Through the first week of the baseball regular season, here's how the elite in Hillsborough County have faired. Praise or protests? Send all of it my way either via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter, @LauraHomeTeam.
1. Jesuit (1-0): No hiccups in a 7-0 win over Dunedin last weekend. Saturday’s rivalry game against Tampa Catholic will be a nice, early test.
2. Plant (3-0): Senior Matt Sanders struck out nine in five innings of work in a 2-1 win over Plant City, nine different players scored in a 19-2 rout of Chamberlain, and three younger pitchers, supported by another great offensive output, combined to beat Jefferson 8-4.
3. Jefferson (1-1): The Dragons offense registered 13 hits against four Steinbrenner pitchers and trounced the Warriors 12-3 last weekend. Jefferson wasn’t sharp in a 8-4 loss to Plant last night, but the Dragons have three games this week to use as a tune up.
4. Durant (1-0): Pitcher Trey Oest silenced the Brandon bats in a 1-0 season-opening win last week. The Cougars host Plant today.
5. Tampa Catholic (2-1): The Crusaders faced Pinellas County’s finest last week (a 6-1 loss to Seminole). This week, they face Hillsborough’s best in Jesuit. Pitcher Derek Martin didn’t allow an earned run or any extra base hits in six innings of work against Auburndale as the Crusaders won 9-3.
6. Steinbrenner (1-2) Unfortunately Chris Williams can’t pitch every game. He picked up a quality win over Alonso, but the Warriors had no answer for Jefferson’s offense in a 12-3 loss over the weekend or King’s in an 8-0 loss last night.
7. Alonso (1-1) Ryan Valdes, a Florida State commit, did hit a two-run home run against Steinbrenner’s Gerald Bautista, a Florida signee, in his only inning of work, but the defending Class 6A state champions lost that opening game 5-4. The Ravens bounced back with a 12-3 rout of Leto.
Just a bit outside: Bloomingdale (2-0), Gaither (1-1), King (1-1), Riverview (3-0), Wharton (2-0)
Games to keep an eye on this week (all start at 7 p.m.): Tues. Plant at Durant, Bloomingdale at Alonso, King at Jefferson; Wed. Osceola at Tampa Catholic; Fri. Bloomingdale at Durant, Wharton at Alonso; Sat. Tampa Catholic at Jesuit.