Video: Who Needs A Glove
See Henry von Hollen of Big Walnut (OH) makes a sweet barehanded snag on the mound.
Some Nebraska prep baseball teams have taken to heart the cliché, "You've got to beat the best to be the best." And while some programs have met that theory with plenty of success, most have not.
As we dove into our Nebraska baseball computer rankings Tuesday, and sifted through the strength of schedule data, we discovered that the race for toughest baseball schedule was a tight one indeed with a mere point and a half separating teams one through 10.
Lincoln East, as it turned out, went toe-to-toe with the top slate in the state. The MaxPreps 30th-ranked Spartans edged out No. 15 Millard North by one-tenth of a point for the top spot. Third-ranked Omaha Creighton Prep and No. 11 Omaha Westside took over the Nos. 3 and 4 rungs, while No. 12 Elkhorn South rounded out the Top five this week.
Tenth-ranked Elkhorn, No. 5 Lincoln Southeast and eighth-ranked Lincoln Southwest all landed in this week's Top 10, while also claiming high rankings in the MaxPreps latest computer rankings, which came out Tuesday.
Seven of the members of this week's Top 10 played their way into the Nebraska State Baseball Tournament, which is scheduled to crown two champions Friday. Elkhorn, Elkhorn South and Omaha Gross are all Class B squads, while the other seven programs reside in Class A, Nebraska's largest of the two classifications.
Of the teams in this week's Top 10, the Spartans played the top schedule when it comes to combined opponent winning percentage as well. Lincoln East's opposition put together a 401-271 record combined, which calculates to a .597 winning percentage. Elkhorn and Papillion-LaVista South were the top challengers to the Spartans in that category.
Listed next to each team in this week's Top 10 is the team's won-loss record at the conclusion of district play in parentheses, its opposition's combined won-loss record and the team's MaxPreps strength of schedule rating.
Nebraska's Top 10 baseball schedules
1. Lincoln East
(10-15), 401-271, 5.7
2. Millard North (Omaha)
(16-12), 441-330, 5.6
3. Creighton Prep (Omaha)
(19-11), 462-344, 5.5
4. Omaha Westside (Omaha)
(19-13), 492-371, 5.4
5. Elkhorn South (Omaha)
(19-10), 406-310, 5.1
6. Papillion-LaVista South (Papillion)
(14-17), 488-356, 5.0
(17-10), 389-277, 4.9
8. Lincoln Southeast
(16-6), 325-250, 4.8
9. Lincoln Southwest
(19-9), 396-349, 4.5
10. Gross Catholic (Omaha)
(6-20), 366-279, 4.2