Skip to main content

By Kevin Bohannon 

Each week during the 2022 baseball season, SBLive contributor Kevin Bohannon will break down the top teams around the state in our Super 7 rankings. Preseason rankings are based on returning players, last year’s success and historical results. These rankings will definitely change each week and so check back after the season starts February 28 to see how the rankings shake out. We will also have a Top 20 overall that will debut in March. 

SBLive Class 6A Super 7 Rankings 

1. Springdale Har-Ber

2. Bryant

3. Conway

4. Rogers

5. NLR

6. Fayetteville

7. Bentonville

Analysis: Har-Ber returns a good number of players from its 2021 Class 6A state championshiop runner-up team including University of Arkansas commit Cooper Dossett. Bryant is loaded and boasts a solid rotation led by Crowder (Mo.) Collge commit RHP Turner Seelinger and sophomore Razorback commit Gideon Motes. Conway was young in 2021 and should be primed for a deeper run. North Little Rock starts the Chad Cope era fresh off a semifinal run in 2021. Rogers lost some members of their 2021 title team but will look to make another run in a tough 6A West. Bentonville has experience while Fayetteville has some of best underclassmen in the state led by Landon Schaefer.

SB Live Class 5A Super 7 Rankings

1. Jonesboro

2. Marion

3. Van Buren

4. Benton

5. Greenbrier

6. Hot Springs Lakeside

7. Batesville

Analysis: Jonesboro was almost wire-to-wire last year and 2022 is the “Unfinished Business” tour. They are led by Razorback commit RHP Josh Hyneman, Rykar Acebo and Ty Rhodes. There is more parity in 5A than probably any other year. A slew of teams boasts at least one arm capable of beating any other team. Of the eight opening round games in the 2021 State Championships, 5 were won by lower seeded teams. Benton was runner up in the South last year and UCA commit Jake Jones leads them on the mound. Van Buren will have some fresh faces as they look to repeat. Marion’s Gage Watson is one of the top LHP in the state and committed to the University of Missouri. Razorback commit Jackson Huskey leads a Greenbrier Panther squad under first year head coach Andrew Roberson. Lakeside has some young talent looking to take that next step. Batesville has Hog commit RHP Gage Wood who threw a no-hitter against Benton in State Tournament last season. Other teams to look out for as season starts include Little Rock Christian led by Reece Tarini and Oklahoma State commit Charlie Carter, a catcher, and Sylvan Hills who led the state with 192 stolen bases in 2021. Greenwood made some noise by upsetting 5A-South Champion Sheridan in the opening round of the State Tournament last year and returns a couple of arms in Austin Mitchell and Aiden Kennon, who is also a standoiut receiver on the football team, that will keep them competitive. Russellville is led by Razorbacks commit RHP Colton Sims and he is as good as any arm in the state.

SB Live Class 4A Super 7 Rankings

1. Valley View

2. Magnolia

3. Farmington

4. Shiloh Christian

5. Lonoke

6. Camden Fairview

7. Brookland

Analysis: Valley View is coming off a state championship in 2021 and is led by Ole Miss Commit Slade Caldwell ,who played for Team USA over the summer. The Blazers have some young arms and Josh Allison’s club is used to winning big games. Magnolia and Farmington have two of the state’s best catchers in Dylan Blanchord and Trey Hill, respectively. Shiloh Christian saw their run of three straight championship game appearances snapped last year. Lonoke announced their presence with authority last year and with multiple D1 commits, the Jackrabbits are on the hunt. Camden was young and athletic led by 2023 center fielder and two-sport stud Martavius Thomas. Thomas committed to the Razorbacks baseball team last season but hasn’t ruled out a run at the football team when he gets to campus. Brookland had some good young talent last year and I look for them to be competitive again this season once again.

SB Live Class 3A Super 7 Rankings

1. Harding Academy

2. Ashdown

3. Walnut Ridge

4. Haskell Harmony Grove

5. Booneville

6. Fouke

7. West Fork

Analysis: It all starts and ends with Harding Academy. The Wildcats return Just about their entire roster led by the trio pitcher/third baseman Kade Smith (Razorback Commit), catcher/pitcher Gavin Alveti (Connors (Okla.) State commit) and infielder Levi Lang (UALR commit). Ashdown came on late last season and isn’t afraid to play tough competition early in the season. Walnut Ridge lost some key parts of their state finalist team but has enough to make another run under Jason Belcher. Haskell Harmony Grove and Booneville are names that are consistently getting better as season goes along. Fouke was young last year and Played Harding to a 1-0 decision in First round in 2021. West Fork looks to build off a solid 2021 and a weaker region.

SB Live Class 2A Super 7 Rankings

1. McCrory

2. Woodlawn

3. Horatio

4. Southside Bee Branch

5. Murfreesboro

6. Carlisle

7. Parkers Chapel

Analysis: The Jaguars made a run last year, and I think have the returning talent to go all the way. Cason Campbell and Reid Kennon look to add to their trophy case after winning a state title in football. Woodlawn looks to repeat under Coach Tommy Richardson. His clubs are always in the mix. Horatio had a young roster in 2021 and will be one of the better teams out of the always tough south region. Murfreesboro made some noise last year beating Harding Academy early in the season and know how to win. Carlisle returns 6-foot-3 sophomore pitcher Dalton Ward who was almost unhittable in 2021. Parkers Chapel rounds out the list and will have to deal with a tough schedule and region to make another run to the title game.

SB Live Class 1A Super 7 Rankings

1. Izard County

2. West Side Greers Ferry

3. Taylor

4. Mount Ida

5. Ouachita

6. Viola

7. Nemo Vista

Analysis: Izard County returns most of their starters and a big arm in Landon McBride. The only teams they lost to in 2021 were 1A Champion Viola and Class 5A Batesville. West Side made a run to the semifinals last season and senior Travis Gentry could be the top player in Class 1A. He hit over .500 as a freshman garnering all-state honors and hasn’t missed a beat since then. Taylor has the tradition and stayed at the top of the rankings for most of 2021 then dropped a early round regional game matching them up with Izard County in the opening Round and lost 3-1. Mount Ida has most of their lineup back with Senior RHP Nate Sommerkorn leading the way. His battery mate Junior Caleb White has a ton of pop and does a great job with pitching staff. Ouachita has eight starters back from a state tournament appearance in 2021. Coach Anthony Nail says Junior Kaden Fulmer is their catalyst, and if he is hot early, that will bode well for his club. Viola lost a lot from last year’s title team but never count the Longhorns out. It will be interesting to see how they do under a new regime. Nemo Vista is the only team from Region 1 ,and if they get a decent draw can make some noise.