Show of hands: everyone who predicted Holy Cross to be 5-0 and in first place at the midway point of the Catholic League baseball schedule?
OK. Me either.
You’d probably be hard- pressed to find anyone outside of 5500 Paris Avenue that had Holy Cross undefeated halfway through league play.
But if we were passing out midterm grades, the Tigers would pass with flying colors after acing all five tests so far in District 9-5A play.
Catholic League teams make their second trip through the round-robin schedule starting Friday.
Holy Cross coach Greg Battistella will quickly tell you the race is far from over.
“We’ve done nothing,” Battistella said. “They don’t give a banner for being 5-0. They don’t give a banner for getting off to fast starts. You’ve got to finish in this league.”
Holy Cross, which beat Rummel 12-6 on Tuesday night in a battle of district unbeatens, begins Round 2 of league play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Shaw (1-4 in league play).
The Tigers are on a seven-game winning streak.
Second-place Rummel (4-1), which was the league’s hottest team before Tuesday, plays Brother Martin (2-3) at 7 p.m. at Kirsch Rooney.
Rummel was riding a refuse-to-lose 11-game winning streak before Tuesday’s loss.
Jesuit, considered by many to be the favorite when the season began, is sitting in the middle of the pack at 3-2, losing by one run to Rummel and by two to Holy Cross.
“Rummel and Holy Cross are leading,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino said. “That’s not what people predicted, but predictions are out the window at this point. All you can do is keep playing game in and game out and give your best effort.”
Latino knows the race is far from over.
“The good thing is we still have to play everybody again, and teams are going to keep knocking each other off,” he said. “There is about as much parity in this league as there has been in a long time. It’s making for a fun league and an exciting league.”
Well, for everyone except St. Augustine. The Purple Knights, who play Jesuit on Friday, are 0-5 in league play and have been outscored 77-5 in their five district games. Finding a district win looks unlikely.
Shaw, meanwhile, has been on the tough luck end of losses.
Three of the Eagles’ four district losses (Holy Cross, Rummel, Brother Martin) have been by one run.
“If we put it all together, we can turn this thing around no problem,” Shaw coach Kirk Bullinger said.
But Bullinger knows it won’t be easy in a league of parity where anyone can beat anyone.
“The league is what I thought it was going to be,” Bullinger said. “It’s a tough one. You have to come out and play your best or you’re going to get your butt whooped. Unfortunately we have been getting our butts whooped because we haven’t been playing our best baseball.”
But fortunately, they all get to do it again.
The second go-round should be just as fun.