Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings

1. Calvary Christian (19-0)

This week: Tuesday at Carrollwood Day, Wednesday vs. St. Petersburg, Friday vs. Jesuit

Scoop: Each week seems like it could be the week the Warriors pick up their first loss. It hasn't happened yet, but … this week is tough. All three teams on this week's schedule can test the Warriors' depth.

2. Jesuit (19-3)

This week: Tuesday vs. IMG, Friday at Calvary Christian

Scoop: Only one game last week for the Tigers, and that was a 12-4 win over Jefferson. Calvary Christian is the big game this week. Jesuit is hitting .330 and is led by McGuire Weaver (.409) and Duncan Hunter (.400). Jack Anderson has been the main starter. He has 45 strikeouts in 32 ⅓ innings.

3. Springstead (19-2)

This week: Tuesday at Bishop McLaughlin, Thursday-Friday Bishop tournament

Scoop: The Eagles opened the week with a 6-2 win over Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons on Monday in the Bishop McLaughlin tournament. They have won 11 straight.

4. East Lake (15-3)

This week: Tuesday-Friday at Dunedin Spring tournament

Scoop: The Eagles open up with Inspiration Academy of Bradenton in the Dunedin Spring tournament. East Lake won this tournament last year thanks to pitching depth, and the depth is there again.

5. Plant (16-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Strawberry Crest, Thursday at Jefferson

Scoop: The Panthers are hoping to bounce back from a 7-6 loss to Hillsborough. They have already locked up the three-team Class 8A, District 5, so the final two weeks are all about getting the pitching straight and keeping the offense on track.

6. Mitchell (16-3)

This week: Thursday at Pasco, Friday vs. River Ridge

Scoop: This week is already off to a good start after a 6-5, eight-inning win over Zephyrhills. Justin Koehler leads the way offensively with a .388 average and 13 RBIs. Jakob Mattos is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA.

7. Brandon (14-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. East Bay, Thursday at Leto

Scoop: The Eagles are 2-2 in their past four games, so the final two weeks are about getting some momentum before districts. The offense has played well and B.J. Carter has been an ace on the mound. He is 3-1 with a 0.00 ERA in 41 ⅔ innings.

8. Northside Christian (17-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sarasota Out-of-Door, Friday vs. Bradenton Christian

Scoop: The Mustangs bounced back nicely from an extra-innings loss to Calvary Christian by winning two straight. The games this week are both Class 3A, District 5 games. A win against any team will clinch the top seed.

9. Hillsborough (13-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom, Thursday at East Bay, Friday vs. Blake

Scoop: The Terriers have won eight straight, including a one-run win over Plant last week. There is no reason they should slow down this week. Jarrod Cande is hitting .389 with three home runs to lead the offense. He is also 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA.

10. Strawberry Crest (13-5)

This week: Tuesday at Plant, Thursday vs. Riverview

Scoop: The Chargers hit the wall last week, with two shutout losses to Steinbrenner and Wharton. That makes three losses in the past four games. This week doesn't get any easier.

11. Alonso (15-5)

This week: Tuesday vs. King, Thursday vs. Gaither, Saturday at Plant City

Scoop: A tough 1-0 loss to Plant was followed by a 7-2 win over Riverview last week. The Ravens have already clinched the top seed in Class 9A, District 8. Senior Jordan Butler is hitting .500 with six home runs and is 7-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

12. Steinbrenner (14-5)

This week: Thursday vs. Chamberlain

Scoop: Just one game this week for the Warriors. They have won two straight, including a 5-3, eight-inning win over Gaither. Jordan Lala still leads the offense with a .404 average.

13. Northeast (14-6)

This week: Tuesday-Friday at Dunedin Spring tournament.

Scoop: The Vikings find themselves in the loser's bracket of the Dunedin tournament after an extra -innings loss to Indian Rocks Christian. They have been hitting and pitching well this season and this week the pitching staff will get plenty of work.

14. Countryside (15-6)

This week: Wednesday at Clearwater

Scoop: The Cougars got a nice 3-2 win over Osceola on Monday. They finished second behind East Lake in Class 8A, District 7. Jared Solomon is the top offensive player with a .411 average. Austin Mathews has pitched 54 innings and is 1-1 with a 1.43 ERA.

15. Carrollwood Day (15-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Calvary Christian, Friday vs. Tampa Prep

Scoop: The Patriots started the week with a loss to Seffner Christian. It doesn't get any easier against unbeaten Calvary Christian.

16. Clearwater Central Catholic (11-6)

This week: Tuesday-Friday at Dunedin Spring tournament

Scoop: The Marauders started the Dunedin tournament with an impressive win over Boca Ciega. They have been a little up and down lately, but a good showing this week could be a sign of things to come in the district tournament.

17. Riverview (15-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Robinson, Thursday at Strawberry Crest

Scoop: The Sharks have won six straight. Freddy Tarnok is hitting .396 with seven doubles. Tyler Salomon isn't far behind with a .383 average. Tarnok has also been good on the mound with a 4-0 record and a 0.54 ERA.

18. Nature Coast (14-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Miami Belen Jesuit (Bishop tournament), Wednesday-Friday at Bishop tournament

Scoop: The Sharks beat IMG 4-2 to start the Bishop tournament. Belen Jesuit will be a tough game, and the pitching depth will be challenged the rest of the week.

19. Land O'Lakes (13-6)

This week: Tuesday at River Ridge, Thursday vs. Wiregrass Ranch

Scoop: The Gators have won three straight, including a 6-5, nine-inning win over Pasco last week. McCabe Sargent is hitting .469 with four home runs for a team that has a .325 average. If the pitching holds up, the Gators could have a nice postseason.

20. Jefferson (12-6)

This week: Tuesday at Chamberlain, Thursday vs. Plant

Scoop: A five-game win streak was snapped with a loss to Jesuit. That was followed by a win over Lennard on Thursday. The Dragons are second in Class 6A, District 8 behind Jesuit.

21. Gaither (12-7)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sickles, Thursday at Alonso

Scoop: The Cowboys will try to bounce back from an extra-innings loss to Steinbrenner. Jose Cadenas (.464, two home runs) and Chipper Holland (.407) are tearing the cover off the ball. Anthony Alvarez is 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA.

22. Indian Rocks Christian (14-5-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Indian Rocks Christian, Wednesday-Friday at Dunedin Spring tournament

Scoop: Yes, the Golden Eagles have a tie. It was 2-2 last week in 11 innings against Sarasota Out-of-Door. They got a nice 4-2, eight inning win over Northeast on Monday in the Dunedin Spring tournament. Pitching, behind Oakley Albinson, Collin Booten and Aaron Ackerman, has been a strength.

23. Newsome (12-7)

This week: Tuesday at Bloomingdale, Thursday vs. Plant City

Scoop: The Wolves have won four straight. Cody Shook is hitting .340 for a team that struggles to hit. Beau Nichols is 5-2 with a 0.97 ERA.

24. Hernando (12-7)

This week: Tuesday at Hudson, Wednesday at Weeki Wachee, Friday vs. Central

Scoop: This should be a good week for the Leopards to start a winning streak. They end the season with six games in two weeks, so they'll have plenty of baseball before districts start.

25. Cambridge Christian (16-4)

This week: Tuesday at Bradenton Southeast, Saturday vs. Gulf Coast HEAT

Scoop: The Lancers, all 15 strong, finished second in Class 3A, District 4 and could make some noise in the postseason. Austin Hessinger is hitting .357 and Michael McCarty is 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA.

On the bubble: Seffner Christian (12-4), St. Petersburg (12-6), River Ridge (11-7), Canterbury (15-4), King (13-8), Robinson (11-9), Dunedin (12-8)

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