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Baseball: Friday’s region quarterfinal breakdown (Classes 7A-6A, 2A)

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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.

Class 7A

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.   

Team leaders

CategoryDurantWharton
Batting averageAustin Sewell .394Zach Ehrhard .447
RBIsDylan LaPointe 19Elijah Dukes 24
Home runsLuke Scolaro 2Elijah Dukes 4
ERASean Hermann 0.25Jackson Perkins 0.88
StrikeoutsSean Hermann 109Ryan 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. 

Team leaders

CategorySicklesSarasota Riverview
Batting averageKohl Robertson .475Clay Russin .433
RBIsChase Conville 14Clay Russin 22
Home runsKohl Robertson 2Four players with 2
ERAHolden Wade 1.71Pip Smalley 0.33
StrikeoutsHolden Wade 80Pip Smalley 58

Class 6A

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. 

Team leaders

CategorySt. PetersburgMitchell
Batting averageFletcher Hislop .333Aidan Miller .415
RBIsFletcher Hislop 16Aidan Miller 22
Home runsFletcher Hislop 1Aidan Miller 4
ERAAndrew Blackett 1.11Ashton Crowther 1.58
StrikeoutsConnor Crosby 72Ashton 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. 

Team leaders

CategoryGaitherBloomingdale
Batting averageMiguel Pina .407Colby Shelton .413
RBIsFrank Perez 17Colby Shelton 20
Home runsAJ Graham 2Colby Shelton 5
ERAColin Jackson 0.70Jack Owens 0.95
StrikeoutsColin Jackson 69David 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. 

Team leaders

CategoryPlant CityWinter Haven
Batting averageKelein Johnson .400Mason Jantomaso .388
RBIsRyan Robinson 19Roberto Odor 15
Home runsColin Shultz 4Desean Rodgers, Dylan Bowen 2
ERAPreston Rogers 1.22Zach Lamb 2.89
StrikeoutsAdan Longoria 52Jeremy 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. 

Team leaders

CategoryBartowStrawberry Crest
Batting averageJonathan Vastine .408Colby Fanning .467
RBIsRobby Putnam 26Arjun Nimmala 30
Home runsJonathan Vastine 3None
ERAJonathan Vastine 0.59Luke Richardson 1.75
StrikeoutsDalton Ogilvie 52Bryan Boully 73

Class 2A

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.  

Team leaders

CategoryKeswick ChristianBishop McLaughlin
Batting averageCaleb Rogers, Luke Bacon .446Augie Mojica .409
RBIsCaleb Rogers 33Drew Knight, Andrew Duncan 15
Home runsCaleb Rogers 5Nicholas Cucchi, Drew Knight 1
ERABlake Albritton 1.96Ethan Burkhardt 1.35
StrikeoutsCameron Horner 53Tanner 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. 

Team leaders

CategoryAcademy at the LakesNorthside Christian
Batting averageJosiah Bayona .371Andrew Williamson .392
RBIsTanner Pelaez 16Jake Cappock, Ryan Cerrone 17
Home runsJacob Syversen 1Four players with 2
ERAPalmer Bringgold 3.00Shane McClanahan 2.85
StrikeoutsCole Syversen 54Robert 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. 

Team leaders

CategoryBrevard HEATSeffner Christian
Batting averageTim Puhnaty .564Dylan Cheeley .427
RBIsTim Puhnaty 14Dylan Cheeley, Connor Loomis 18
Home runsNoneSpencer Boynton 2
ERATim Puhnaty 4.47Ben Cheek 0.28
StrikeoutsTim Puhnaty 46Joey Jensen 75

Baseball

Bloomingdale’s Kris Wilken named 6A coach of the year

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Bloomingdale’s Kris Wilken, who guided the school’s baseball program to its first state title, was named the Class 6A coach of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. 

Wilken, who has coached the Bulls for 14 seasons, has a 221-123 overall record. He helped Bloomingdale reach the state semifinals in 2014. 

This season, everything came together at the right time. The Bulls found the wherewithal to survive a series of close, low-scoring games en route to a state title. Three of Bloomingdale’s five postseason games were decided by a run. 

The winners in each classification were selected through voting from a statewide panel of baseball coaches and media representatives. They are now eligible to be named the overall winner in the state, which will go through another round of voting and likely be announced next week. 

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Baseball

Baseball: Durant’s Sean Hermann named 7A state player of the year

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Sean Hermann, who led Durant to the state semifinals thanks to his performance on the mound this season, was named the Class 7A player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. 

The USF signee was efficient, going 9-0 with a .036 ERA and recording 135 strikeouts while walking just 13 batters in 78 innings. Those numbers were a big reason the Cougars reached the state semifinals for the first time since 2016. 

In fact, Hermann threw at least four innings in every postseason game for Durant. In the 7A state semifinals, he threw 7 ⅓ scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out nine. 

The winners in each classification were selected through voting from a statewide panel of baseball coaches and media representatives. They are now eligible to be named the overall winner in the state, which will go through another round of voting and likely be announced next week. 

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Baseball

Gulf Coast Eight baseball selections announced

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Here is the Gulf Coast Eight baseball team. The players are from two counties, Hernando and Citrus. The selections were made by the coaches.

Player of the year: P/OF Riley Fisher, Sr., Hernando

Coach of the year: Brandon DeRespiris, Nature Coast

First team

P Justin Gay, Sr., Central

P Cris Walley, So., Citrus

C Dylan Schatzel, Sr., Hernando

IF Luke Malmberg, Jr., Lecanto

IF Dylan DuPhily, Sr., Hernando

IF Jaxen Gates, So., Nature Coast

IF Zeth Rodriguez, Sr., Nature Coast

OF Quinn Lenamon, So., Springstead

OF Levi Haines, Sr., Weeki Wachee

OF Justin Montanez, Sr., Nature Coast

UTIL Nick Talpa, Sr., Hernando

UTIL Collin Nelson, Sr., Nature Coast

Honorable mention

Central: Brandon Leininger, Taylor Mulock; Citrus: Blake Clark, Tim Flippen; Crystal River: Riley Houle, Jeff Jones; Hernando: Jordan Laing, Anthony Talpa; Lecanto: Evan Silverthorn, Nick Sloane; Nature Coast: Brian Erb, Tyler Renew; Springstead: Owen Andress, Marcus Opolski-Roe; Weeki Wachee: Blake Byrne, Anthony Scarangella. 

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