HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for Tampa Bay
1. East Lake (2-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Sarasota, Thursday vs. Mitchell, Friday vs. Clearwater Central Catholic
Scoop: Not an overly demanding schedule last week, but the Eagles did not allow a run against Dixie Hollins and Largo. In fact, they threw a combined no-hitter against the Packers in a 10-0 win. Travis MacGregor struck out 13, including the first nine he faced, in five innings. Pitching is clearly a strength for East Lake. The staff will be tested this week with three games against competitive teams.
2. Jesuit (2-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Blake, Thursday vs. Spoto, Friday at Venice
Scoop: The Tigers are already doing what they’re known for, outscoring their first two opponents 23-0 last week. Jesuit pitchers have given up a combined six and struck out 17 in 11 innings pitched.
3. Hillsborough (2-0)
This week: Tuesday at Leto, Thursday vs. King
Scoop: Just as they did last season, the Terriers are dominating on offense, scoring 13 runs in their first two games. Five Terriers have at least one RBI, and junior Ryan Romano is leading the way with three and a .500 batting average.
4. Durant (1-0)
This week: Tuesday at Riverview, Friday vs. Bloomingdale
Scoop: The Cougars defeated its only opponent last week handily, and Jonah Scolaro threw four hitless innings, striking out 11 in the process. They’ll have more of a test this week against Riverview and Bloomingdale, teams that are a combined 6-1.
5. Mitchell (2-0)
This week: Thursday at East Lake, Friday vs. Sunlake
Scoop: The Mustangs are off to a good start, with wins over Wesley Chapel and Crystal River. They are hitting nearly .300 as a team, and starters Jakob Mattos and Tyler Edling had good debuts on the mound. Thursday’s game against East Lake will be a good early-season test.
6. Steinbrenner (1-1)
This week: Tuesday at Wharton, Thursday at Chamberlain
Scoop: The Warriors dropped their season opener against Robinson, but when CJ Van Eyk took the mound two days later he was lights out, giving up just one hit and striking out 11 in a 5-0 victory against Sickles.
7. Palm Harbor University (1-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Clearwater, Friday vs. Alonso
Scoop: The Hurricanes opened with a nice 5-1 win over Clearwater Central Catholic. But that was followed by a 10-9 district loss to Sarasota Riverview. Two more district games this week make the early season important. The pitching staff will be tested, especially against Alonso.
8. Bishop McLaughlin (1-1)
This week: Friday vs. Brooks-DeBartolo
Scoop: The Hurricanes need to bounce back after a 5-4 loss to Springstead last week. Carson Ragsdale was 3-for-5 last week with three RBIs, but he also gave up eight hits in six innings in his first start. This week is fairly light, but district games are looming.
9. Berkeley Prep (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. IMG, Friday at Alachua Santa Fe, Saturday at Gainesville Oak Hall
Scoop: Julian Bosnic has been as good as expected for the Bucs, posting a .667 batting average in 15 plate appearances, including five RBI and a home run. He’s also dominated on the mound, giving up just two hits in eight innings pitched.
10. King (2-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Chamberlain, Thursday at Hillsborough, Saturday vs. Spoto
Scoop: Sophomore Dehreon Pressley and freshman Justice Thompson are leading the Lions’ young squad, combining for five hits and three RBIs so far. Thursday’s district matchup with Hillsborough could set the tone for how 7A-8 could play out for the rest of the season.
11. Countryside (2-0)
This week: Wednesday vs. Largo, Friday at Dunedin
Scoop: The Cougars appear to have both pitching and offense. Kyle Kania already has five RBIs and six hits in eight official at-bats. Sophomore Tanner Baker has 12 strikeouts in five innings pitched.
12. Seminole (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Hoover (Ala), Thursday at Sarasota, Friday vs. Largo
Scoop: The Warhawks are hot, having beaten Northeast for the Steve Georgiadis title. Now comes another difficult three-game week. The pitching staff will be tested, but they already passed their first test last week.
13. Calvary Christian (3-0)
This week: Friday at Jacksonville Providence, Saturday at Jacksonville Trinity Christian
Scoop: The Warriors outscored Northside Christian and Brooks DeBartolo 19-2 last week. On Monday, they defeated Hoover, Ala., 9-5. Then comes a trip to Jacksonville for a pair of games. Sophomores Justin Bench and Matheu Nelson have five and four RBIs, respectively. Collin Booten looked good in his first start.
14. Bloomingdale (2-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. East Bay, Friday at Durant
Scoop: The Bulls have outscored their first two opponents 14-1, and they already have a 3-0 win against former district foe Plant, against which Carson Crouse, the younger brother of last year’s ace Logan Crouse, gave up just two hits in six innings pitched.
15. Northeast (2-1)
This week: Friday at Clearwater, Saturday at IMG Academy
Scoop: The Vikings looked very much like contenders in the Steve Georgiadis tournament. Wins over Lakewood and Dunedin were followed by a 6-4 loss to champion Seminole. Ryan Cook had five hits in the tournament. Tristan Irish has five strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
16. Osceola (2-1)
This week: Wednesday at Dunedin, Friday at Dixie Hollins
Scoop: The Warriors appear to have a good mix. Austin Keene, Chase Achuff and Tyler Malinowski are all hitting above .400 after three games. Corey Ireson and Jeremy Adams look like good starters. The lone loss so far was a well played 1-0 game against Seminole.
17. Brandon (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay Tech, Thursday at Armwood
Scoop: Despite losing a large chunk of its roster from last year, Brandon has held its own, beating Newsome and Gaither last week and losing by a run against King. Junior Teddy Flynn has three RBIs, and LHP Antonio Velez has given up three hits and struck out 15 in seven innings pitched.
18. Wharton (2-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Steinbrenner, Thursday vs. Freedom
Scoop: Outfielder Aaron Guiang was hot last week, finishing 3-for-7 with four RBIs in wins against Wiregrass Ranch and Riverview. The Wildcats will have their work cut out for them this week against a tough Steinbrenner squad and another district opponent in the Patriots.
19. Riverview (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Durant, Thursday at Plant City
Scoop: The Sharks dropped a game against Wharton but went on to score 24 runs against their next two opponents. Catcher Garrett Thompson and infielder Anthony Gonnella each have five RBI and are hitting at least .500.
20. Plant (1-1)
This week: Tuesday at Plant City, Thursday vs. Sickles
Scoop: The Panthers beat Jefferson in their season opener but lost to Bloomingdale 3-0, the first time Plant has been shut out since a 2-0 loss to Brandon on Feb. 11, 2014.
21. Springstead (2-0)
This week: Tuesday at Land O’Lakes, Wednesday at Lecanto, Friday vs. Crystal River
Scoop: A nice win over Bishop McLaughlin got the season started. Stephen Bienstock had a good week, going 4-for-7 with two doubles. Noah Siem had nine strikeouts in seven innings against Citrus and Miguel Martinez got the win against the Hurricanes.
22. Newsome (1-1)
This week: Tuesday at Lennard, Friday vs. Riverview
Scoop: A shutout victory against Alonso and its usually heavy hitters is a feather in the Wolves’ cap. That gives them a head start in the tough Class 9A-8, which will pit Newsome against Riverview and Alonso twice this season.
23. Hernando (1-1)
This week: Tuesday at Fivay, Friday at Gulf
Scoop: A win over Hudson was followed by a 3-2 loss to River Ridge, which had given up 28 runs in its first two games. The Leopards should be able to rebound this week.
24. Dunedin (1-2)
This week: Monday vs. Largo, Wednesday vs. Osceola, Friday vs. Countryside
Scoop: The Falcons are on a two-game skid after losing to Northeast and Osceola in the Steve Georgiadis tournament. It’s not much easier this week. The offense has not heated up, but that is likely to change.
25. Alonso (0-3)
This week: Tuesday at Freedom, Friday at Palm Harbor University
Scoop: Granted the Ravens had a tough first week of play against Newsome, Riverview and Hillsborough, but we expected Alonso’s experienced squad to fare a little bit better in the early going. Time will tell if the Ravens can rebound from a rough start.
On the bubble: Indian Rocks Christian (1-2), Clearwater Central Catholic (1-2), River Ridge (2-0), Wiregrass Ranch (0-2), Pinellas Park (1-0), Sickles (1-1), Tampa Catholic (1-2)