A week-long deluge limited opening week to a smattering of games played between Monday and Thursday, followed by a limited scheduled on Friday and Saturday. Despite that, it feels like a lot happened. Out of the top 10 teams in the preseason rankings, two have already lost twice (including the No. 1 team), one other lost once (the No. 2 team) and two others have yet to play a game.

On most weeks, that would lead to Shore 16 upheaval, but considering that we are essentially four days into the season and several teams have not even played yet, dramatically changing the rankings would be an overreaction. With that in mind, this week's Shore 16 looks a lot like last week's, but with a few tweaks to recognize some especially noteworthy performances.

1. Red Bank Catholic (1-2, 1-2) Last Week: 1

A 1-2 start isn’t quite enough to bump RBC from the top spot, but it is already clear how much the Caseys are going to miss injured senior right-hander Steve Svenson this season. As usual, Declan Leary was effective on the mound in RBC’s season-opening win over Rumson, but over the next two games, the Caseys staff gave up 16 runs in 17 innings. That included 12 walks in a 9-8 loss at Rumson in 10 innings. Despite those early red flags, it is likely just a case of the Week 1 blues. RBC had to face Wall when the Crimson Knights had all of their pitchers ready, while RBC had just been through a 10-inning battle one day earlier. Those sort of results are not out of the norm early in the season and RBC has a history of rounding into form.

2. Christian Brothers Academy (0-0, 0-0) Last Week: 3

Had CBA played last week and won, the Colts would likely move into the No. 1 spot, but with seven new starters in the field and a sophomore-heavy roster, a move to No. 1 without playing a single game would be a little too ambitious. Even a No. 2 ranking is pretty aggressive, but CBA has the makings of a top-notch pitching staff, led by Wake Forest commit Chris Levonas. CBA will finally get its season underway Tuesday against Middletown South, with Levonas set to take the ball for an anticipated season debut.

3. Donovan Catholic (1-1, 1-1) Last Week: 2

Unlike CBA, Donovan Catholic had its shot to take over the No. 1 ranking and after game one of their double-header vs. Point Pleasant Boro on Saturday, the Griffins looked poised to take the top spot. In game two, however, Point Boro unloaded on the Donovan Catholic pitching staff in a 17-6 Panthers win in six innings. That extreme result brings more cause for concern than the RBC’s losses, although it’s there is always the possibility it was just a bad game for Donovan Catholic against a good team. On the positive side, Jake Marciano was as good as ever on the mound in game one and looks primed for a huge year as Donovan Catholic’s ace.

4. Southern (2-0, 2-0) Last Week: 4

The Rams took care of their business Friday with a double-header sweep over an inexperienced Central team that should get better as the season progresses. The Golden Eagles made Southern work for it in game one by erasing a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning against Rams senior ace Brady Lesiak, but Southern went right back to work in the top of the eighth inning with three runs to notch a 5-2 win. Junior Tyler McLeod was the star of Week 1 for the Rams, pitching five scoreless innings in game one and going 5-for-7 with two doubles in the double-header.

5. Middletown North (1-0, 0-0) Last Week: 5

The 2024 season was supposed to start with Middletown North and Middletown South clashing for a two-game series but after those games were rained out, Middletown North opened its season against an overmatched Long Branch squad on Saturday. Sophomore Ryan Clark picked up his first career win on the mound and will be a key piece on a pitching staff that brings back its three go-to arms from a season ago in juniors Zach Hampton, Gabe Ahlemeyer and Alipio Figueroa.

6. Matawan (3-0, 3-0) Last Week: 6

It wasn’t the most difficult start to a season, but Matawan showed in its first three games why this could be a special season for the Huskies. They handled Neptune by a combined score of 28-2 in two games that lasted a combined 10 innings. Ocean was a step up in competition and Matawan was up to the task in a 7-2 win. The pitching of Andrew Gendi, Brandon Falco, Mark Kovach and Jayce Thoroughman has been on-point and the lineup has come out swinging. If they keep it up, the Huskies will be a team on the rise in the rankings.

7. Ranney (1-0, 1-0) Last Week: 7

The new Panthers made an immediate impact in their season-opener, led by a pair of two-way freshmen who finished the game on the mound. Justin Kaufmann, Brody Mauro and Nate Fuller each picked up two hits at the plate with 1 2/3 innings of work on the mound, with Kaufmann earning the win and Mauro the save in an 8-5 win over Red Bank. Rutgers Prep transfer and junior catcher Andrew Parisi also turned in a big debut by going 3-for-3 with two doubles.

8. Point Pleasant Boro (1-1, 1-1) Last Week: 12

The big mover this week is Point Boro, which split a double-header with Donovan Catholic on Saturday. In game one, the Panthers scratched an early run across against Griffins ace Jake Marciano, but could not keep it up in a 6-1 loss. In game two, however, Point Boro showed its potential by hammering out 14 hits and pushing 17 runs across in a 17-6 blowout win over the preseason No. 2 team. Point Boro has two standout starters on the mound in Bryson Kirby and Nick Kowalewski and with a deep lineup, the Panthers should be a tough opponent all year long.

9. Brick Memorial (2-0, 2-0) Last Week: 9

The Mustangs survived two battles at Ken Frank Stadium in Toms River on consecutive days thanks to a pair of quality pitching performances and some timely hitting. Nick Garbooshian pitched six strong innings in a 7-1 win on opening day, then drove in four runs the next morning in an 8-7 win for the Mustangs. Sophomore catcher Joe McGlynn came up with a big hit in each of the wins and sophomore Tyler Garbooshian hit a big home run in Saturday’s comeback win. Throw in an impressive relief performance by freshman Zach Pirnik in the Saturday win and Brick Memorial has some exciting underclass contributions to go with its experienced core.

10. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-2, 1-2) Last Week: 8

Of all the top 10 teams to open the year, Rumson came out of Week 1 with the most significant concern, which is the pitching. In three games, Rumson issued a whopping 37 walks, including 16 in a 12-6 loss to Holmdel. On the other hand, that includes a 9-8 win over Red Bank Catholic in 10 innings, so dropping a team out of the top 10 after it beat the preseason No. 1 would be drastic. The offense has also been encouraging, with a sophomore-heavy lineup producing 15 runs in the last two games.

11. Toms River East (3-0, 2-0) Last Week: 11 – Toms River East overwhelmed its two opponents in three games, handling both Barnegat and Brick. The Raiders hold at No. 11 until the competition ramps up, which it will this week with two games vs. rival Toms River North.

12. Middletown South (0-0, 0-0) Last Week: 10 – The idle Eagles dropped two spots after strong starts by Point Boro and Toms River East, but Middletown South has a chance to climb with high-profile games this week.

13. Manalapan (1-1, 1-0) Last Week: Not ranked – Manalapan climbs into the rankings after a pair of strong showings – a loss to Old Bridge and a win over Howell – buoyed by strong pitching.

14. Howell (0-1, 0-1) Last Week: 13 – A competitive loss to Manalapan drops the Rebels one spot, but the outlook remains positive with Howell looking for a bounceback season.

15. Jackson Memorial (1-0, 0-0) Last Week: 15 – The Jaguars exploded for 16 runs in an opening-day win over Millville, but there are still some questions about the pitching as they head into Class A South play this week.

16. Point Pleasant Beach (0-0, 0-0) Last Week: 16 – The Garnet Gulls are still waiting to play their first game, but hold on to the No.16 spot.


Dropped Out

Ocean (1-1, 1-1) Last Week: 14 – Ocean lost two starting outfielders to injury in Saturday’s 7-2 loss at Matawan, which came after a 3-0 win over Freehold Boro one day earlier.

More From Shore Sports Network