HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings

Berkeley Prep's Julian Bosnic is a force on the mound and at the plate for the Bucs. Taken 2-26-16 by Scott Purks
Berkeley Prep's Julian Bosnic is a force on the mound and at the plate for the Bucs. Taken 2-26-16 by Scott Purks
Published Mar. 7, 2017

1. Steinbrenner (5-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Plant, Thursday vs. Hillsborough, Saturday vs. East Bay (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: Dating to last season, the Warriors have won 19 straight games (14 straight to end 2016). This week is a tricky one, with two quality opponents heading into the Saladino tournament. Pitching will be key.

2. Jesuit (4-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Robinson, Saturday vs. Sickles (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The offense exploded last week. They outscored opponents 38-0 in three games, including a 6-0 win over Gainesville. They are in the Saladino tournament this year, a rarity, and they likely have something to prove.

3. Berkeley Prep (4-1)

This week: Tuesday at Calvary Christian, Wednesday at Lakewood Ranch, Friday vs. Tampa Catholic

Scoop: The Bucs suffered their first loss, 3-2 to Gainesville. It's right back at it this week. Calvary Christian and Tampa Catholic are district games, and Lakewood Ranch is no slouch. Julian Bosnic is off to a scorching start. He is hitting .500 and is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA.

4. East Lake (4-1)

This week: Wednesday at Pinellas Park, Friday vs. St. Petersburg

Scoop: The Eagles bounced back from a one-run loss to Lakeland by beating rivals Seminole and Palm Harbor University. Nic Daniels threw a complete game two-hitter in the win over PHU. On Monday, East Lake beat Largo 11-5.

5. Northside Christian (5-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Admiral Farragut, Thursday at Bradenton St. Stephen's

Scoop: There is a lot of depth at Northside Christian. The Mustangs won three games last week and won with three different starting pitchers. Ace Corey Yawn got his first appearance of the season on Saturday against Sarasota Out-of-Door. Once he gets some start, Yawn and Brendan Tracy should be a tough 1-2 combination.

6. Calvary Christian (6-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Berkeley Prep, Saturday vs. Tarpon Springs

Scoop: The Warriors picked up a nice 2-1 win over rival Clearwater Central Catholic on Friday. That was followed by a 5-1 win over Atlanta Lovett on Monday. They are hitting .379 as a team and have a 0.42 ERA. That will win plenty of games if that holds up.

7. Mitchell (4-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sunlake, Thursday vs. Gulf, Friday at Clearwater

Scoop: The Mustangs are a scrappy group with just enough hitting and pitching to win the district. Jakob Mattos had a nice complete-game win over Osceola on Friday. Sunlake on Tuesday will be the key game this week.

8. Countryside (5-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Seminole, Thursday at Dunedin, Saturday at IMG Academy

Scoop: The Cougars stayed undefeated with a 4-3, eight-inning win over St. Petersburg last week. Seminole is the district game this week, but all three will be tough.

9. Land O'Lakes (3-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Zephyrhills, Thursday at Wesley Chapel,

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Scoop: The Gators stayed undefeated with wins over Hudson and Fivay. This week's games are both against district foes, so they can make an early move prior to spring break.

10. Seminole (5-1)

This week: Tuesday at Countryside, Friday at Lakeland George Jenkins, Saturday at Winter Haven

Scoop: The Warhawks will be road warriors this week, including a team bonding trip to Polk County over the weekend. The lone loss was to district opponent East Lake.

11. King (4-1)

This week: Tuesday at Gaither, Thursday vs. Leto, Saturday vs. Riverview (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The Lions got coach Jim Macaluso his 600th career win last week. That was followed by a 5-0 loss to Robinson on Saturday. Anthony Azpeitia is hitting .400 with four RBIs and two doubles. Brian Lee is 3-0 with a 0.58 ERA in 12 innings.

12. Alonso (2-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom, Thursday vs. Palm Harbor University, Saturday vs. Brooks DeBartolo (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: Last week was more like it for the Ravens. They won two straight to get some wins on the board. Pitching has been good, but a .218 team batting average has to improve.

13. Brandon (3-1)

This week: Tuesday at Lennard, Thursday vs. Braden River, Saturday vs. Carrollwood Day (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The lone loss was in extra innings to Tampa Bay Tech, its first win of the season. Nico Saladino is the top hitter with a .467 average. B.J. Carter has thrown 10 innings and has yet to give up a run.

14. Plant (3-1)

This week: Tuesday at Steinbrenner, Saturday vs. Plant City (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The Panthers shutout Sickles 7-0 last week behind the pitching of Brock Fagler and Connor Scott. Scott is hitting .451 with three home runs.

15. Hillsborough (2-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Chamberlain, Thursday at Steinbrenner, Saturday vs. Blake (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The Terriers are on a two-game losing streak, so they will be motivated this week. Steinbrenner could be a big obstacle, then it's off to the Saladino tournament.

16. Springstead (5-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Weeki Wachee, Thursday at Central, Friday at Dunnellon

Scoop: The Eagles are off to a 3-0 start in Class 6A, District 6. Two more district games await this week. Springstead can put some distance between itself and others in the district prior to spring break.

17. Newsome (3-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Riverview, Thursday at Sarasota Riverview, Saturday vs. Armwood (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The Wolves went 1-2 last week, so they will be looking for some confidence heading into the Saladino tournament.

18. Bishop McLaughlin (3-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Seffner Christian, Thursday-Saturday at Perfect Game tournament

Scoop: The Hurricanes have only given up three runs all season. Dominic Diaz has pitched 11 innings to lead the team and has a 1.91 ERA.

19. Bloomingdale (4-1)

This week: Tuesday at Plant City, Thursday vs. Riverview, Saturday vs. Tampa Bay Tech (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The lone loss was in nine innings to Brandon. Since then the Bulls have won three straight. Cody Wilson is hitting .455 to lead the team. Andrew Tubb is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA.

20. Jefferson (4-0)

This week: Tuesday at Spoto, Thursday vs. Durant, Saturday vs. Chamberlain (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The schedule hasn't been overly demanding, but the Dragons do have a nice win over Robinson. They are a young team with only two seniors, but there is obviously talent throughout the lineup.

21. Riverview (3-1)

This week: Tuesday at Newsome, Thursday at Bloomingdale, Saturday vs. King (Saladino tournament).

Scoop: The Sharks have won three straight. The lone loss was in extra innings against Brandon. They will certainly be a difficult opponent the rest of the season.

22. Sunlake (5-0)

This week: Tuesday at Mitchell, Friday vs. Northeast

Scoop: Nice start to the season for the Seahawks. They picked up a 1-0 district win over Osceola last week. This week brings two more district games against two teams good enough to win it.

23. Gaither (3-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. King, Thursday at Chamberlain, Saturday vs. Lennard (Saladino tournament)

Scoop: The Cowboys have a solid lineup, led by AJ Drisdom and his .571 average. They are deep at pitching, with seven pitchers combining for a 0.80 ERA.

24. Indian Rocks Christian (4-2)

This week: No games scheduled

Scoop: After a rough start, the Golden Eagles have won four straight. Three of the wins are against district opponents. They'll get plenty of rest prior to three games over spring break.

25. Nature Coast (3-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Central

Scoop: The Sharks bounced back from a loss to Hudson by beating Gulf 6-5 on Monday. This week isn't overly taxing, so they should be able to get back on a win streak.

On the bubble: Hernando, Boca Ciega, Robinson, Clearwater Central Catholic, Northeast, Lennard, Cambridge Christian