High school baseball rankings for Tampa Bay

Jesuit stays on top, while Mitchell and Wharton also continue to win.
Bennett Lee and the bulk of the Jesuit lineup have already had plenty of pop at the plate this season.
Bennett Lee and the bulk of the Jesuit lineup have already had plenty of pop at the plate this season. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Published Mar. 3, 2020

1. Jesuit (4-0)

This week: Tuesday at Jefferson, Thursday at Blake, Friday vs. Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian

The scoop: As expected, offense has not been a problem. Through four games, the Tigers have averaged about 10 runs per game. They’ve already hit seven doubles and six triples. Jalen Niles, Bennett Lee, B.J. Graham, Cole Russo, Bradke Lohry, Nick Rodriguez and Henry Politz are all hitting well over .300. FL Calvary Christian should be a challenge this week.

Related: Defending state champ. National No. 1. It’s good to be Jesuit baseball

2. Mitchell (5-0)

This week: Friday vs. East Lake

The scoop: It’s early, but the Mustangs are rolling. They have outscored opponents 42-10 through five games. Junior Keaton Howard is hitting .438 in 20 at-bats, senior Jackson Miller .500 in 22 at-bats and Mitchell .344 as a team. Mason Miller and Adam Bingham have been the main pitchers thus far.

Related: High school baseball players to keep an eye on in Tampa Bay

3. Wharton (4-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sickles, Thursday at Plant, Saturday at Riverview

The scoop: The Wildcats got a 3-2 win over Alonso last week and followed that with a 7-0 victory over Palm Harbor University. Junior Dylan McDonald is off to a hot start with a .538 average, three doubles and a home run. Fellow junior Frank Micallef isn’t far behind with a .429 average. Senior Carson Caso has already pitched 10 innings and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts.

4. Calvary Christian (4-1)

Calvary Christian's Tommy White has had plenty of reasons to celebrate his hot offensive start to the season.
Calvary Christian's Tommy White has had plenty of reasons to celebrate his hot offensive start to the season. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

This week: Tuesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Thursday at Berkeley Prep, Saturday vs. Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian (Spectrum Field)

The scoop: The Warriors lost a game! They don’t do that often, but playing at Venice is not easy. Junior Tommy White is off to a scorching start. He is hitting .500 with 10 RBIs and two home runs. Pitching is going to be the key. So far, junior Tyler Dietz is 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA.

Related: Calvary Christian: 55 and counting

5. East Lake (4-1)

This week: Thursday vs. Northeast, Friday at Mitchell

The scoop: The Eagles have now won four straight after dropping the season opener to Clearwater. This is a light week, but also a difficult one. Both Northeast and Mitchell can swing it, so the deep pitching staff will likely be tested. Josh Pigozzo is leading the offense with a .500 average. Otherwise, the Eagles are hitting .180 as a team. When the offense catches up with the pitching, watch out.

6. Berkeley Prep (5-0)

This week: Tuesday at Carrollwood Day, Thursday vs. Calvary Christian, Friday vs. Tampa Catholic

The scoop: The Bucs have been really good in the first five games, outscoring opponents 30-5. The big win last week was 2-0 over Clearwater Central Catholic. Freshman Cade Kurland is hitting .533 and senior Trey Hinchliffe is hitting .455. Will Parkinson is the ace with 11 ⅓ innings pitched with 0.00 ERA and 20 strikeouts.

7. Northeast (4-1)

This week: Thursday at East Lake, Friday vs. Pinellas Park

The scoop: The Vikings will get an early-season challenge at East Lake this week. They have been swinging the bat well to start the season. Senior Cameron Collier and junior Nate Cannizzaro are both hitting over .400. Sophomore Amai Rivera-Martinez is hitting .529. Northeast has a .366 team batting average.

8. Bloomingdale (3-1)

This week: Tuesday at Lennard, Thursday at Durant

The scoop: The Bulls had no trouble against Robinson and East Bay last week. That could be the case again this week. Senior Dominic Gonnella (.467) and junior Gabe Garrett (.417) are leading the offense so far. Brock Wilken has two home runs despite a .167 average. Pitching depth is also a strength. Jack Owens, David Eckaus and Riley Moore have thrown a bulk of the innings so far.

Related: What’s with all the power hitters in Tampa Bay this season?

9. Sickles (4-1)

This week: Tuesday at Wharton, Thursday vs. Alonso, Saturday at Strawberry Crest

The scoop: The Gryphons have rattled off four straight wins after dropping the season opener to Newsome in extra innings. They have hit the ball well, with Tyler Green leading the offense with a .571 average. Chase Centala has pitched well as expected. He has a 0.00 ERA in 9 ⅔ innings pitched, striking out 12. Bobby Christy and Holden Wade have are also holding their own on the mound.

10. Plant City (3-1)

Expect the hitting to come around soon for Tyler Dowdy and Plant City.
Expect the hitting to come around soon for Tyler Dowdy and Plant City. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

This week: Tuesday vs. Leto, Thursday at Tampa Bay Tech,

The scoop: The defending state champs got a big 3-2 win in extra innings over Strawberry Crest, a rematch of last year’s state title game. Another big game this week against Leto. Offense has been a bit of a struggle. The Raiders are only hitting .172 through four games. That likely will change. Jarod Wingo and Tyler Dowdy have anchored the pitching staff. Wingo has 30 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Related: State baseball: Plant City wins community battle for first title

11. Land O’Lakes (4-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. River Ridge, Thursday at Weeki Wachee, Friday at Fivay

The scoop: The Gators have three shutouts in their four wins. That indicates good pitching. Senior Patrick Groark and junior Brian Holiday have each pitched over 10 innings and have given up just one run. They have a combined 36 strikeouts. A three-game week may test the pitching depth.

12. Leto (3-1)

This week: Tuesday at Plant City, Thursday vs. East Bay

The scoop: The lone loss so far was in extra innings to a good Middleton team. The bats went silent in that game, but came alive again in a 13-0 win over Tampa Bay Tech to end the week. Shabazz Brumley, Brayan Cruz and RJ Gutierrez are all hitting .400 or better. Freshman Brian Rivera has pitched nine innings and has a 0.78 ERA.

13. Osceola (4-1)

This week: Tuesday at Countryside, Thursday vs. Seminole, Friday vs. Largo

The scoop: Throw out a 10-0 win over Dixie Hollins, and the Warriors have played four games decided by one run, winning three of them. The latest was a 3-2, nine-inning win over Dunedin. Now comes three games in four days, including one against neighborhood rival Seminole. Corey Braun is hitting .385 and is also 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA. Aaron Deegan is 1-1 with a 0.88 ERA.

14. Seminole (4-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Pinellas Park, Thursday at Osceola, Friday vs. Countryside

The scoop: Last week was not overly challenge, but that changes this week. The Warriors handled Bradenton Southeast and Dixie Hollins, but Osceola and Countryside back-to-back will be telling. Cade McHugh and Tyler Strickland are both hitting over .400. Sophomore Braedon Cochran has been a good addition to the pitching staff. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 8 ⅔ innings pitched.

15. Middleton (4-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. King, Thursday at Armwood

The scoop: The Tigers won six games all of last season. They are well on their way to bettering that. The season started with a loss to Hillsborough, but they won four straight after that, including an extra inning win over Leto. Sophomore Remer McIntyre Jr. is hitting .571 with a double, triple and a home run. Malikk Brown has pitched 12 innings and has 18 strikeouts.

On the bubble

Pasco (4-0), River Ridge (2-0), Hillsborough (4-1), Robinson (3-1), Palm Harbor University (2-2), Newsome (3-2), Bishop McLaughlin (2-1), Dunedin (2-2), Springstead (4-1), Indian Rocks Christian (3-1), Armwood (3-1)