Spring is the season of optimism. And for the Pinellas' 16 public and private school participating in the county's three spring tournaments, there still is reason to believe they can make a run to the postseason. It all starts this week. Here is the breakdown of the tournaments:
Steve Georgiadis at Seminole
Schedule: Monday — Clearwater vs. Northport, 4; Osceola vs. Berkeley Prep, 7. Tuesday — Boca Ciega vs. Pendleton, 4; Northside Christian vs. Seminole, 7. Wednesday — Loser's bracket games, 4 and 7. Thursday — Semifinals, 4 and 7. Friday — Loser's bracket games, 4 and 7. Saturday — Third-place game, 4; championship, 7
Early matchup to watch: The best one is Tuesday when the host Warhawks play Northside Christian. Both teams made the playoffs last season with Seminole bowing out in the Class 5A region quarterfinals and Northside Christian advancing to the Class 2A region finals. Both are off to strong starts this season.
Matchup we'd like to see: A final between Osceola and Seminole. The teams are crosstown rivals and would draw a huge crowd. And two weeks ago they played one of the best games in the county this season, a 3-2 Osceola victory in 12 innings.
Players to watch: Clearwater — Andrew McCormick, Sean O'Brien; Northside Christian — David Edwards, Ryan McDonald, Kyle Turner, Robbie Williams; Osceola — Mike Boriboun, T.J. Glessner, Taylor Layner, Adam Lewis, Winston Rivas; Seminole — Mike Carlin, Joe Lamoureux, Tim Lamoureux, Mike Martello, Gabe Martello.
Dunedin Tournament (at the Englebert Complex)
Schedule: Monday — Clearwater Central Catholic vs. Tarpon Springs, 5; Countryside vs. Pinellas Park, 5; St. Petersburg Catholic vs. St. Petersburg, 8; Palm Harbor University vs. River Ridge 8. Tuesday — Loser's bracket games, 5 and 8; Tampa Catholic vs. Countryside-Pinellas Park winner, 5; Dunedin vs. SPC-St. Petersburg winner, 8. Wednesday — Winner's bracket games, 5 and 8; loser's bracket games, 5 and 8. Thursday — Loser's bracket games, 6. Friday — Third-place game, 5; championship, 8.
Early matchup to watch: Countryside and Pinellas Park have been among the surprises in the county this season. The Cougars have just one loss in the county. And Pinellas Park has some impressive victories, the biggest against East Lake and Palm Harbor University.
Matchup we'd like to see: The Falcons have made a habit of getting to the championship game of their own tournament. To do so again, they might have to get past Tarpon Springs if both can get through their first-round games. The Spongers are starting to put things together and beat Dunedin by a run this past week.
Players to watch: Clearwater Central Catholic — James Dowdell, Zack Olson, Cody Slaughter; Countryside — Andrew Brodbeck, Sawyer Wilson, Spencer Wilson; Dunedin — Alex Libby, Alex Norris, Ryan Reedy, Casey Turgeon; Palm Harbor U. — Joe Dhani, Zach Sobel, Kyle Westwood; Pinellas Park — Don Norris, Richard Wisniewski; St. Petersburg Catholic — Tim McKay, Justin Tedder; Tarpon Springs — Tommy Orgon, Bobby Woods, Alex Young.
Shorecrest Rally Tournament
Schedule: Wednesday — Largo vs. Lakewood, 1:30; Gibbs vs. Shorecrest, 4. Thursday — Lakewood vs. Gibbs, 1:30; Largo vs. Shorecrest, 4. Friday — Gibbs vs. Largo, 1:30; Lakewood vs. Shorecrest, 4.
Best matchup: The tournament has just four teams and there is no true championship. The big game appears to be on Friday when the host Chargers face Lakewood. They are the only teams in the tournament currently with winning records.
Players to watch: Lakewood — Jordan Lindsay, Brian Replogle, Trayton Thomason; Shorecrest — Marc Brakeman, Spencer Heath, Jon Oorlog, Brent Rasmussen.