Phil Perry’s Top 10 baseball teams
(Listed with final 2011 record)
1. Lexington (21-1): After the Minutemen’s tourney quest was cut short after an undefeated regular season, senior captains Chris Shaw (below) and Nick Murray are determined to make a deep run this spring.
2. St. John’s High (19-8): Senior hurlers Anthony Perry and Mike Badjo will lead a strong pitching staff for the Pioneers.
3. Acton-Boxborough Regional (18-6): Seniors Ryan McDonald and Thulani Denaro will make life tough for Dual County League hitters, and the addition of senior Peter Sikalis will strengthen a lineup that hopes to make a run at the league title.
4. Milford (16-5): Senior three-sport star Jarrod Casey will be a terror on the base paths for Steve Manguso’s squad, which took an early exit from last year’s Division 1 Central tournament.
5. Lincoln-Sudbury Regional (24-2): The Warriors will have to overcome early injuries to win their 12th straight DCL championship and defend their Division 1 state title.
6. Nashoba Regional (14-8): Charlie Butler, a 6-foot-3 righthander who is headed to Maine, could be dominant in Division 1 Central after throwing a no-hitter in his first start of the season, a 5-0 win over Gardner.
7. Franklin (16-9): The Panthers made a surprising run in last year’s Division 1 tournament before falling to eventual champ Lincoln-Sudbury in the Eastern Mass. final, and they have lefty ace Tyler Buck back to lead the pitching staff.
8. Wellesley (16-6): Senior lefty Tim Superko will be one of the best pitchers in the Bay State Conference, and sophomore righty Conor Russell could turn some heads on the mound.
9. Newton South (13-9): Senior first baseman John Jennings, who has committed to play at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will anchor the Tigers lineup.
10. Medfield (18-5): The Warriors lost experienced pitching to graduation, but second baseman Will Cousins will highlight what could be a strong offensive team in Division 3 South.
Players to watch
▸Dan Cellucci (below), Lincoln-Sudbury: The shortstop, a Bryant recruit, helped lead the Warriors to the Division 1 state title last spring with a .536 batting average.
▸Mike Marshall, Maynard: Also headed to Bryant, the senior will do damage both in the batter’s box and on the mound and could be in line for his third straight MVP award in the Midland Wachusett League’s D Division.
▸Ryan McDonald, Acton-Boxborough: Another future Bryant Bulldog, the senior lefty put together a 0.90 earned-run average last year for the Colonials.
▸Chris Shaw, Lexington: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior Boston College recruit hit .486 with 8 home runs last season, and attracted pro scouts to Minutemen scrimmages this spring.
▸Max Tishman, Lawrence Academy: The lefty Wake Forest recruit has added 30 pounds to his frame after going 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA last season.
Compiled by Phil Perry