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Fri. June 11, 2010 | Times Staff

Player of the Year
Zack Powers, Sr., Armwood

Pitcher of the Year
Daniel Gibson, Sr., Jesuit

After leading their respective teams deep into the postseason, Gibson and Powers could be roommates in the next few months. No word yet on who gets the top bunk, but if both decide to turn their back on pro draft prospects, they will be teammates — and roommates — at Florida -- the latest in a line of recent bay area standouts to thrive in orange and blue. It’s still early but both have made clear their emphasis on education and playing for the Gators, which explains their drop in pro stock. Gibson was drafted in the 26th round by the Brewers in last week’s MLB first-year player draft. Powers was taken two rounds later by the Pirates.
Gibson came to Jesuit as the latest in a long line of power arms to play for the Tigers. Promise aside, his senior season was a culmination of competitiveness, hard work and steady progress. “He had that talent coming in,” Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. “But a lot was left up to him. He’s worked as hard as anybody here over our four years here.” An imposing left-hander, his mid 90s fastball was complemented by some wicked breaking stuff and led to 129 Ks in 892/3 innings. He learned not to overthrow, which made him a valuable asset in the postseason, when he started all five region and state games, leading Jesuit to the Class 4A title game and going 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA in the process. On the season, he won his first 14 decisions, his only loss coming in his last high school game, and pitched to a 1.64 ERA.
As for Powers, he was a position player who turned into a pitcher. The Hawks starting shortstop was their No. 2 last season, but as a senior he found his stride as the staff ace, going 9-1 with a 1.51 ERA and holding batters to a .138 average. As he helped the Hawks to their first Class 4A state title game, he was 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in the postseason, including two complete-game wins. In Armwood’s second straight state tournament appearance, he took the Hawks to the next step, pitching a complete-game four-hitter in the state semifinal. As the plate, he hit .411 as the Hawks’ No. 3 batter, hitting seven doubles, three homers and 18 RBIs. Whether his next step is college or pro ball, he projects to be a third baseman, but Hawks coach Mike Wrenn said otherwise. “I think he can do both,” he said. “He’s been a hard worker since Day One.”

First team
P Taylor Layner, Jr., Osceola: Second in Pinellas County with 112 Ks; 8-2 with 2.36 ERA
P Jose Fernandez, Jr., Alonso: Struck out one of 2.7 batters he faced; 10-1 with 0.87 ERA
P Marc Brakeman, So., Shorecrest: Led Pinellas County with 115 Ks and helped Chargers reach Class 2A state final
P Cole Miraglia, Sr., Wesley Chapel: North Suncoast Pitcher of the Year; 1.49 ERA, 9-1, 95 Ks
C Spencer Bowles, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Hit .453 with 34 hits, 35 RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple and three home runs
IF Joey Krehbiel, Jr., Seminole: Pinellas County POY hit .476 with six HRs and 20 RBIs
IF Mike Danner, Sr., Gaither: Led county with 40 RBIs, had 18 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles
IF Casey Turgeon, Jr., Dunedin: Florida recruit hit .429 and led Pinellas with eight HRs
IF Alex Norris, Sr., Dunedin: Florida Gulf Coast signee was 8-1 on mound, hit .351
OF James Ramsay, Sr., Brandon: USF recruit owns sweet swing, hit .419 year after ACL injury
OF Tyler Alexander, Sr., Armwood: His bat blossomed as a senior. Led the Hawks with 32 RBIs
OF Michael Tipton, Jr., Dunedin: Leadoff hitter batted .388, second best on team
DH Tyler Ding, Sr., Alonso: County’s top hitter; hit .429, many gaps along the way
Util Lance McCullers, So., Jesuit: Led heavy-hitting Jesuit lineup with .457 average, county-high four triples

Second team
P Peter Miller, Sr., Cambridge
P Kraig Richmond, Sr., Clearwater
P Cameron Ellis, Sr., Durant
P Thomas Dorminy, Sr., Alonso
C Roderick Shoulders, Sr., Brandon
IF Ian Townsend, Jr., Hernando
F Sean O’Brien, Sr., Clearwater
IF Geoff Degroot, Jr., Wesley Chapel
IF Josciel Veras, Sr., King
OF Louis Colaiacomo, Jr., Hernando
OF Roche Woodard, Jr., Hillsborough
OF Morgan Cowan, Sr., East Lake
DH Stan Rowe, Sr., Plant
Util Chad Witkowski, Jr., Steinbrenner

Honorable mention
Armwood: Josh Spano; Bishop McLaughlin: David Heintz; Brooks-DeBartolo: Jadamion Williams; Countryside: Daniel Torres; Dunedin: Mike Clarkson; Gaither: Brady North; Jesuit: Nick Iacovella; King: Devin Smith; Land O’Lakes: Jason Garcia; Mitchell: Kevin Games; Osceola: Scott Schlapinski; Pasco: Brennan Allen; Trey Dudley-Giles; Pinellas Park: Kaleb Paulton; St. Petersburg: Tyler Moll; SP Catholic: Tim McKay; Seminole: Tim Lamoureux; Springstead: Jack Diven; Tampa Catholic: Shane Rowland; Wiregrass Ranch: John Michael Gant, Josh Johnson, Cyler Porter

Coach of the Year
Jim Macaluso, King

His fellow coaches nicknamed him the mayor of Temple Terrace. A King grad, his 35th year as Lions head coach was his most successful. He led a team that found itself after a pair of one-run losses in the Saladino Tournament. The Lions went on to win eight straight en route to the school’s first state tournament appearance, beating powers Gaither, Manatee, Venice and Seminole along the way with stingy pitching, stellar defense and heart that characterized their coach.

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