Player of the Year: Jason Heinrich, Jr., River Ridge
Why we picked him: There was no better all-around player than Heinrich, who was good enough that he could have been selected as player or pitcher of the year. As a hitter, he led the North Suncoast with a .534 average and seven homers, and was second in doubles with 13 and had 33 RBIs. In fact, Heinrich had more extra-base hits (22) than singles (17). After a relatively slow start, he hit in 18 of his last 19 games at a .589 clip. In 94 plate appearances, he struck out only twice, and only one county team — Mitchell on Feb. 20 — was able to retire him on strikes. His slugging percentage (1.054) and OPS (1.684) were second to none. On the hill, Heinrich won nine straight games until the district semifinal, striking out 70 in 59 innings.
Most impressive accomplishment: Heinrich said he was most pleased with his plus-.500 batting average. “It was special to me because I think the hardest thing to do is stay consistent,” he said. Heinrich raced across the finish line. In his last nine games, he had 16 RBIs and 17 hits in 26 at-bats. He hit more home runs (six) and just as many doubles (five) as he did singles, and added a triple.
Did you know? Heinrich’s sister, Samantha, earned a rowing scholarship to UCF, and introduced Jason to it at age 5. While he’s never rowed in an actual boat, it’s his tireless work on the rowing machine that he says helps with his balance.
Future plans: Heinrich, a solid verbal commitment to UCF, is competing in the Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers this week before heading off to the invite-only National Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C., June 16-22, where the top players are selected for the 18U U.S. national team.
Pitcher of the Year: David Castillo, Sr., Sunlake
Why we picked him: You could call him Big Game Dave after what he accomplished in the postseason in leading Sunlake to a 20-10 record and its first state semifinal appearance. Castillo was able to take the mound every week for the Seahawks and finished the season with a 9-4 record and 1.60 ERA in 13 starts. He threw 83.1 innings, allowed 43 hits and was second on the North Suncoast with 100 strikeouts. “I think I did pretty good,” said Castillo. “I felt like I was more into the game than last year. When I was down or struggling, I wasn’t able to pull through. This year I did.” At the plate, Castillo batted .343 with eight doubles, 15 RBIs and 33 runs scored.
Most impressive accomplishment: Castillo was the man in the playoffs. He shocked favored Hernando 2-1 in the region quarterfinal, striking out 11. In the region semifinal, he shut out high-scoring Pasco 3-0, and in the region final, he pitched eight innings and struck out nine in a 6-3 win over North Marion before losing at state to eventual champion Jesuit. His postseason numbers: 3-1, 28.1 innings pitched, 16 hits allowed, 29 strikeouts and a 1.21 ERA.
Did you know? Castillo was born in New Jersey and moved here in the third grade.
Future plans: Castillo is still undecided on his next step, but coach Dick Rohrberg says he has some junior college interest and options.
Coach of the year
Dick Rohrberg, Sunlake. If you were to put together a list of all the teams expected to have a chance for the state semifinals in Fort Myers, would Sunlake have been on it? Even late in the season right before districts? But the aggressive-minded Rohrberg made all the right moves as he led the 20-10 Seahawks to their best season ever.
P Sean Fluke, Sr., Fivay: Led the North Suncoast with 103 strikeouts in 77.2 innings, finishing 7-4 with a 1.62 ERA. In three of four losses, Falcons did not score.
P Kyle Kilbourne, Sr., Hernando: Was 9-2 with 1.12 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 69 innings. Allowed more than one earned run just once all season.
P Malik Johns, Sr., Pasco: Pirates’ big-game arm notched wins over Hernando and Land O’Lakes (in the playoffs) and nearly surprised Sunlake in region semifinal; also was the spark plug at the top of Pasco’s order.
P David Flowers, Sr., Hernando: Was 7-1 with a 1.64 ERA; lost only game by a 1-0 score.
INF K.J. Bierly, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Batted .447 and led the Wildcats with eight doubles, three homers and 26 RBIs.
INF Cobi Johnson, Sr., Mitchell: Florida State signee led the Mustangs with 11 doubles, batted .409 and struck out 57.
INF Corey Mumaw, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Led the Wildcats with .451 average and only struck out twice in last 92 plate appearances.
INF Mike Campoamor, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Slick-fielding shortstop and Furman signee led the Bulls in average (.416), hits (32), RBIs (23) and homers (four).
C Austin Treverton, Sr., Hernando: North Suncoast leader with 14 doubles to go with 1.285 OPS, .397 batting average.
OF A.J. Rainaldi, Sr., Pasco: Found his power groove late and finished second for the Pirates in average (.377), RBIs (26), doubles (6) and first in homers with four.
OF Connor Stephens, Jr., Land O’Lakes: Had a hit in 23 of his 27 games, including six triples, resulting in a team-best .381 batting average.
OF Justin Young, Jr., Hernando: Led the Leopards, No. 1 for most of the season, with 30 RBIs and 11 extra-base hits, including four homers.
DH T.J. Niles, Sr., Fivay: Batted .425 with seven doubles and three triples, and stole 15 bases. In the field, committed just one error.
UTIL Zach Drury, Sr. Wiregrass Ranch: Threw a no-hitter in the district final and his strikeouts per inning (1.47) was tops on the North Suncoast; hit .356 with three homers.
P Trevor McKenna, Sr., Central
P Tommy Guglielmello, Jr., Land O’Lakes
P Kyle Blakeney, So., Mitchell
P Carson Ragsdale, So., Bishop McLaughlin
INF Thomas Sorrentino, Jr., Central
INF Omar Cala, Sr., Sunlake
INF Kyle Frick, So., Mitchell
INF Chris Lake, Sr., Nature Coast
C Turner Imhoff, Sr., Pasco
OF Robbie Hanlon, Sr., Pasco
OF Zac Howard, Sr., Sunlake
OF Alex Reynolds, Jr., Land O’Lakes
DH Devon Woodward, Sr., River Ridge
UTIL Austin Drury, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
Bishop McLaughlin: Paul Coumoulos, Dillon Morton
Central: Matthew Clark
Fivay: Jarred Mattos
Hernando: Tanner Bammert
Hudson: Cody Kimble
Land O’Lakes: Kirby Osborn, Liam Heaney
Mitchell: Zack Detty, Ryan Slaughter
Nature Coast: John Peloro, Vito Tambasco
Pasco: Tyree Austin
Ridgewood: Tommy Moschner
River Ridge: Tyler Hawks, Rocco Iervasi, Gage Ledford
Springstead: Eric Correa, Kyle Cotilletta, Miguel Martinez
Sunlake: Colton King, Zac Scranton, Ryan Talburt
Wesley Chapel: Dakota Caldwell, Michael Jones
Wiregrass Ranch: Alex Goebel
Zephyrhills: James DeBerry