Player of the year: Corey Baptist, Sr., Seminole
Why we picked him: Seminole was loaded with hitters and usually got every opponent’s ace, but Baptist still stood out. He hit third most of the season and finished with a .455 batting average, 28 RBIs, five doubles, six home runs, .533 on-base percentage and .701 slugging percentage. Oh, and he also stole 19 of 21 bases. His combination of power and speed made him one of the area’s most dangerous hitters. Baptist also had three saves as a pitcher and played well at first base. “For me it was just all about getting better,” Baptist said. “It helped to get off to a good start and I felt comfortable all season.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Baptist got off to a red-hot start and never looked back. He went 11-for-15 in his first four games, including 3-for-4 in a win at nationally ranked Venice. He also hit a home run in the Pinellas vs. Hillsborough senior all-star game at Tropicana Field. “Corey has been on a yearlong roll,” Seminole coach Jeff Pincus said. “He’s been the glue that has held our team together.”
Did you know? Baptist transferred from St. Petersburg Catholic after his junior year. But the Seminole native was no stranger to teammates. He grew up playing with and against them in Little League and summer ball.
What’s next: Baptist will attend the University of Mississippi to play baseball.
Pitcher of the year: David Paul, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
Why we picked him: As a sophomore, Paul was just another pitcher on a young team that struggled through an 11-15 season. A year later, he emerged as an ace who led CCC to district and region championships, and a spot in the Class 3A state semifinals. He pitched 81.2 innings and was 11-1 with a 1.37 ERA and 92 strikeouts. He was the winning pitcher in the region quarterfinal and semifinal, and pitched the final three outs in the region final. He threw seven shutout innings in the state semifinal before giving up a three-run homer in the eighth on his 108th pitch. “In every big game this year I wanted the ball in my hands,” Paul said.
Most impressive accomplishment: In the district final against Calvary Christian and the first two region games, Paul allowed only two runs and shut out the Crusaders in the district game. “If I’m in a game I’ve got to win, that’s who I want throwing for me,” CCC coach Todd Vaughan said.
Did you know? Paul also hit .403 and played second base when he wasn’t pitching.
What’s next: He will spend the summer playing travel ball with his Clearwater Hit & Run team.
P Nick Nolan, Sr., Seminole: Was 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA, threw a no-hitter against Pinellas Park, defeated Venice and threw eight shutout innings against Jesuit. Will play at Hillsborough CC.
P Jake Mielock, Sr., Countryside: Cougars ace had a 1.07 ERA in just more than 52 innings pitched in the regular season.
P Brad Deppermann, Jr., East Lake: Was 7-1 with a 1.20 ERA in 42 innings pitched, and the go-to guy when the Eagles needed to get out of a jam.
P Nate Reed, Sr., Calvary Christian: Crusaders ace was 8-4 and recorded 101 strikeouts in 75.2 innings; pitched in at least part of 17 of 30 games. Will play at St. Petersburg College.
IF Kellen Brown, Sr., Dunedin: One of the best contact hitters in the county, Brown hit .500 (43-for-86) with 22 runs scored, 30 RBIs, seven doubles, four triples, 17 stolen bases and three strikeouts in 105 at-bats. Will play at Florida Atlantic.
IF Scott Withrow, Sr., Seminole: Quietly hit .427 with three home runs, and played third and second base for the Warhawks. Will play at Florida Southern.
IF Keegan Maronpot, Jr., East Lake: Played third base and shortstop; hit .410 with a team-leading 27 RBIs.
IF Cornelius Copeland, Sr., Lakewood: Hit .489 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs, and was a slick-fielding shortstop. Will play at St. Petersburg College.
OF Troy Strominger, Sr., East Lake: Hit .415 with 24 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.
OF Matt Piatt, Sr., Calvary Christian: Not only did he hit .543 with 36 RBIs, but he had 18 doubles. Will play at Polk State College.
OF Johnny Karaphillis, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Hit .426 in 115 at-bats and was steady in centerfield.
C Grant Hodges, Sr., East Lake: Hit .388 with 15 stolen bases, seven doubles and three triples; committed no errors. Will play at Brigham Young.
DH Ryan Reinoso, Sr., Pinellas Park: Hit a team-best .585 and had seven doubles, four triples and three home runs.
UTIL Michael Mann, Sr., Seminole: Hit .306 with 15 RBIs and threw out 21 of 23 runners; also made two appearances on the mound. Will play at USF.
P Tylor Craft, Sr., Seminole
P Keith Weisenberg, Jr., Osceola
P Hayden Peiker, Sr., Northside Christian
P Brandon Grigsby, Jr., Pinellas Park
IF Ian Smith, Sr., St. Petersburg
IF Max Geller, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic
IF Brenden Overton, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
IF Steven Petrilyak, Sr., Largo
OF Richie Rivera, Jr., St. Petersburg
OF Shane Ludlow, Sr., Tarpon Springs
OF Aaron Chesson, Sr., Dunedin
C Bret Maxwell, Jr., Northeast
DH Derek Gibree, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
UTIL Charlie Skantze, Jr., Countryside
Admiral Farragut: Bryce Cooke; Boca Ciega: Tanner Watkins, Tully Allen, Nick Adams, Denzal Dillard; Calvary Christian: Daniel Broeseker, Dylan Stark, Jake Richardson, Grant McDaniel, Johnnie Schneider; Canterbury: Patrick Walsh, David Rodica, Steven Valentine, Steven Winesett, David Siegel; Clearwater: Clay Gilman, Colin Lonsberry, Kyle Amaral, Dylan Chewcaskie, Xavier Rodriguez; Clearwater Central Catholic: Benito Mendizabal, Andrew Mink, Andrew Murphy, Michael Del Monte, Troy Olmo; Countryside: Bobby Krayer, Kevin Rosinski, Brendan Stevens, Jack Skantze, Christian Townsend; Dixie Hollins: John Hollis, Devin Reyes, Nick Stanney, Austin Busch, Mike Leary, Anthony Mosgaard, Joseph Simmons; Dunedin: Jack Hamrick, T.J. Alman, Trevor Jensen, Justin Glover, Alex Hart, Eric Sexton, Austin Sweat; East Lake: Ryan Wall, Doug Rovello, Cameron Churchill, Ian Lisle, Tyler Neuhaus, Steven Plaskett, Dante Valenti; Indian Rocks Christian: Matt Schaefer, Brad Miller, Jesse Tona; Keswick Christian: Ryan Broaderick, Parker Holland; Lakeside Christian: Logan Bates, David Ell, Bryan Lopez, Christian Michener; Lakewood: Mike Ferrandiz, Laterian Latimer, Antonio Lovett, Donovan Pink, Lance Smith; Largo: Tyler Short, Tanner Field, Jacob Henniger; Northeast: Drew Vimond, Sean Anderson, Chris Clark, Colton Tison, Cameron Gaskin, Shane Jackson, Brien Story; Northside Christian: Dalton Eckstein, Matthew Gladfelter, Blake Eversole; Osceola: Mike Kleinman, Justin Kremer, Abiezer Jimenez, Jaret Helinger, Austin Brockway; Palm Harbor University: Brian Auerbach, Dominick Bonelli, Kevin Griffith, Shane Mullen, Ethan Olivero, Will Shay; Pinellas Park: Darrel Weber, Jeff DeTrano, Brian Long, Jake Taylor, Joe Vaskovsky, Evan Graves, Josh Dallas, Austin Berry; St. Petersburg: Dylan Mlotkowski, Aaron Haughton, Sam Goodis; St. Petersburg Catholic: Dakota Sarafin, Colin O’Keeffe; Seminole: Chris Berry, Jacob Silverstein, Alex McGathey, Stephen Nobles; Shorecrest: Chris Howd; Tarpon Springs: Caleb Koulianos, Ethan Lichtenberg, Kyle Johnson, Eric Kehoe, Billy Ross
Coach of the Year
Todd Vaughan, Clearwater Central Catholic: In his 25th season at CCC, Vaughan had one of the better turnarounds in his career. After going 11-15 in 2012, this year’s team won 26 games, including 16 straight, and advanced the Class 3A state tournament. It was the seventh time Vaughan led CCC to the state tournament.