Baseball: Tampa Bay area report — May 13, 2024

The baseball playoffs continue tonight with region final games in Classes 7A-5A. The winners advance to the state semifinals starting on Wednesday. Below are the third-round playoff pairings — along with the capsules and stat leaders – featuring local teams in each class.

Class 6A

Region 3
No. 5 Bloomingdale (18-10) at No. 2 Sickles (22-7), 7

This the second meeting between the teams this season. The Bulls won the first matchup 6-4 last month. On offense, Bloomingdale has been on a tear in the postseason, scoring a combined 24 runs in wins over Palmetto and East Lake. In the region semifinals, the Bulls knocked the top-seeded Eagles 11-7. Matthew Cleveland, Johnny Delarosa and Vincent Dinzeo Jr. each had three hits to lead Bloomingdale. The defending state champion Gryphons are used to playing in tight, marathon games down the stretch. They outlasted Gaither 2-1 in 13 innings in the region semifinals. Cameron Guise went 7 ⅔ scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out 10. Jaden Nazar and Braden Ross each drove in a run on offense. The semifinal win marked the third time Sickles played in extra innings in the last six games.

Stat leaders
Batting averageCooper Hinson, .444Jordan Yost, .427
RBIsVincent Dinzeo Jr., 31Jaden Nazar, 27
Home runsVincent Dinzeo Jr., 4Cameron Guise, 3
ERALuke Long, 0.58Jake Taylor, 1.05
StrikeoutsHayden Porter, 61Cameron Guise, 63

Class 5A

Region 2
No. 5 River Ridge (15-14) at No. 3 Wesley Chapel (19-10), 7

The Wildcats have won two of the three meetings between the teams this season, the last coming in the 5A-8 district title game two weeks ago. Pitching is a big reason Wesley Chapel enters tonight’s matchup on a five-game win streak. The Wildcats have posted three shutouts in that span, including a 10-0 victory over rival Cypress Creek in the region semifinals. Eli Chana threw a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts. Nolan Hartley and Dylan Pabon each had three hits and drove in two runs to lead the offense. Since losing to Wesley Chapel in the district final, the Royal Knights have been playing their best baseball of the season. In the region semifinals, River Ridge knocked off top seed Sebring 2-1. Carson Cooley hurled a two-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven. Cooley and Cameron Kessell each had two hits on offense.

Stat leaders
CategoryRiver RidgeWesley Chapel
Batting averageHagen Conner, .328Mills Carrillo, .475
RBIsTwo tied with 18.Sean Roche, 27
Home runsTwo tied with two.Mills Carrillo, 2
ERACarson Cooley, 2.17Chase Flemming, 0.37
StrikeoutsCarson Cooley, 76Eli Chana, 43

Region 3

No. 3 Parrish Community (23-7) at No. 1 Jesuit (23-6), 7

This is a rematch from the 5A-9 district final that the Tigers won 5-4. Down 4-0 early on, Jesuit rallied to take home the title. The host Tigers, winners of 10 straight games, are used to coming back in the postseason by putting up big numbers. In the region semifinals, Jesuit trailed Osceola 4-0. No matter. Jesuit scored a whopping 16 runs in the fourth inning to cruise to a 16-4 victory that lasted five innings because of the mercy rule. On offense, the Tigers stayed patient at the plate, drawing 10 walks. Jack Clark had the most production with a triple, a double and three RBIs. The Bulls have played well since their district final loss to Jesuit, beating Port Charlotte and Northeast by a combined 10-1 in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Stat leaders
CategoryParrish CommunityJesuit
Batting averageTyler Cripe, .344Noah Sheffield, .422
RBIsTyler Cripe, 24Noah Sheffield, 28
Home runsMatthew Thopson, 2Noah Sheffield, 4
ERATroy Guthrie, 0.70Jonny Sosnowski, 0.64
StrikeoutsTroy Guthrie, 109McCall Biemiller, 93