HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for Tampa Bay
1. Jesuit (5-0)
This week: Tuesday at Robinson, Friday at Jefferson
Scoop: The Tigers haven’t given up a single run in five games, beating their first five opponents 65-0. Drew Martin and Michael Sandborn have a combined 18 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched, and Nico Baldor is hitting .533 with nine RBIs and a home run.
2. Hillsborough (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Chamberlain, Thursday at Sickles
Scoop: The Terriers — who have given up 19 runs in four games — don’t have perfect pitching, but they have more than made up for it on offense. Junior first baseman Tim Elko leads the way with a .615 average and six RBIs.
3. Mitchell (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Wiregrass Ranch, Thursday at Ridgewood, Friday vs. Clearwater
Scoop: The Mustangs are off to a good start, with wins over East Lake and Sunlake last week. Sophomore pitcher Jakob Mattos has been an ace so far. He’s 2-0 with a 0.70 ERA and has 17 strikeouts in 10 innings. Starter Tyler Edling is 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA and shut out East Lake.
4. Berkeley Prep (5-0)
This week: Tuesday at Tampa Prep, Friday vs. Calvary Christian
Scoop: The Bucs have given up just six runs in seven games, and two starters — Julian Bosnic and Spencer Myers — are hitting at least .500. Bosnic is also owning the mound, giving up zero earned runs and striking out 34 in 14.2 innings pitched.
5. Countryside (4-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Seminole, Thursday vs. Northeast, Saturday at IMG Blue
Scoop: Watch out for the Cougars. Kyle Kania is hitting over .500 and Tanner Baker isn’t far behind at .444. Ace Matt Adams pitched for the first time last week due to injury. With a full pitching staff and hot bats, Countryside is tough early on.
6. Durant (2-1)
This week: Tuesday at East Bay, Thursday at Armwood, Saturday vs. Lennard
Scoop: The Cougars bounced back from a big loss to Riverview with a nice 8-5 win against a strong Bloomingdale team. Against the Bulls, Spencer Nelson went 1-for-2 with four RBIs and Zach Barfield went 3-for-4 with one more RBIs.
7. King (4-1)
This week: no games scheduled
Scoop: Underclassmen Justice Thompson and Dehreon Pressley are still carrying the Lions at the plate, combining for 11 of King’s 26 hits and six of its 14 RBIs. On the mound, Brian Lee has a 2-0 record, giving up no earned runs in 10 innings pitched.
8. Bishop McLaughlin (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Cambridge Christian, Friday at Seffner Christian
Scoop: The Hurricanes had just one game last week, a 7-0 win over Brooks DeBartolo. Dillon Morton, Paul Coumoulos and Carson Ragsdale are all off to good offensive starts. WIth a solid pitching staff, they should remain competitive.
9. Bloomingdale (3-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Plant City, Thursday at Riverview, Saturday at Chamberlain
Scoop: Before a district loss to Durant last week, the Bulls had given up just one run in three victories. Andrew Tubb (0.88) and Carson Crouse (0.00) are splitting time on the mound, and they’ve struck out 18 in 17 innings pitched so far.
10. Wharton (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Plant, Thursday vs. Strawberry Crest
Scoop: Wharton has already been tested by a pair of extra-innings games, both of which the Wildcats came out on top. Aaron Guiang is hitting .417 with five RBIs, and Drew Ehrhard has scored six runs.
11. Northeast (4-1)
This week: Tuesday at Boca Ciega, Thursday at Countryside, Friday vs. Dixie Hollins
Scoop: The Vikings bounced back from the Georgiadis final loss to Seminole with two wins last week. The biggest this week is Thursday against Countryside. Ryan Cook is hitting .500 with two doubles and a triple. Ryan Quinlivan has three saves.
12. Brandon (4-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Lennard, Friday at Braden River, Saturday vs. Plant, Saturday vs. Clinton (Miss.)
Scoop: Since its sole loss against King on Feb. 11, Brandon’s offense has been on point, scoring 25 runs in three games. Antonio Velez was clutch in a 9-7 victory against Tampa Bay Tech last week, going 3-for-4 at the plate and recording the save.
13. Osceola (4-1)
This week: Wednesday vs. IMG Blue, Friday vs. Sunlake
Scoop: The Warriors are hitting over .300 as a team and have a team ERA of 1.09. Austin Keene and Chase Achuff are both hitting .500. With offense and pitching, Osceola is clearly dangerous.
14. East Lake (3-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Pinellas Park, Friday vs. St. Petersburg
Scoop: The Eagles had a rough week, which included getting no-hit by Sarasota in an 8-0 loss. The bats went silent, but pitching is still a strength. This week isn’t much easier. Pinellas Park is much improved and should test the Eagles’ pitching staff.
15. Steinbrenner (2-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom, Thursday at Plant
Scoop: Steinbrenner has lost two close games, but its victories have been dominant, outscoring Sickles and Chamberlain 16-0. A win against Plant this week would give the Warriors a head start in its three-team district.
16. Seminole (4-2)
This week: Tuesday at Countryside, Thursday vs. Tarpon Springs, Friday at Pinellas Park
Scoop: The Warhawks lost twice last week, but they were close. There was a 2-1 defeat to Hoover (Ala.) in eight innings, then a 5-1 loss to a very good Sarasota. This week will not be much easier. The pitching staff is sure to get tested.
17. Palm Harbor University (2-2)
This week: Wednesday at Dunedin, Friday vs. Newsome
Scoop: The Hurricanes will try to regroup after a 7-0 loss to Alonso. They already have two districts losses but it’s far too early to panic. Riley Degnan is a solid left-handed pitcher, and the lineup is full of hitters.
18. Springstead (4-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Weeki Wachee, Thursday at Hernando, Friday at Dunnellon
Scoop: The Eagles dropped their first game last week against Land O’Lakes. But that was followed by two straight shutouts. They have three shutouts in their four wins. Noah Siem has pitched 13 innings and not given up a run. Miguel Martinez is 2-0 and has struck out 14 in as many innings.
19. Robinson (4-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Jesuit, Thursday at Blake, Saturday vs. Alonso
Scoop: Though none of Robinson’s opponents so far have a winning record, the Knights have won their first four games easily, outscoring them 37-5. Its first true test will come in the form of the undefeated Tigers tonight.
20. Newsome (4-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Sickles
Scoop: Newsome has won four straight since a season-opening loss to Brandon, including an extra-innings game against Lennard last week. The Wolves, now 2-0 in Class 9A-8, have an early advantage in a talented district.
21. Alonso (2-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Leto, Friday vs. Riverview, Saturday at Robinson
Scoop: The Ravens had a rough start, but they rebounded last week with a 7-0 win against district foe Palm Harbor. Three Alonso starters are hitting at least .400, including Jordan Butler, who has also given up no earned runs in 9 â innings pitched.
22. Plant (2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Wharton, Thursday vs. Steinbrenner, Saturday at Brandon
Scoop: After a 5-0 victory against Sickles last week, it appears it will be a race to the top between Plant and Steinbrenner in three-team Class 8A-5. That makes Thursday’s matchup between the district rivals an important one.
23. Riverview (3-2)
This week: Tuesday at Strawberry Crest, Thursday vs. Bloomingdale
Scoop: The Sharks have some big wins — against talented Alonso and Durant squads — but also some tough losses. Through it all, Anthony Gonnella has been consistent, leading the way with 10 RBIs and a .571 batting average.
24. Pinellas Park (5-0)
This week: Monday at Lakewood, Tuesday at East Lake, Friday vs. Seminole
Scoop: The Patriots are off and running under new coach and Pinellas Park alum Billy Glessner. No player is hotter at the plate than Kenny Brush, who is hitting .769 with 12 RBIs. The Patriots should find out about themselves this week.
25. Hernando (3-1)
This week: Tuesday at Nature Coast, Thursday vs. Springstead, Saturday vs. Palatka
Scoop: The Leopards are tearing the cover of the ball so far. They are hitting .339 as a team, and Tyler Skipper and Brad Ellis are each hitting .500. They have outscored opponents 42-5.
On the bubble: Land O’Lakes (4-0), Indian Rocks Christian (3-3), River Ridge (2-1), Tampa Catholic (2-3), Calvary Christian (3-2)