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Pinellas County high school baseball teams at a glance

Boca Ciega

Coach: Russell Fisher (first season).

1991 record: 8-17.

Key players: Dennis Black, Sr., 3B; Matt Weaver, Sr., C; Keith Medosch, Jr., SS; Ryan Mullen, Jr., RHP; Robbie Polk, Sr., RHP; Clint Chrysler, Soph., 1B.

Outlook: Fisher comes to a once-prominent program in hopes of turning the Pirates back into winners again. "We must move on," Fisher said, "and learn how to win again." Chrysler is quickly developing into a powerful hitter who could help lead that surge.

Countryside

Coach: Scott Miller (first season at Countryside; 10th overall).

1991 record: 4-21.

Key players: Chris Heintz, Sr., SS; Case Korpan, Sr., CF; Scott Holmes, Sr., C; Trey Ciccotti, Soph., RHP/IF; Joe Novarro, Jr., 1B.

Outlook: Miller said he was looking for a different kind of challenge upon transferring from Northeast. He will find it since the Cougars have won only five games in the past two years. "I want to resurrect this program," Miller said. "Generate interest again.".

Dixie Hollins

Coach: Tim Wiszowaty (second season).

1991 record: 19-8 (PCAC champions).

Key players: Jeremy McConnell, Sr., RHP/1B; Pat Hawk, Sr., CF; Jason Pierce, Soph., SS; Josh Waulk, Sr., C; Rusty Toelken, Sr., RHP; Andre Mallory, Fr., RHP.

Outlook: Surprising 6-5 right-hander Toelken will be the Rebels' No. 1 starter and a key to their season. Toelken has never played baseball but Wiszowaty said he is learning how to pitch quickly. Dixie Hollins lost seven starters and will need heavy contributions from McConnell and Hawk since 6-6 junior first baseman Brennan Hervey twisted his right knee playing recreational soccer and is lost for the season. Pitchers Sean Ward and George Montgomery are academically ineligible and will miss the first few games.

Northeast

Coach: Paul Costello (first year at Northeast; sixth overall).

1991 record: 15-13.

Key players: Matt Schafer, Sr., C; Luke Lipan, Sr., SS; John Bennett, Sr., 3B; Jeff D'Amico, Jr., RHP/3B; Travis Smith, Sr., LHP/1B; Shawn Austin, Jr., LHP; Mark Taylor, Sr., LHP.

Outlook: The Vikings are loaded with pitching. The 6-6 D'Amico is considered one of the top pitchers in the county and a major prospect. He also is agile, a switch-hitter and can play shortstop. Smith, Austin and Taylor make up an excellent trio of left-handers. Despite the strong rotation, Costello is hoping Schafer can lead the team offensively.

Dunedin

Coach: Greg Nichols (21st season).

1991 record: 24-7 (won district and region).

Key players: Darren Bush, Sr., CF; Caleb Hamilton, Sr., RHP/OF; John Hendrick, Sr., SS; Jimi Huffman, Sr., 2B; Brad Jackson, Sr., C.

Outlook: Nichols has a solid group of returnees who know how to win. Bush is considered by many experts to be the best hitter in the county, and Hamilton, Hendrick, Huffman and Jackson are experienced winners. "We don't have one or two top players," Nichols said. "We have several all-around players who can go out and win."

Pinellas Park

Coach: Sam Chapman (second season).

1991 record: 18-6.

Key players: Jamie Kelly, Sr., 3B; Mike Kalous, Sr., RHP; Matt Delancey, Sr., RHP; Rob Peck, Sr., 1B; Erel Kern, Sr., 2B; Chris Masterson, Jr., CF; Jason Kelly, Jr., LF.

Outlook: Kalous, Delancey and right-hander Kurt Thonen form a good pitching rotation. Kelly, who was a Times all-county first-team selection last year, must produce offensively along with Peck.

Seminole

Coach: Bill Brinker (25th season).

1991 record: 22-8.

Key players: Sean McClellan, Sr., RHP/LF; David Burns, Jr., RHP; Eric Ondrey, Sr., SS; R.J. Hendricks, Sr., C; Brett McKee, Jr., RHP/1B; Greg Hillengas, Jr., OF; Greg Pacitti, Jr., OF; Kurt Bultmann, Fr., 2B.

Outlook: With the best 1-2 pitching combination in the county and six starters returning, the Warhawks are leading contenders to win the PCAC. Behind McClellan and Burns, McKee gives Seminole depth on the mound and freshman Gary Fecarotta could help if he becomes academically eligible two weeks into the season. Still, Brinker will need Hillengas, Pacitti, Steve Wicks, Hendricks, Ondrey and McClellan to produce offensively.

Clearwater

Coach: Roger Tremblay (second season).

1991 record: 12-15.

Key players: Chad Gambill, Jr., CF; Ryan Bazemore, Sr., C; Bobby Padgett, Sr., 2B; Jason Dall, Jr., LHP; Mike Mays, Soph., RHP; Jeremy Fondren, Sr., RHP, Ben McGee, Jr., 3B.

Outlook: Gambill is an explosive hitter and already is being tabbed as a major-league prospect by area scouts. He must produce for the Tornadoes to be successful. Clearwater also needs good years from Fondren, Mays and Dall.

Gibbs

Coach: Mike Hale (first season).

1991 record: 17-7.

Key players: Cory Brown, Sr., OF/RHP; Eric Byrd, Sr., C; Jeff Shields, Sr., 2B; Mike Fee, Soph., RHP; Ray Bolinder, Jr., OF; Brian McDowell, Sr., OF.

Outlook: Brown, who has been named to the Times all-county first-team two straight years, is considered the best player in the county. A premier pitcher, he also is being touted for his ability to hit from either side of the plate. Shields, Bolinder and Byrd form a potentially dangerous offense. Matt Tumulty and Matt King are two freshmen who could help the Gladiators instantly.

Largo

Coach: Randy Morzenti (first season).

1991 record: 15-14.

Key players: Billy Zeits, Sr., 3B; Allen Mortham, Sr., OF/RHP; Geoff Poggendick, Jr., RHP ; George Bretting, Jr., RHP; Josh Meurer, Fr., OF; Bobby Van Duyne, Fr., 2B.

Outlook: Morzenti wants to establish a future for the Packers, who have gone through several coaching changes the past few years. Poggendick and Bretting are underrated pitchers who could help bolster the Packers' needs. Zeits must demonstrate leadership for the Packers to show improvement.

East Lake

Coach: Lee Byers (second season at East Lake; 16th overall).

1991 record: 18-13 (district champions).

Key players: Ted Elliott, Sr., C; Dan Wooley, Sr., OF; Lenny Lilja, Sr., OF/LHP; Mark Perez, Sr., SS; Chad Ricketts, Jr., RHP; Chuck Brindle, Jr., RHP.

Outlook: According to Byers, Elliott appears ready to have a monstrous year. He is a top prospect and has worked hard on improving his defensive skills behind the plate. Lilja, who has accepted a scholarship with West Point, is expected to be a key starter on the mound.

Osceola

Coach: Mark Deruzzo (sixth season).

1991 record: 4-20.

Key players: Mike Leach, Soph., RHP/1B; Phil Dillmore, Soph., CF; Alex Falor, Sr., RHP/2B; David Peleshuck, Jr., 3B; Matt Sibe, Soph., 2B.

Outlook: The Warriors have nine sophomores and six freshmen who will see lots of action. The inexperience will require that everyone produce if Osceola is to improve upon last year's mark.

St. Petersburg

Coach: Mark Maloney (third season).

1991 record: 15-12.

Key players: Brent Hoover, Sr., RHP/OF; Neil Stephens, Sr., 2B; Dan Topping, Soph., C; Lucas Smith, Jr., RHP; Don Ritter, Jr., OF/1B; Pat Saxman, Jr., RHP/OF; Tommy Kidwell, Soph., SS.

Outlook: The Green Devils are loaded with players who have been together for many years. Hoover, Smith and Saxman make up an excellent pitching rotation. Topping is emerging as one of the best young players in the county. St. Petersburg could be a sleeper.

Lakewood

Coach: Richard Uhlman (first season).

1991 record: 6-14.

Key players: Jason Haynie, Sr., RHP; Chip Lawrence, Sr., SS; Brian Seibert, Sr., RHP/1B; Duane Fuller, Sr., RHP/OF; Jon Adams, Soph., 3B; Billy DeCola, Soph., C.

Outlook: Uhlman replaces Mike Jacobs, who was at Lakewood 20 years. The transition will be made smoother with the leadership of Haynie and Lawrence. Haynie also is considered the best left-handed pitcher in the county. Three sophomores _ DeCola, Adams and Randy Roeser _ must contribute instantly if Lakewood is to improve.

Tarpon Springs

Coach: Scott DeCatur (seventh season).

1991 record: 6-18.

Key players: Tony Price, Sr., OF; Mike Reth, Sr., C; Chris Carlo, Sr., INF; Craig Dour, Jr., Inf.

Outlook: Carlo, who has gone 7-for-8 in two games this year, could be a pleasant surprise for the inexperienced Spongers. Tarpon Springs lacks pitching but has a good offensive lineup.

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