The baseball playoffs continue Friday with region quarterfinal games in Classes 7A-6A and 2A. Admission is $7. Here is the schedule with outlooks for each area game, as well as team leaders for each matchup.
Durant (19-5) at Wharton (21-4), 7
The Cougars, the 7A-8 runnerup, had their six-game win streak snapped with a loss to Sarasota Riverview in the district final. Still, despite that setback, Durant was able to secure a playoff berth by beating Lakewood Ranch 11-0 in the semifinals.Sean Hermann led the Cougars, throwing a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. The Wildcats have won six straight, including victories over Alonso (6-2) in the semifinals and Sickles in the final of the 7A-7 district tournament. Elijah Dukes hit a two-run homer against the Ravens and Evan Chrest allowed one earned run and recorded 10 strikeouts in six innings of work against the Gryphons.
|Batting average||Austin Sewell .394||Zach Ehrhard .447|
|RBIs||Dylan LaPointe 19||Elijah Dukes 24|
|Home runs||Luke Scolaro 2||Elijah Dukes 4|
|ERA||Sean Hermann 0.25||Jackson Perkins 0.88|
|Strikeouts||Sean Hermann 109||Ryan Fry 73|
Sickles (15-9) at Sarasota Riverview (18-9), 7
The Rams got hot at the right time, beating Newsome and Durant by a combined 23-3 to win the 7A-8 district title. The Gryphons, the 7A-8 runnerup, advanced with a 2-0 win over Steinbrenner in the semifinals. Holden Wade threw a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts.
|Batting average||Kohl Robertson .475||Clay Russin .433|
|RBIs||Chase Conville 14||Clay Russin 22|
|Home runs||Kohl Robertson 2||Four players with 2|
|ERA||Holden Wade 1.71||Pip Smalley 0.33|
|Strikeouts||Holden Wade 80||Pip Smalley 58|
St. Petersburg (14-8) at Mitchell (21-6), 7
The Green Devils had their seven-game win streak snapped with a loss to Bloomingdale in the 6A-10 final. Still, St. Petersburg made the playoff by beating East Bay 2-0 in the semifinals. Connor Crosby threw a three-hit shutout with five strikeouts against the Indians. The 6A-9 champion Mustangs have won four straight and eight of their last nine. They took the title by beating Sunlake 3-1 in the semifinals and Gaither 7-2 in the final. Ashton Crowther threw 5 ⅔ scoreless innings, allowing three hits and recording seven strikeouts against the Seahawks. Aidan Miller went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored against the Cowboys.
|Batting average||Fletcher Hislop .333||Aidan Miller .415|
|RBIs||Fletcher Hislop 16||Aidan Miller 22|
|Home runs||Fletcher Hislop 1||Aidan Miller 4|
|ERA||Andrew Blackett 1.11||Ashton Crowther 1.58|
|Strikeouts||Connor Crosby 72||Ashton Crowther 62|
Gaither (13-11) at Bloomingdale (19-6), 7
The Cowboys advanced with a 7-1 victory over East Lake in the 6A-9 semifinals. Austin Grause went 2-for-3 with a run scored. The Bulls have put things together, winning 10 of their last 11 games. That total included victories over Largo (6-2) in the semifinals and St. Petersburg (3-2) in the final of the 6A-10 tournament. Marlon Bowen had a two-run double against the Packers and Gabe Garrett went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored against the Green Devils.
|Batting average||Miguel Pina .407||Colby Shelton .413|
|RBIs||Frank Perez 17||Colby Shelton 20|
|Home runs||AJ Graham 2||Colby Shelton 5|
|ERA||Colin Jackson 0.70||Jack Owens 0.95|
|Strikeouts||Colin Jackson 69||David Eckaus 77|
Plant City (19-6) at Winter Haven (14-11), 7
The Raiders made the playoffs as the 6A-8 district runnerup thanks to their 5-0 victory over Leto in the semifinals. Adan Longoria threw a three-hit shutout with four strikeouts. After starting the season 6-9, the Blue Devils turned things around, winning eight of their last 10 and took home the 6A-7 title.
|Category||Plant City||Winter Haven|
|Batting average||Kelein Johnson .400||Mason Jantomaso .388|
|RBIs||Ryan Robinson 19||Roberto Odor 15|
|Home runs||Colin Shultz 4||Desean Rodgers, Dylan Bowen 2|
|ERA||Preston Rogers 1.22||Zach Lamb 2.89|
|Strikeouts||Adan Longoria 52||Jeremy Weaver 52|
Bartow (18-11) at Strawberry Crest (17-9), 7
The Chargers overcame a 1-6 stretch a month ago to win six of its last games, including victories over Armwood (11-1) and Plant City (6-0) to take the 6A-8 title. Colby Fanning threw a two-hit shutout with six strikeouts on the mound and went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored against the Raiders. The Yellow Jackets, the 6A-7 runnerup, started the season 9-1 before going 9-10 the rest of the way.
|Batting average||Jonathan Vastine .408||Colby Fanning .467|
|RBIs||Robby Putnam 26||Arjun Nimmala 30|
|Home runs||Jonathan Vastine 3||None|
|ERA||Jonathan Vastine 0.59||Luke Richardson 1.75|
|Strikeouts||Dalton Ogilvie 52||Bryan Boully 73|
Keswick Christian (16-5) at Bishop McLaughlin (18-7), 7
The Hurricanes, ranked No. 6 in the classification, have won seven straight, including victories over Cambridge Christian (11-0) and Academy at the Lakes (10-0) for the 2A-9 title. Tanner Boccabello and Joseph Rodriguez combined on a one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in the semifinal win over the Lancers. Isaiah Myles went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and two runs scored and Augie Mojica and Ethan Burkhardt combined on a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts to beat the Wildcats in the district final. The Crusaders advanced with a 2-1 win over Shorecrest in the 2A-10 semifinals. Cameron Horner threw a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and Bryce Artze went 2-for-3, including the game-winning RBI against the Chargers.
|Category||Keswick Christian||Bishop McLaughlin|
|Batting average||Caleb Rogers, Luke Bacon .446||Augie Mojica .409|
|RBIs||Caleb Rogers 33||Drew Knight, Andrew Duncan 15|
|Home runs||Caleb Rogers 5||Nicholas Cucchi, Drew Knight 1|
|ERA||Blake Albritton 1.96||Ethan Burkhardt 1.35|
|Strikeouts||Cameron Horner 53||Tanner Boccabello 47|
Academy at the Lakes (10-14) at Northside Christian (14-12), 7
Playing a regular schedule that included plenty of games against teams in higher classifications paid off for the Mustangs, who won the 2A-10 district tournament by beating St. Petersburg Catholic 10-5 and Keswick Christian 6-3. Zach Johnson went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored against the Barons. Scott Lynch hit a three-run homer and Ryan Lowe went 3-for-4 with an RBI against the Crusaders. Though they entered with a losing record, the Wildcats won two of the three at the 2A-9 tournament to advance as a runnerup. Cole Syversen and David Scamporino-Blount combined on a no-hitter in an 11-0, five-inning win over Bayshore Christian in the semifinals. Josiah Bayona went 4-for-5 with four runs scored in a 12-11 semifinal win over Hernando Christian.
|Category||Academy at the Lakes||Northside Christian|
|Batting average||Josiah Bayona .371||Andrew Williamson .392|
|RBIs||Tanner Pelaez 16||Jake Cappock, Ryan Cerrone 17|
|Home runs||Jacob Syversen 1||Four players with 2|
|ERA||Palmer Bringgold 3.00||Shane McClanahan 2.85|
|Strikeouts||Cole Syversen 54||Robert Kocis 38|
Brevard HEAT (4-11) at Seffner Christian (17-4), 7
The Crusaders, ranked No. 8 in 2A by MaxPreps, were dominant in last week’s 2A-8 district tournament, outscoring Lakeland Victory Christian and Winter Haven All Saints by a combined 21-4. Brevard HEAT has lost four straight but automatically advanced in the 2A-7 tournament thanks to a bye in the first round of the three-team district.
|Category||Brevard HEAT||Seffner Christian|
|Batting average||Tim Puhnaty .564||Dylan Cheeley .427|
|RBIs||Tim Puhnaty 14||Dylan Cheeley, Connor Loomis 18|
|Home runs||None||Spencer Boynton 2|
|ERA||Tim Puhnaty 4.47||Ben Cheek 0.28|
|Strikeouts||Tim Puhnaty 46||Joey Jensen 75|