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HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for week of April 6

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Mon. April 6, 2015 | Rodney Page and Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for week of April 6

1. Dunedin (17-3)

This week: Tuesday vs. River Ridge, Wednesday at Gulf, Thursday vs. Clearwater

Lowdown: The Falcons ran into a hot Palm Harbor University team in the Dunedin Spring Classic final, losing 6-2. This week starts with a bang as they host district foe River Ridge in what could determine the district’s top seed.  

2. Brandon (14-4)

This week: Tuesday at Newsome, Saturday at Alonso

Lowdown: It was an all-or-nothing week last week for Brandon. The Eagles lost 10-2 to Plant City, but rebounded with a 14-1 win over East Bay. They take a break from district play this week and hope the bats stay hot. Senior Drayden Williams leads the attack with a .415 average. 

3. Durant (15-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. Riverview

Lowdown: The Cougars finished 10-0 in Class 7A, District 7 and will be the tournament’s top seed. Jonah Scolaro and Harrison Theocharakis have played in all 20 games and both are hitting .333. Scolaro has also pitched 40 innings and is 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA. 

4. Bishop McLaughlin (17-3)

This week: Tuesday vs. Carrollwood Day, Thursday at Brooks DeBartolo

Lowdown: After a loss to Seffner Christian, the Hurricanes have won four straight. Now comes two straight Class 3A, District 7 games, which they need to win to keep pace with Tampa Prep. 

5. Alonso (16-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. Hillsborough, Friday at Sickles, Saturday vs. Brandon

Lowdown: The Ravens had two big district wins last week that put them in a tie for first with Riverview in Class 8A, District 7. This week is full of non-district games, which will act as a tuneup before the district tournament.  

6. Riverview (15-5)

This week: Tuesday at Durant, Friday vs. East Bay

Lowdown: The Sharks kept pace with Alonso last week with two wins. Garrett Bye leads the offense with a .393 average. Anthony Gonnella has 20 RBIs. Jake Davey is the top pitcher with a 4-1 record in 40 innings pitched. 

7. Northeast (16-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Seminole, Thursday vs. Orlando Dr. Phillips, Saturday vs. Indian Rocks Christian

Lowdown: Northeast needs a win over Seminole to end the Class 7A, District 9 schedule 7-3. That would guarantee nothing worse than a No. 2 seed in the district tournament. The Vikings have lost four of their past six games, including a 6-4 loss to Mitchell last week.

8. Hillsborough (13-6)

This week: Tuesday at Alonso, Friday vs. Freedom

Lowdown: Rough week for the Terriers, who went 1-2 against Class 6A, District 9 foes and locked up the third seed. Alejandro Coronado, Tim Elko and Nick Romano are all hitting over .400.  

9. East Lake (14-5)

This week: Tuesday at Pinellas Park, Thursday at CCC, Friday vs. Orlando Dr. Phillips

Lowdown: The Eagles were 2-1 at the IMG Classic last week in Bradenton. They’ll play a key district game Tuesday before ending the week with two non-district opponents. East Lake has won seven of its past eight games.  

10. Palm Harbor University (16-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. Manatee, Wednesday at Seminole, Thursday vs. Mitchell, Friday vs. Countryside. 

Lowdown: The Hurricanes won the Dunedin tournament, and now comes another four-game week. PHU has to try to avoid a post-tournament let down. The bats of Adam Jurco, A.J. Hrica, Mark Coleman and Clayton Moran must stay hot.

11. River Ridge (12-4)

This week: Tuesday at Dunedin, Thursday at Fivay, Friday vs. Gulf

Lowdown: A rough week for the Royal Knights, who went 1-2 at the Dunedin tournament. They must forget about that week with an upcoming game against the No. 1 Falcons.

12. Jefferson (14-5)

This week: Saturday vs. Brooks DeBartolo

Lowdown: A loss to King last week leaves the Dragons tied with the Lions atop the Class 6A-9 standings. Jefferson, led by Nelson Maldonado’s 15 RBIs and 18 runs scored, are off during the week before finishing the regular season.

13. Jesuit (15-7)

This week:  Wednesday at Sarasota, Friday vs. Gulliver Prep

Lowdown: The Tigers are streaking once again, winning six of their past seven games, including two last week against rival Tampa Catholic and district opponent Spoto. Senior outfielder Cole Gibbs finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs in those games. 

14. Hernando (14-6)

This week: Thursday vs. South Sumter, Friday at Lakeland

Lowdown: The Leopards won all three of their games last week, two of which were one-run decisions. Senior outfielder and LHP Justin Young went 3-for-3 with five RBIs and a home run in Hernando’s big district win against Nature Coast. 

15. Steinbrenner (12-5)

This week: Tuesday at Tampa Bay Tech, Friday at Plant

Lowdown: Steinbrenner is the hottest team in town, winning nine of its past 10 games. Drew Burkhart and Brandon Johnson are both hitting .426 and .420, respectively, and combine for 21 runs scored and 17 RBIs. 

16. Calvary Christian (14-4)

This week: Tuesday at Indian Rocks Christian, Friday at St. Petersburg Catholic, Saturday at Shorecrest

Lowdown: Three straight district games for the Warriors this week. Jake Rothwell (.510, four doubles, four triples) continues to swing a hot bat. Rothwell, Collin Booten and Johnnie Schneider form a tough starting pitching trio. 

17. Wesley Chapel (16-6)

This week: Wednesday vs. Weeki Wachee, Friday at Wiregrass Ranch

Lowdown: The Wildcats split their games last week with a loss against Pasco and a win against Gulf. Senior LHP Evan Mirocke led Wesley Chapel in those games, finishing 3-for-6 with two RBIs.

18. Plant (12-7)

This week: Friday vs. Steinbrenner

Lowdown: The Panthers finished in third place in the tough Class 8A-7 after a loss to Alonso and a win against Wharton last week. Before the district tournament, though, Plant will take on a hot Steinbrenner team this week. Kyle Tucker (.447) and Jake Bak (.356) are the only Panthers hitting at least .300, but the pair combine for 20 RBIs and 25 runs scored.

19. Indian Rocks Christian (16-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Calvary Christian, Thursday vs. Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian, Saturday at Northeast. 

Lowdown: The Golden Eagles had a respectable Dunedin tournament, winning three of four games. The lone loss was to Calvary Christian, Tuesday’s district opponent. Daniel Llerena continues to be a tough out, with a .547 average, 15 RBIs and two home runs.

20. Springstead (12-7)

This week: Tuesday at Mitchell, Wednesday at Central

Lowdown: The Eagles won two of their three games last week, scoring 27 runs in victories against Lecanto and Weeki Wachee. 

21. Leto (12-7)

This week: Tuesday vs. Middleton, Friday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Saturday vs. East Bay

Lowdown: The Falcons are on a three-game win streak, all of which were decided by one run. Alberto Guerra went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Leto’s nine-inning, 5-4 district win against Hillsborough. 

22. Robinson (12-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Strawberry Crest, Thursday vs. Wharton

Lowdown: The Knights are riding a four-game win streak, outscoring opponents 25-5 during that time. Senior outfielder Shawn Herron, who hits .323 with two home runs, had at least one RBI in three of those games. 

23. Osceola (13-7)

This week: Tuesday at Boca Ciega, Wednesday vs. Bradenton Bayshore, Friday at St. Petersburg. 

Lowdown: Watch out for Osceola. The Warriors were 3-1 at the IMG Classic last week. They have earned the No. 1 seed on Class 6A, District 10 and seem to be playing their best at the right time. 

24. Mitchell (12-6)

This week: Today vs. Nature Coast, Tuesday vs. Springstead, Thursday at Palm Harbor University, Friday vs. Ridgewood

Lowdown: Beat Northeast and Land O’Lakes last week. This week has four games in five days. Starters Jakob Mattos, Tyler Edling, Chris Lang and Kyle Blakeney will be counted on.

25. Strawberry Crest (13-8)

This week: Tuesday at Robinson, Friday vs. Spoto

Lowdown: Last week Strawberry Crest lost a heartbreaker to Durant, which scored the lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Chargers rebounded, though, with a 9-5 win against Tampa Bay Tech, in which Tate Whatley hit a two-RBI home run. 

In the conversation: Newsome (10-9), Seminole (11-9), Keswick Christian (14-4), Tampa Prep (11-7), Bloomingdale (10-9), Berkeley Prep (10-9), Countryside (13-7), Boca Ciega (11-6).

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