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Preseason MSG Varsity Westchester/Hudson Valley Baseball Rankings
1. Iona Prep: The Gaels are loaded with arms and have a deep, balanced lineup. Tim McCarthy (Temple) and Matt D’Ariano (UConn) have already committed to pitch at the next level. Iona is a strong candidate to win the Catholic league.
2. Ketcham: The defending Section 1 Class AA champs have the area’s top player in Seth Lamando (Coastal Carolina). He and Matt Todd make a formidable top-of-the-rotation duo. The youth in the lineup must grow up quickly.
3. Fox Lane: Losing the likes of Donny Castaldo and Andrew Rosenbaum will be difficult. But there’s enough talent here to win a championship after losing in last year’s final. Matt Oniffrey, T.J. Hallock, Richard Slenker and Spencer Chernus comprise Section 1’s best lineup.
4. John Jay-EF: Some up in Dutchess feel the Patriots are the team to beat in Section 1 this season. The roster is packed with veterans and John Jay could quickly prove to be the team to beat in Section 1.
5. Arlington: The Admirals boast an outstanding middle of the order, led by first baseman Joe Boland, a second-team All-MSG Varsity selection last year from the Hudson Valley.
6. North Rockland: Third-year starter Wardy Polanco headlines a North Rockland squad that was strong last year after winning the section in 2010. Joe Anselmi, Elbin Martinez, Xavier Reyes and James Veltidi are all back and have the Mounties in the hunt again.
7. Suffern: The Mounties have Rockland County’s top player in pitcher/third baseman Dominick Kulbaba. There’s definitely some positions to be decided. But this is a program that always churns out quality teams. Don’t expect anything less.
8. Mamaroneck: Graduation has never stopped the Tigers before. But they really lost a lot from last year’s club. Matt Mezansky will be in the middle of the lineup, and Parker Thelander is one of the area’s top arms. This team will get better and compete for a title.
9. Somers: The Tuskers have their sights set on winning a Class A title after an incredible run to the championship game last season. Joe Scambia, a junior, will pick up where he left after off, and Joe Tomasulo is a terrific middle infielder.
10. Briarcliff: We’ve got to give love to the defending Class B champs and state finalists. The Bears are favorites to repeat thanks to a lineup that includes John Fussell, Ryan Huegel, Colin Orr and Paul Henshaw, who’ll be the team’s ace.
Section 1 Class-by-Class Rankings
2. Fox Lane
3. John Jay-EF
2. Tappan Zee
5. John Jay-CR
2. Dobbs Ferry
3. Albertus Magnus
Coming next week: Section 9 Rankings
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at email@example.com