Our Weekly Rankings are selected by editor Jarrett Guthrie, with input from members of the 813Preps staff.
1. Jesuit (2-0)
The Tigers put up mercy-rule wins against Blake and Tampa Catholic in the first week and stay at the top of our poll. Senior Jalen Niles had a single, double, and triple against the Yellow Jackets, three runs and two RBI, and BJ Graham drove in three against Tampa Catholic, while six Jesuit pitchers worked across 10 innings, allowing three hits and one run in the two games. The Tigers host Clearwater, Boca Ciega and Orlando Bishop Moore this week.
2. Wharton (2-0)
The Wildcats offense is rolling early, and winning jumps Wharton four spots in our poll. Dylan McDonald keyed a big win over Newsome with a four-hit game on Thursday; and earlier in the week Carson Caso’s complete-game, 10-strikeout performance against Brandon was supported by a pair of RBI from Frank Micallef (triple). The Wildcats host a pair of Class 7A-District 7 games this week against Alonso and Palm Harbor.
3. Berkeley Prep (2-0)
The Buccaneers also see a four-spot jump, after taking down back-to-back 20-win season Lakewood Ranch (7A) 5-3 in its season opener as freshman Cade Kurland hit his first of two triples on the year and drove in two runs. In cold conditions on Friday, Berkeley Prep’s Alex Haire led off the game with a double, scored on an Andrew DiMisa single, then Haire added a single and a three-run, inside-the-park home run to the Bucs tally, while Will Parkinson was solid in relief. Trips to Lakeland to face Santa Fe and McKeel on Tuesday and Thursday, lead up to a district game at home against Clearwater Central Catholic on Friday.
4. Steinbrenner (1-0)
Finding itself in a six-run hole, Steinbrenner battled back, forced extras and took a 7-6, 10-inning win over Bloomingdale in its only game of week 1. Jacob Statman, Cameron Lee and Camden Bower combined to work 7 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, with Lee striking out seven and Statman getting the win as Tyler Reynolds walked to plate the deciding run. Senior Donovan Garcia had a two-run double in the victory as well. The Warriors host Jefferson tonight, before kicking off district play at home against Plant on Tuesday and at Sickles on Thursday.
T-5. Bloomingdale (1-1)
Last week’s 2-5 ranked teams all split on the week, and because it was week one and we’re not going to go through this victory over this opponent was more important than etc. we have them tied at No. 5 and list them alphabetically. Bloomingdale’s offense was swinging right away as Brock Wilken and Dominic Gonnella went back-to-back longballs in game one, only to have Steinbrenner erase a six-run lead. Next game out, the Bulls took down defending state champs Plant City, again scoring six runs keyed by a triple and three RBI by Colby Shelton. Bloomingdale hosts Robinson on Tuesday, and welcomes home Baltimore Orioles SS Richie Martin in a number retirement ceremony prior to Thursday’s game against East Bay.
T-5. Newsome (1-1)
The Wolves crossed the county to take a 5-1, extra-inning win over Sickles in its opener as Lucas Phelps (two runs scored) and Sawyer Smith (run, RBI) each doubled in the victory. But Newsome struggled in its home opener as Wharton came to play and took a 9-3 win, with the Wolves allowing 11 hits to Wildcats hitters. A three-game week including district games against Riverview and at Durant, as well as a home game against Jefferson lie ahead this week.
T-5. Plant City (1-1)
Raiders senior Jarod Wingo did not disappoint in his first start on the mound for the defending state champions, tossing a complete-game, allowing one unearned run and striking out 16 hitters as PC topped Alonso, 2-1. But the offense couldn’t keep pace with Bloomingdale on Thursday and the Raiders fell to its former district foe, 6-3 despite a two-hit night from DeMario Williams (run, RBI, stolen base). The Raiders host district opponent Strawberry Crest in a rematch of the 2019 state title game on Tuesday, and head to Armwood for a district game Thursday.
T-5. Sickles (1-1)
The Gryphons couldn’t scratch out one more run on Newsome, and sputtered in the ninth to drop a 5-1 loss last Tuesday, despite a three-hit night from Tyler Green, and eight K’s on the mound from Chase Centala. However, Sickles got one in the win column against Durant, 11-5 on Thursday as Centala’s two double, three RBI game led the way. District games against Palm Harbor and Steinbrenner, along with a showdown with Wiregrass Ranch ahead in a busy home week for the Gryphons.
8. Leto (2-0)
After relying so heavily on excellent pitching over the last two district and region championship seasons, it was the offense that had to push the Falcons to wins early this season. Leto took a 11-6 win over Lennard and a 12-10 win at King in week 1, as senior Mikey Camacho crushed a pair of dingers in his first two at-bats of the season, Coltin Pizzio stole five bases in the win over Lennard. The Falcons host Middleton and Tampa Bay Tech this week.
9. Robinson (2-0)
The Knights leapfrog into the rankings this week behind two big wins. Robert Chatfield and Alex Warner each had two RBI hits for Robinson in the opener, before freshman Robert Satin closed the door in the final frame securing the Knights an opening victory over Strawberry Crest. Then Robinson won its South Tampa-tilt against Plant as Ben Maskin’s two-run home run gave the Knights the lead and Kenny Keller shoved for seven innings, allowing just four Panthers hits. Robinson will travel to face the potent Bloomingdale offense on Tuesday, before hosting King on Thursday.
10. Armwood (2-0)
The Hawks took care of business against East Bay, jumping out early and holding off a late comeback attempt as senior Cameron Oliu struck out nine in his first start of the season. Armwood battled former district opponent Brandon on Thursday, and Tyler Castelli’s inside-the-park home run and three RBI keyed the 6-3 win. A trip to TBT and a home game against Plant City – both new Class 6A-District 8 opponents – is on the schedule for this week.