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Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
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HomeTeam 25: Baseball rankings for Tampa Bay

Note: All Tuesday games at the Farm Bureau Classic were rained out. They will be made up on Wednesday.

1. Calvary Christian (12-0)

This week: Today at CCC, Thursday at Dunedin, Friday vs. Brooks DeBartolo

The buzz: It seems like every week there is a team that could snap the Warriors' win streak, but so far none have been able to. They have now won 42 straight dating to last season. But watch out for district rival CCC and Dunedin this week. Matheu Nelson has a .545 average to lead the offense. Braden Halladay is 4-0 with a 0.37 ERA.

2. King (10-1)

This week: Today at Hillsborough, Thursday vs. Gaither, Saturday at Lennard

The buzz: The Lions won the Saladino Tournament for the first time since 1992. Now comes the dreaded "Saladino hangover" week. It's not uncommon for teams to take a step back after playing six games in a week, so we'll have to see how King handles it.

3. Plant (10-2)

This week: Today at Strawberry Crest, Thursday vs. Steinbrenner

The buzz: The Panthers made the semifinals of the Saladino Tournament before running into Alonso. This is still a good team with a deep pitching staff that includes Brock Fagler, Conner Scott and Gabe Ricker.

4. Plant City (9-1)

This week: Today vs. Riverview, Friday at Bloomingdale

The buzz: The lone loss came last week to King in pool play of the Saladino. Since King won the whole thing, that's not a bad loss. On the bright side, the Raiders only played three games last week so they should be rested.

5. Dunedin (9-2)

This week: Wednesday at Largo, Thursday vs. Calvary Christian

The buzz: The Falcons dropped a game last week to IMG Academy, which is no big deal. There was also a nine-inning, 6-2 win over Boca Ciega. Thursday's game should be a good one. Tyler Vogel (2-0, 1.47 ERA) leads a deep pitching staff.

6. Jesuit (7-2)

This week: Today vs. Spoto, Thursday at Robinson, Friday vs. Tampa Catholic

The buzz: The Tigers didn't get to defend their Saladino championship because their spring break didn't match up with the Hillsborough's public schools, but they had a successful week anyway. Jesuit has now won four straight after an extra-innings loss to Tampa Catholic. Through three weeks, Jesuit has a .364 team batting average and a 2.31 team ERA. That will win a lot of games.

7. Alonso (8-4)

This week: Today at Steinbrenner, Thursday vs. Riverview

The buzz: The Ravens lost to Durant in pool play of the Saladino but still advanced. They then went all the way to the final before losing 6-5 to King. Starter Franco Aleman has been nearly unhittable. He is 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 24 innings.

8. Bishop McLaughlin (7-2)

This week: Today vs. IMG Academy, Friday vs. Fort Myers Evangelical Christian

The buzz: The Hurricanes were tripped up by Fivay last week, but bounced back with a win over Zephyrhills. Derick Stager is hitting a ridiculous .591 with two home runs. Transfer Justin Koehler has a 1.45 ERA.

RELATED: Bishop McLaughlin remains a force

9. Sickles (8-3)

This week: Today at Chamberlain, Thursday at Leto, Saturday vs. Riverview

The buzz: The Gryphons made it to the Saladino semifinals but lost to King. Still, they got in five games and had close wins over Newsome and Bloomingdale. Dylan Eskew leads the offense with a .467 average and 13 RBI.

10. Carrollwood Day (7-1)

This week: Today at Key West, Wednesday at Marathon, Friday at Miami Gulliver Prep

The buzz: Spring break trip to the Keys for the Patriots. They will try to keep their six-game win streak going. Frank Furey is a dual threat this season with a .391 average and a 1-0 record on the mound with 16 strikeouts in 10 innings.

11. Northside Christian (9-2)

This week: Today at Largo, Saturday vs. Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy

The buzz: The Mustangs have won seven straight. The streak should continue. They have been hitting well, none better than Jonathan Alonso, who has a .593 average with two home runs. Brendan Tracy is 4-1 with a 0.29 ERA.

12. Mitchell (8-2)

This week: Today vs. Citrus (Farm Bureau tournament)

The buzz: The Mustangs are off to a good start in the spring break tournament with a 6-3 win over Lecanto. That eases the pain a bit after an extra-innings loss to district rival Northeast to end last week. Sophomore Mason Miller pitched four strong innings to get the win over Lecanto.

13. Springstead (8-2)

This week: Today vs. Nature Coast (Farm Bureau tournament)

The buzz: The Eagles got a big win last week in extra innings against Nature Coast. But that was sandwiched between losses to South Sumter and Fivay on Monday in the Farm Bureau Classic. It's not going to get any easier in what could be a long week.

14. Nature Coast (8-2)

This week: Today vs. Springstead (Farm Bureau tournament)

The buzz: The Sharks had one game last week, and it was a beauty. They lost in nine innings to Springstead. That was followed by a 9-7 loss Monday to River Ridge to start the Farm Bureau Classic. They could get some revenge today in a game both teams need to stay alive in the tournament.

15. East Lake (7-3)

This week: Today vs. Tarpon Springs, Thursday at Clearwater, Friday at Palm Harbor University

The buzz: Rough week for the Eagles. They lost to Wesley Chapel and Dunedin. Three games again this week, with the biggest being at PHU. Cooper Nelson has been the ace so far with a 1.44 ERA in 24 ⅓ innings.

16. Bloomingdale (7-3)

This week: Today at Durant, Friday vs. Plant City

The buzz: The Bulls made it out of pool play at the Saladino but lost 6-5 to Sickles in the quarterfinals. They are right back at it this week against two strong teams. They have pitched well, especially Jesse Hunter, who is 2-1 with a 2.69 ERA.

17. Jefferson (6-3)

This week: Today at Blake, Thursday vs. Spoto

The buzz: Not a good week for the Dragons, who went 1-2 at the Saladino. They have a good chance of getting back on track this week against two district teams.

18. Hernando (7-2)

This week: Today vs. South Sumter (Farm Bureau tournament)

The buzz: The Leopards got a nice 4-3 win over Zephyrhills to start the Farm Bureau tournament. They have hit the ball well so far, but pitching will be tested in the tournament this week.

19. Cambridge Christian (8-1)

This week: Tuesday at Keswick Christian, Thursday at North Port Imagine, Friday vs. Bell Creek

The buzz: The Lancers had last week off, so they should be rested and ready to go. They have won seven straight and may not get tested this week.

20. Leto (6-3)

This week: Tuesday at Gaither, Thursday vs. Sickles, Saturday vs. Steinbrenner

The buzz: The Falcons made it out of pool play at the Saladino, then ran into Alonso in the quarterfinals. Another difficult week awaits.

21. Fivay (9-4)

This week: Today vs. River Ridge

The buzz: The Falcons have been hot lately. They have won six of seven and started the Farm Bureau tournament with a 9-0 win over Springstead. They could be the surprise team in the tournament.

22. Zephyrhills (7-3)

This week: Today vs. Crystal River

The buzz: A tough loss to Hernando to start the Farm Bureau tournament. They have lost three straight after starting the season with seven straight wins. Clearly they need to get back on track in the tournament.

23. Wharton (7-3)

This week: Today at East Bay, Thursday vs. Strawberry Crest

The buzz: The Wildcats didn't make it out of Saladino pool play, but they did get a nice win over Sickles. Senior Leo Alfonzo (.517) and freshman Zach Ehrhard (.524) are both hitting over .500 early on.

24. Newsome (6-3)

This week: Today at Palm Harbor University, Thursday at Riverview

The buzz: The lone loss at the Saladino was in nine innings to Sickles, which went to the semifinals. Two road games this week and they are sure to be difficult.

25. Clearwater Central Catholic (7-4)

This week: Today vs. Calvary Christian, Friday vs. Berkeley Prep

The buzz: The Marauders need to rebound from a loss to Lakewood. They are good when senior Michael Reagan pitches, but they need to find some depth to string some wins together.

On the bubble: Keswick Christian (8-2), Steinbrenner (5-4), Indian Rocks Christian (6-4), Strawberry Crest (5-4), Weeki Wachee (6-4).

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