The 8-1-3 List: Week 6

1. Sickles (12-3)☝️4

Sickles junior Jaden Nazar

Sickles takes over the No. 1 spot for the first time this season, marking out SIXTH new top team in our seven rankings this year. The Gryphons got there with a 3-2 win against Leto, and a 7-1 victory against Dunedin. Cameron Guise was 4-for-6 last week, and earned the win against Dunedin. Guise, Jordan Yost and Jaden Nazar are all hitting above .400 for Sickles. The Gryphons travel to Jefferson on Monday, and host Robinson (Thurs) and Riverview (Sat) next week.

2. Newsome (12-3)☝️4

Newsome senior Cash Peterson

The Wolves defeated Brandon 14-4 on Tuesday led by a 3-for-5, two RBI game from Ocean Cozart, before winning an eight-inning thriller, 5-4, against visiting Plant on Thursday, as Cash Peterson doubled in the walk-off, winning run. Newsome welcomes district rival Durant on Tuesday, and travels to face East Bay on Friday.

3. Plant (11-4)👇2

Plant won its South Tampa showdown with Robinson in decisive fashion – 11-0 early in the week with Garrett Hill dealing a five-inning no-hitter with six strikeouts. But the Panthers drop two spots this week after falling to Newsome in extra innings. A district game at Steinbrenner is ahead on Thursday, and the Panthers welcome Armwood on Friday.

4. Jesuit (11-4)👇2

Will Burke’s two-run single in the fourth gave Jesuit an early lead on visiting Lakeland Christian, but the Vikings plated a pair in the seventh and held off the Tigers, 3-2. Rain washed out Jesuit’s other game last week, and the Tigers get back to work with a three-day/three-game slate this week, hosting Baltimore, Md.’s Calvert Hall on Wednesday, Wiregrass Ranch on Thursday, and travel for its second game this year against Tampa Catholic.

5. Tampa Catholic (10-4)☝️3

Tampa Catholic junior SS Cal Johnson

The Crusaders picked up a pair of 4-2 wins defeating Tampa Prep thanks to a Cal Johnson walk-off home runs, and Sarasota’s Cardinal Mooney behind 11 strikeouts from Alex Sotiropoulos. TC visits Indian Rocks Christian on Tuesday, and hosts Jesuit on Friday looking to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Tigers on March 1.

6. Durant (11-3)👇3

Senior Blaine Rowland struck out 11 in his no-hit effort against Lennard, while Noah Morales hit his fifth home run in a 3-for-4 effort. Durant had a solid lead against Gaither on Thursday, only to have the Cowboys score five unanswered in the final two innings for a 6-5 Gaither win. Durant faces a Top 10 challenge with a trip to Newsome on Tuesday, and hosts Plant City on Thursday this week.

7. Armwood (9-3)☝️2

The Hawks took an 11-1, mercy-rule win against Freedom as Owen Leever held the Patriots to one run on three hits, and drove in three on a 2-for-2 night at the plate last Tuesday. Armwood takes a five-game win streak to Chamberlain tonight, hosts King on Thursday, and travels to #3 Plant on Friday.

8. Seffner Christian (12-2)☝️2

Seffner Christian senior catcher Garrett Morgan

Seffner Christian outscored its three opponents last week 22-4, claiming wins against Brooks DeBartolo, Tampa Prep, and Keswick Christian. Senior Addy Scott upped his nation-leading (tied with two others) home run total to nine with three big pokes last week, while Garrett Morgan drove in seven to push his team-leading mark to 19 RBI. SCA ends the season with five games on the road, but first finish on its home schedule this week with visits from Lakeland Victory Christian (Tues) and Cambridge Christian (Fri).

9. Bloomingdale (9-5)

Bloomingdale junior P Hayden Porter

The Bulls return to the Top 10 for the first time since Week 3, as Bloomingdale platooned its bullpen in a 4-2 win against Wharton, and a 7-2 win against East Bay last week. The Bulls then got lift from Hayden Porter to end the week, as he tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout against. The Bulls visit Spoto on Tuesday and host a district game against Lennard on Friday.

10. Jefferson (11-5)👇3

The Dragons take a bit of a tumble this week, and hold on to the final spot after dropping two close games to Steinbrenner, 2-1, and Bloomingdale, 1-0. The loss against Bloomingdale was a pitcher’s duel with Mikey Marroquin holding the Bulls to just two hits before a wild pitch ended the game in the seventh. The Dragons host top-ranked Sickles on Tuesday (a game Jefferson has won 4-of-the-last-5 times), and travel to Blake on Thursday.

⭐: New to rankings this week; ☝️: Moved up; 👇: Moved down; = : Same as last week

Dropping out this week: Carrollwood Day (13-3)

8 Top Performers

1 Favorite Thing

So, Week 6 is almost always a bit of a slog. The Saladino slump is over, but teams are still hit-or-miss and there are always games that seem to get away from top programs. But Week 7? Rarely disappoints as teams get to decide who they are. Nagging injuries, coaches looking to find new arms to mix in, rivalry games all over – it truly is mettle-testing time around the 8-1-3. This is the week we start to see who you are – power or pretender. So, who are you?

3 Games to Watch this week

East Bay (8-4) at Lennard (6-8), Monday: The first of two district games for Lennard this week as the Longhorns host East Bay tonight. Both teams are looking to stop a two-game skid, with the Longhorns just 1-4 since reaching the Saladino Tournament semifinals. East Bay got out to a hot start this season going 7-1, but has since posted a 1-3 mark. Is East Bay ready to take a step up with a win against a solid opponent, or will the Longhorns play gate-keeper for the county’s upper half of teams.

#6 Durant (11-3) at #2 Newsome (12-3), Tuesday: After a walk-off win against previously top-ranked Plant last week, the Wolves get another big challenge on Tuesday, welcoming district opponent Durant. Newsome has run through eight-straight opponents, but will have to take on the Cougars without ace Wade Walton (who tossed 106 pitches against Plant last Thursday), while Durant will have its full compliment of pitchers available.

#4 Jesuit (11-4) at #5 Tampa Catholic (10-4), Friday: The Tigers got the better of a 2-1 pitcher’s duel in its first meeting with Tampa Catholic this year, but the Crusaders have been on a tear of late, winning four straight heading into the week. The Crusaders have a tune-up game at Indian Rocks, while Jesuit will host two games before the early-evening visit to Rome Ave.