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Posts by Matt Baker

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  • State softball: Young Chamberlain expects a return trip

    State softball: Young Chamberlain expects a return trip VERO BEACH — Chamberlain’s  3-1 loss to Lake Region in Wednesday’s Class 6A state semifinal was only a few moments old when Chiefs coach Bobby Diez began to spin the sorrow into a positive. When — not if — his young Chiefs win a state title in the next two ...
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    Wed. May 07, 2014 at 10:06 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • State softball: Bloomingdale reaches 8A final

    State softball: Bloomingdale reaches 8A final photo gallery  VERO BEACH — From the start of the playoffs until the first two innings of Wednesday’s Class 8A state semifinal, Bloomingdale had hit the ball hard with few runs to show for it. “I knew that it was just a matter of time before we broke out,” Bulls ...
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    Wed. May 07, 2014 at 8:20 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • State softball: Canterbury coasts into Class 2A title game

    State softball: Canterbury coasts into Class 2A title game photo gallery  VERO BEACH — The only drama in Wednesday’s Class 2A state semifinal centered on how quickly Canterbury could get out of the midday sun and into another state championship game. The Crusaders exploded for six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 15-1 win over Sarasota ...
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    Wed. May 07, 2014 at 5:08 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • State softball: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6)

    State softball: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6) State softball  Where: Historic Dodgertown, Vero Beach  Admission: $9 per session; $8 for parking Class 8A: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6), 4:50 p.m.  How they got here: Bloomingdale d. Sarasota Riverview 1-0, Alonso 3-1, Vero Beach 2-1. Cypress Bay d. Douglas 8-2, Cooper City 7-1, Park Vista 6-4 (11 ...
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    Tue. May 06, 2014 at 6:49 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • State softball: Past success sparks Chamberlain

    State softball: Past success sparks Chamberlain TAMPA — If Chamberlain first baseman Liz Diaz ever needed a reminder of her program’s rich history, she’d only need to look behind her to the outfield wall, where the names of previous All-America Chiefs stare back. “It’s not really intimidating,” Diaz said. “It’s inspiring.” It’s also the biggest difference ...
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    Tue. May 06, 2014 at 6:15 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Four from Sunlake football sign with colleges

    Four Sunlake players have signed to continue their football careers after high school, Seahawks coach Bill Browning announced Monday afternoon. FS Joe Jean-Baptiste signed with Lake Erie College, a Division II program in Ohio. The 6-foot-2 senior had 50 tackles and two interceptions on defense last season. He also caught ...
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    Mon. May 05, 2014 at 2:09 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Grace Christian's Winter to sign with Southeastern

    Grace Christian senior Caleb Winter will sign to play football at Southeastern University at a ceremony Thursday morning. Winter, a kicker/punter, was a standout soccer player at Grace Christian. He was the conference’s soccer MVP in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was one of its top basketball players, too. He’ll ...
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    Mon. May 05, 2014 at 11:34 a.m. | Matt Baker

  • More thoughts on Florida quarterbacks and the NFL Draft

    I had far more information than space in Sunday’s story on why Florida high schools have only produced three first-round quarterbacks in the history of the NFL Draft. A couple leftovers that didn’t make the final version: * Maybe it’s just a fluke. That’s a paraphrased version of Scout analyst ...
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    Mon. May 05, 2014 at 10:11 a.m. | Matt Baker

  • Region softball: Durant ousted by Harmony

    Durant’s quest for a fourth trip to state since 2002 fizzled in Sunday’s rough offensive outing at Harmony. The Cougars’ season ended with a 3-0 loss to the Longhorns in a Class 7A region final delayed two days by rain. “We just made a couple mistakes, and they took advantage,” ...
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    Sun. May 04, 2014 at 10:39 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Three to sign from AATL next week

    Academy at the Lakes will honor three athletes at a signing ceremony at the school’s gym Thursday at 9:30 a.m, athletic director Tom Haslam announced. Jake Fishman will sign with Lake Forest College, a Division III program in Illinois. He had 123 receiving yards, two fumble recoveries and 23 tackles ...
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    Fri. May 02, 2014 at 4:27 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Region baseball: King edges Mitchell

    TRINITY — When Mitchell’s Alex Mendez hit a bases-loaded grounder to third in the bottom of the sixth inning, King catcher Jose Lopez did everything right to prepare for the game-saving double play. That didn’t stop his coach from worrying. “Usually, when you try to do it … you see ...
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    Thu. May 01, 2014 at 10:45 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Region softball: Durant holds off Plant City

    PLANT CITY — Even after breezing through six shutout innings, Durant had to make Wednesday’s Class 7A region semifinal interesting. The Cardiac Cougars gave their coaches heartburn, loading the bases with one out and allowing the go-ahead run to the plate before buckling down and escaping with a 5-2 home ...
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    Wed. April 30, 2014 at 10:05 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Recruiting updates from Bishop, Hudson, Durant and more

    Recruiting updates from Bishop, Hudson, Durant and more A few recruiting updates from across Tampa Bay: Bishop McLaughlin volleyball standout Aileen Hnatiuk signed with East Carolina on Wednesday morning. The 6-foot senior helped the Hurricanes advance to the Class 3A playoffs and finished the year with 352 kills (4.7 per game) and 120 blocks. Two Hudson football players ...
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    Wed. April 30, 2014 at 12:13 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Region softball: Mound presence remains strong for Bloomingdale

    TAMPA — Even when she was staring from the circle at a Division I recruit representing the winning run, Bloomingdale ace Lace Smith didn’t let her jitters show against Alonso. “The whole game I was nervous,” Smith said. “Let’s be honest.” So with a region final berth at stake, the ...
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    Tue. April 29, 2014 at 11:06 p.m. | Matt Baker

  • Nate Craig pledges to 2016 Under Armour game

    National signing day is almost two years away for Tampa Catholic WR Nate Craig, but the four-star recruit has already made one major decision. Craig will participate in the 2016 Under Armour All-America Game, he announced Tuesday night. “It's Official! I Will be accepting the Invitation to play in the ...
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    Tue. April 29, 2014 at 10:32 p.m. | Matt Baker

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