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* Our Week 1 rankings were voted on by 813Preps editor Jarrett Guthrie and 620WDAE’s Jay Recher. Follow Jay’s coverage of all things Tampa Bay sports at his blog by clicking here. *
1. Plant (2-0) – A pair of tune-up, shutout wins for the Panthers over Robinson and Chamberlain last week, but things certainly kick into gear this week as Jefferson stops by on Tuesday and Plant travels to Bloomingdale on Thursday. A home run apiece for Connor Scott (6 RBI in two games) and Brock Fagler in the win over Robinson. [Preseason ranked No. 2]
2. Alonso (2-0) – The Ravens bested Jefferson on opening night as Franco Aleman struck out 11 in five innings of a 5-0 win, followed up with a Thursday win against Freedom. Alonso has Hillsborough on Tuesday, and opens district play against Newsome at home on Thursday. [Preseason No. 3]
3. Jesuit (1-1) – You can’t knock Jesuit too far down the list for a 4-2 loss on the road to Venice, which finished the 2017 season ranked No. 25 in the state by MaxPreps.com. Especially after topping 2017 Georgia final-four team North Gwinnett, at home on Friday in what is likely the toughest regular season opening week in the county. [Preseason No. 1]
4. Plant City (2-0) – The biggest jump on the list from the preseason ranking goes to the Raiders after an opening night perfect game by TJ Gayner over Hillsborough and a win against Gaither on Thursday. Plant City takes to the road this week with games at Brandon, Durant and Wharton. [Preseason No. 15]
5. Jefferson (1-1) – The Dragons bats couldn’t get going against Alonso in the opener, but a solid start on the mound by Marc DeGusipe in a win at Durant gave Jefferson a split in week 1. The Dragons are on the road twice this week, at Plant Tuesday and against Robinson on Thursday. [Preseason No. 4]
6. Bloomingdale (2-0) – A complete-game effort by Jesse Hunter to defeat Lennard on Thursday and a decisive win against Armwood last Tuesday sees the Bulls move up a couple of spots in the ranking this week. Bloomingdale has a tough slate against Sickles and Plant this week. [Preseason No. 8]
7. Leto (2-0) – Cakewalks over Blake and East Bay gave the Falcons some padded stats, including hits from 11 different players, led by a 5-for-5, six RBI start to the season by senior Joshua Cruz. Leto starts Class 7A-District 8 play this week with games against Chamberlain and Hillsborough. [Preseason No. 11]
8. Sickles (2-0) – The Gryphons burst into the rankings after an opening night win over King and a five-inning, no-hit performance from Dylan Eskew against Armwood last Thursday. Sickles faces two other Top 10 teams this week hosting both Bloomingdale and Steinbrenner. [Previously unranked]
9. King (1-1) – A mixed bag week for the Lions dropping its opener to Sickles, then topping Steinbrenner at home Thursday night. A game at Brandon on Thursday is next up for King. [Preseason No. 5]
10. Steinbrenner (1-1) – A little slip down the line for the Warriors after taking care of business against Gaither to open the year, Steinbrenner can’t hold on to a three-run first inning lead falling to King on Thursday. The Warriors host Freedom and travel to Sickles in this week’s play. [Preseason No. 7]
The Next Five:
11. Cambridge Christian (2-1)
12. Strawberry Crest (2-0)
13. Gaither (1-2)
14. Newsome (1-0)
15. Berkeley Prep (1-1)
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