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Alonso ace Jose Fernandez reinstated by FHSAA

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Mon. January 17, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

Alonso senior pitcher Jose Fernandez, a Cuban defector who was ruled ineligible because he had exhausted his four years of high school eligibility, has been officially reinstated by the Florida High School Athletic Association, Alonso baseball coach Landy Faedo confirmed Monday.

Fernandez, who helped the Ravens to the Class 6A state championship as a sophomore, was ruled ineligible in October because 2010-'11 would be his fifth year since he entered the ninth grade in Cuba in 2006.

But the FHSAA granted an appeal to reinstate Fernandez provided he could provide documentation that he couldn't attend school because he was arrested after a failed escape from Cuba and also he lived in Mexico with his father before coming to the United States.

Faedo said that paperwork was filed and Fernandez cleared Friday.

Fernandez, a hard-throwing right-hander who has orally committed to USF but is also one of the bay area's top pro draft prospects, has been a Times All-Hillsborough County first-team selection the past two seasons, going 17-2 with 180 strikeouts in 124 innings. 

Last year as a junior, he struck out one out of every 2.7 batters he faced, going 10-1 with a 0.87 ERA. As a sophomore, he was 7-1 with a 2.98 ERA and earned a complete-game win in the 6A state title game over Miami Columbus, retiring 18 in a row at one point.

-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (eencina@sptimes.com; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)

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