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HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for week of April 13

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Mon. April 13, 2015 | Rodney Page and Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for week of April 13

1. Dunedin (20-4)

This week: Monday at Osceola, Tuesday vs. Gibbs, Thursday vs. Northeast (PCAC final) 

Lowdown: The Falcons had a chance to wrap up the top spot in Class 5A, District 8 but lost to River Ridge. The Knights won the district tiebreaker, so Dunedin is the No. 2 seed next week and will play Anclote on Monday. The Falcons did clinch the top spot in the PCAC north division and will play Northeast on Thursday for the championship. 

2. Bishop McLaughlin (19-3)

This week: Tuesday at Weeki Wachee, Wednesday vs. Springstead

Lowdown: The Hurricanes locked down the top seed in Class 3A, District 7. Despite having the same district record as Tampa Prep, they beat the Terrapins twice this season. Carson Ragsdale, who recently committed to USF, is hitting .466 and is 5-2 with a 1.12 ERA on the mound. 

3. Riverview (16-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. Plant City, Thursday vs. Blake

Lowdown: The Sharks had big wins against Newsome and Durant last week, outscoring them 12-3 and racking up 20 hits in the process. Senior Collin Lowe went 3-for-8 with three RBIs in those games. 

4. Alonso (18-6)

This week: Thursday vs. King

Lowdown: Alonso is looking strong again after its mini losing streak, and has won four of the past five games, including 1-0 and 10-4 wins against Hillsborough and Brandon last week, respectively. 

5. Jefferson (16-5)

This week: Monday at Tampa Catholic, Wednesday vs. Durant, Friday vs. Plant

Lowdown: The Dragons had the week off before winning a pair of games Saturday against Spoto and Brooks DeBartolo, outscoring them 19-5. Jefferson has now won nine of its past 10 games. 

6. Brandon (14-6)

This week: Tuesday at Spoto, Friday vs. Gaither

Lowdown: The Eagles have struggled lately, losing to Newsome in nine innings, then to Alonso last week. They’ll have a chance to rebound against Spoto and Gaither before a likely repeat run-in with rival Durant in the district tournament.

7. Durant (15-6)

This week: Monday vs. King, Wednesday vs. Jefferson, Friday at Freedom

Lowdown: Durant lost to Riverview 7-2 last week, but Jake Sullivan had a good day at the plate against the Sharks, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sullivan is hitting .274 on the season with 13 RBIs.

8. East Lake (16-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Tarpon Springs

Lowdown: In the highly competitive Class 7A, District 9, East Lake earned the top seed in next week’s district tournament. That means an opening-round game against Clearwater. With just one game this week, the Eagles should have a rested pitching staff heading into the playoffs.  

9. Palm Harbor University (18-7)

This week: Tuesday at Northeast

Lowdown: After winning the Dunedin Spring Classic, the Hurricanes came down to earth a bit last week with losses to Seminole and Countryside. They did go 6-0 in Class 8A, District 8 and will have the top seed next week. 

10. River Ridge (14-6)

This week: Wednesday at Pasco, Thursday vs. Wesley Chapel, Friday vs. Ridgewood

Lowdown: The Knights have three straight games this week prior to the district tournament. They clinched the top seed in 5A-8 and will open against Gulf. The pitching staff is sure to be tested, especially Rocco Iervasi, Tyler Hawks and Andrew O’Brien. Expect Jason Heinrich to get increased innings in the postseason. 

11. Jesuit (16-8)

This week:  Tuesday at Orangewood Christian

Lowdown: The Tigers have won five of their past six games, giving up just nine runs in those wins. Sophomore right-hander Drew Martin has a 1.62 ERA and 6-2 record in 39 innings pitched. 

12. Plant (14-7)

This week: Friday vs. Jefferson

Lowdown: The Panthers allowed Steinbrenner just two hits while ending the Warriors’ winning streak last Friday, and they’ll have the chance for a big win against another streaking team in Jefferson this week. Kyle Tucker leads Plant with a .400 average 17 RBIs and six home runs.  

13. Steinbrenner (13-6)

This week: Monday at Hillsborough, Tuesday at Berkeley Prep, Thursday vs. Carrollwood Day

Lowdown: The Warriors’ eight-game win streak ended Friday with a 1-0 loss to Plant. Steinbrenner has allowed just 11 runs in the past nine games. Ace Ryan Fatzinger is leading the way on the mound, posting a 1.09 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched.

14. Indian Rocks Christian (18-5)

This week: Today vs. Tampa Prep, Tuesday vs. Largo

Lowdown: The Golden Eagles lost only one district game this season, and that was back in February against Calvary Christian. Daniel Llerena is still the top hitter with a .516 average through 22 games. Oakley Albinson is the top pitcher with an 8-1 record and a 1.29 ERA.

15. Hillsborough (14-7)

This week: Monday vs. Steinbrenner

Lowdown: The Terriers have won just two of their past five games and have one left before a district tournament that could end Hillsborough’s postseason drought. Tim Elko is still leading the way with a .397 average and 16 RBIs. 

16. Calvary Christian (16-5)

This week: Today at Clearwater Central Catholic, Tuesday at Lakeland Christian, Thursday vs. Tampa Prep

Lowdown: A loss to Indian Rocks Christian last week put the Warriors in second place in Class 3A, District 9. The starting rotation of Johnnie Schneider, Collin Booten and Jake Rothwell should be tough to deal with in the playoffs. 

17. Northeast (16-7)

This week: Tuesday vs. Palm Harbor University, Thursday at Dunedin (PCAC final)

Lowdown: The Vikings take little momentum into this week. They have lost four straight dating to the April 1 loss to Mitchell. If anything, Northeast has to find some positives this week before district play begins.

18. Hernando (15-7)

This week: Thursday vs. Crystal River, Friday vs. Lecanto, Saturday vs. Springstead

Lowdown: The Leopards’ last two games have gone into extra innings. They will roll right into district play with three straight games. That will either prepare the pitching staff for the postseason or perhaps tire them out. 

19. Wesley Chapel (17-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sunlake, Wednesday vs. Land O’Lakes, Thursday at River Ridge

Lowdown: The Wildcats will be a No. 3 seed in the Class 5A, District 7 tournament. They are led offensively by Corey Mumaw, who is hitting .476. Branden McLeod is 10-0 with a 1.49 ERA. 

20. Leto (14-8)

This week: Tuesday vs. Robinson

Lowdown: The Falcons haven’t won more than 14 games in more than a decade, but that could change this week against the Knights. Felix Dieguez has been a star on the mound, recording a 0.54 ERA and striking out 70 in 39 innings pitched.  

21. Robinson (13-7)

This week: Tuesday at Leto, Friday at Lennard

Lowdown: Robinson had just four total hits in its two games last week, and senior infielder Nathan Doherty had two of them. Doherty is one of seven Knights who have at least six RBIs. 

22. Osceola (16-7)

This week: Today vs. Dunedin, Tuesday at Countryside

Lowdown: The Warriors have won six straight and have the top seed in Class 6A, District 10. Two challenging games early this week should get Osceola ready for the postseason. 

23. Mitchell (15-7)

This week: Today at Nature Coast, Tuesday vs. Anclote, Wednesday at Fivay

Lowdown: Mitchell is the No. 2 seed in 6A-10. The Mustangs have won five of six heading into the regular season’s final week. Freshman Jordan Garcia leads the offense with a .393 average in 19 games. Freshman Jakob Mattos is the top pitcher with a 5-2 record and a 1.66 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched. 

24. Tampa Prep (14-7)

This week: Monday at Indian Rocks Christian, Tuesday at IMG Academy Blue, Thursday at Calvary Christian

Lowdown: The Terrapins may be struggling with pitching and defense at times, but their offense has been making up for it. Tampa Prep has scored at least six runs in six of seven games, and Luis Medina is hitting .413 with 24 RBIs. 

25. Seminole (14-9)

This week: Friday at Venice

Lowdown: The Warhawks’ offense is starting to get on track. They defeated PHU and Clearwater last week 10-0. Chris Berry is especially hot. In his past six games, he is 11-for-15 with five home runs and 10 RBIs. 

In the conversation: Newsome (11-9), Keswick Christian (15-5), Bloomingdale (12-9), Countryside (15-7), Strawberry Crest (14-8), Largo (13-8), Springstead (12-9), King (13-8)

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