-0), Westford Academy (12-4), Dracut (4-2), Central Catholic (3-1, 5-3), BC High (16-5), Billerica (1-0), Chelmsford (4-0)

Key Losses: Catholic Memorial (5-2), Acton-Boxborough (7-6), Methuen (4-3), Tewksbury (8-7), Billerica (7-6)

Last 5 Games: Beat Lexington, 5-4, 1-0; Beat Billerica, 1-0; Beat Chelmsford, 4-0; Beat BC High, 16-5

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-1

Record vs. Division 1: 14-5

Players to Watch: Sr. RHP/INF Tyler Schemerhorn, Sr. RHP Brock Riley, Sr. UTIL Brian Dolan, Sr. OF Keagan Latta, Sr. 1B Conor Callery, Jr. SS Randy DeJesus

Outlook: Impressive late-season surge for the Red Raiders, who crushed BC High 16-5 on May 15, then shut out MVC rivals Chelmsford and Billerica to capture their sixth Lowell Spinners World Series title in nine years. Overall, they have won 13 of their last 14 after a dismal 2-5 start to the season. If criteria for the Super 8 is “What have you done for me lately?”, Lowell fits the bill well.

8. LINCOLN-SUDBURY

Record: 18-4

League: Dual County League

District: Division 1 North

Last Week's Projection: NA

Key Wins: Xaverian (4-3), Westford (11-2, 6-0), Waltham (8-1), Acton-Boxborough (4-3)

Key Losses: Bridgewater-Raynham (12-4), BC High (5-0), Acton-Boxborough (1-0), Waltham (2-0)

Last 5 Games: Beat Natick, 5-1; Beat Hopkinton, 1-0; Beat Acton-Boxborough, 4-3; Lost to Waltham, 2-1; Beat Boston Latin, 16-4

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-1

Record vs. Division 1: 11-4

Players to Watch: Sr. 1B Sid Warrenbrand, Sr. 3B Alex Wieland, Soph. OF Chris Galland, Sr. RHP Owen Bautze, Sr. OF Kieran Pathak, Sr. 2B Sam Colello, Jr. DH Ryan Berardino, Soph. SS Scott Holzwasser

Outlook: With St. John’s of Shrewsbury picking up its seventh loss, and none of the Western Mass powers jumping ahead of the pack, we’re looking at potentially an all-Eastern Mass field in the inaugural Super 8 tournament. The final spot is very much up for grabs, but we like Warriors’ chances when stacking their resume up with the other contenders. That said, look for a number of surging contenders vying for the final spot here, including BC High, Billerica, Gloucester, Malden Catholic, St. John’s, St. Peter-Marian, Leominster and Wellesley.