The first two weeks of the Shore Conference baseball season have proven one thing: Expect the unexpected.
For starters, Christian Brothers Academy, which was ranked No. 1 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10 got off to a 5-0 start, which included an emotional extra-inning win over a solid Marlboro team.
Then, the Colts got 10-run ruled by Freehold, which had lost its first three games in Shore Conference Class A North, although two of those losses were by one run.
As a result of CBA’s loss to Freehold, Toms River North, which was No. 2 and whose only loss is out of conference to Washington Township moves into the No. 1 spot
Five of the teams that were ranked in the preseason top 10 have dropped out of the rankings after they either got off to slow starts or had losses to teams that have replaced them in the poll.
With the parity shown across the Shore so far, expect more changes in the coming weeks in the top 10.
Here is this week’s top 10:
1. TOMS RIVER NORTH (4-1): Last poll: No. 2. The Mariners have assumed control of the Shore Conference Class A South racey winning their first four divisional games, which includes wins over No. 6 Toms River South and No. 7 Brick as well as Jackson Memorial. Next game: Monday at Toms River East (2-1).
2. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY (5-1): Last poll: No. 1. The Colts won their first five games, including three in Florida and 1-0, eight-inning win over No. 5 Marlboro before the 10-0 loss to Freehold. Next game: Tuesday vs, Middletown South (1-4).
3. RED BANK CATHOLIC (4-0): Last poll: No. 5. The Caseys have had three wins by a combined 25 runs after a 4-3, eight-inning win at Matawan in their opener. A big test awaits them early this week: Nextgame: Tuesday at Wall (3-2).
4. COLTS NECK (5-0): Last poll: No. 10. The Cougars have gotten off to a hot start with four of their five wins by at least six runs. Next game: Monday at Freehold (3-3).
5. MARLBORO (5-1): Last poll: Not ranked. The Mustangs, who are off to their best start in many years, have already been involved in four one-run games. They have won three of those games. Next game:Tuesday vs. No. 9 Howell (3-1).
6. TOMS RIVER SOUTH (3-1): Last poll: No. 7. The Indians’ only loss is to Toms River North. They began the season with a win at Jackson Memorial, which was then ranked No. 4. They also have wins over Toms River East and Southern. Next game: Monday at Brick Memorial (3-5).
7. BRICK (4-1): Last poll: Not ranked. The Green Dragons were unbeaten before they lost to Toms River North on Saturday. They have wins over Lacey by one run, Point Boro, 3-0, and wins over Southern and Brick Memorial by more than 10 runs. Next game: Monday at Jackson Memorial
8. OCEAN (6-0): Last poll: Not ranked. The Spartans have outscored their opposition so far 57-5. Four of those wins came in South Carolina. The competition is about to become tougher. Next game: Tuesday vs. Matawan (2-3).
9. HOWELL (3-1): Last poll: Not ranked: The Rebels began the season with a win over then No. 9 Manalapan. They then defeated Middletown South before losing to Middletown North. They rebounded from the Middletown North loss by defeating Freehold . Next game: Monday vs. Freehold Township (3-2).
10. MANALAPAN (4-2): Last poll: No. 9. The Braves’ only losses are to No. 5 Marlboro, 2-1, and No. 9 Howell, 7-5. They outslugged Freehold Township and won three games in Florida. Next game: Monday at Middletown South (1-4).