The 8-1-3 List: Week 8

1. Durant (16-3) ☝️2

Durant senior Nick April-Gath scored six runs last week and now leads the team with 24 this season.

New week, new No. 1! Congrats to Durant, which assumes the top spot for the first time this season. The Cougars sandwiched wins against Riverview and Tampa Bay Tech scoring 17 runs in both games, around a 1-0 win against Jefferson with Chase Mobley striking out 13, and Blaine Rowland driving in the deciding run and notching the save by striking out the Dragons’ side. Senior Tristan Brown went 4-for-7 on the week with his first varsity home run, doubled, scored four times and drove in a run. Spoto comes for a visit on Tuesday, and Durant will host district foe Strawberry Crest on Thursday.

2. Gaither (13-5) ☝️3

Gaither junior Angel Hernandez drove in three runs and had two doubles last week.

Seniors Mikey Fernandez (win; no hits, two walks, seven strikeouts) and Zach Callahan (one hit, four strikeouts) combined for a five-inning shutout against Blake in the Cowboys only game last week. Gaither won 13-0 behind a home run from SJ Branham, and a pair of doubles and three RBI from Angel Hernandez. The Cowboys have two challenging games this week, traveling to Jefferson tonight, and will hosting Lennard on Friday.

3. Newsome (15-4) ☝️3

Newsome senior Cash Peterson scored three times and leads the Wolves with 18 runs this season.

Senior Wade Walton picked up his seventh win of the year, striking out a dozen in a complete-game shutout (6-0) against Lennard, and the Wolves defeated Middleton 18-0 (with homers by Anthony DeVito and Ryan Spitzer) to close the week. Braden Moon went 4-for-7, with two RBI, his fifth home run and scored three times in the two wins. Tuesday the Wolves travel to Bloomingdale, and continue on the road on Thursday with a trip to Steinbrenner.

4. Plant (15-5) ☝️3

Plant sophomore Coy Keller pitched seven shutout innings, picking up two wins last week.

The Panthers rallied with four runs to walk of a Wednesday win over previously No. 1-ranked Sickles, and picked up mercy-rule wins over Spoto and Brandon. Rocco DeMarinis hit his fifth home run of the season against Spoto and drove in four runs on the week, Urban Ellis went 5-for-10 with four RBI and five runs scored for the Panthers, and Coy Keller earned wins over Sickles and Brandon, pitching a combined seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, five walks and struck out four. Alonso visits for a district showdown on Tuesday, and Plant hosts Bloomingdale on Friday.

5. Sickles 👇4

Gryphons senior Jacob Dial hit .500 last week with three RBI.

A pair of losses to Plant and Bloomingdale drops the Gryphons four spots this week, with a 6-0 win in the middle against Freedom. Logan Easterlin allowed one hit in his four innings against the Patriots, earning the win with three strikeouts; Jacob Dial went 5-for-10 with three RBI on the week, and Jordan Yost scored a run in each game and has scored in 18-of-21 games. On deck: at Wharton on Thursday; and hosting Middleton on Friday.

6. Jesuit (13-6) 👇4

The Tigers take a bit of a tumble in our rankings after dropping two of three games last week, losing at MaxPreps’ Florida No. 1 IMG, 10-0, and to No. 7-ranked Naples Newman, 14-2. Jesuit’s 4-3 win against Lakewood Ranch last week took a big, two-out rally in the final inning as Cannon Murtagh walking off the win with an RBI single. IMG visits Himes Ave on Tuesday, and the Tigers face yet another state power – No. 6 Calvary Christian – on the road next Friday.

7. Strawberry Crest (12-6) ☝️3

The Chargers won 11-0 over Robinson in Crest’s only game last week, as Brisen Tweedy (Win; 3ip, 4 H, 3 K’s) and Landon Wood (2ip, 1 H, 2 K’s) pitched a five-inning shutout. Chase Conti was 3-for-3, with a triple and two RBI in the win, and Akhil Nimmala and Dillon Knight had two RBI apiece. Three games ahead as Wharton visits on Tuesday, the Chargers travel to district opponent Durant on Thursday, and wrap the week with visit from Freedom on Friday.

8. Carrollwood Day (17-4)

The Patriots return to the Top 10 after picking up a pair of wins last week, and have the most wins (17) in the 813. Logan Babb gave the Patriots 6 1/3 innings (two runs, five hits, seven strikeouts) in a 4-2 win against district foe Cambridge Christian last Monday, and CDS topped IMG Blue 9-3 with Nick Riedel striking out 11 and yielding two runs. Senior Nick Bonollo keyed the offense, going 4-for-7, with two doubles, a triple, three runs and five RBI. The Patriots host Zephyrhills Christian tonight, travel to Hernando Christian on Wednesday, and visit Englewood Lemon Bay on Thursday.

9. Seffner Christian (14-3) 👇4

SCA dropped a 4-2 decision to Tampa Catholic in its only game last week. But it was only the third loss for the Crusaders this season, ending an eight-game win streak. Ethan Duncan was tagged with the hard-luck loss, allowing one unearned run in his 3 2/3 inning start and has a 1.17 ERA through 42 innings. Seffner Christian travels to Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic on Tuesday and St. Pete Shorecrest on Friday.

10. Bloomingdale (12-6)

The Bulls picked up a pair of wins on the road last week defeating Sumner 17-4, and then toppled Sickles 4-2. Senior Johnny De La Rosa went 4-for-8 at the plate with a homer, double, five RBI and two runs, Hayden Porter held the Gryphons to two runs in his five innings to earn the win, and Dawson Rankin went 3-for-5 with three RBI against Sumner, and earned the save with two scoreless innings against Sickles. Bloomingdale heads to Tampa Bay Tech tonight, then has two Top 10 showdowns: hosting Newsome on Tuesday; and traveling to Plant on Friday.

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

Dropping out this week: Tampa Catholic (12-7); Alonso (10-10)

8 Top Performers

1 Favorite Thing

Forty years ago, on April 7, 1984 a 19-year-old Tampa native Dwight Eugene Gooden made his Major League debut for the New York Mets, pitching five innings on the road against the Houston Astros, allowing just one run on three hits, and earning his first victory, 3-2.

Gooden was a standout at Hillsborough High playing for longtime Terriers head coach Billy Reed, and was drafted 5th overall in the 1982 draft.

In his short stint in Class-A and AA, Gooden struck out 300 hitters, before earning a spot on the MLB level after just 1 ½ seasons in the minors.

His 17-9 mark in his rookie season (1984), a 2.60 ERA, and his National League-leading 276 strikeouts earned “Doc” NL Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season he led the league in wins with a 24-4 record (including 16 complete games), in ERA with a 1.53, in innings pitched with 276, and again led the league with 268 strikeouts, earning him a unanimous Cy Young Award and a fourth place MVP finish.
In 11 seasons with the Mets, Gooden was part of the 1986 World Series champions, and earned 157 of his 194 career wins. Though struggles with substance abuse impacted Gooden’s career, Gooden, now sober and living in New York, had double-digit wins in 11 of his 16 seasons.

He also played professionally with the New York Yankees (and though not on the roster was a part of the 2000 WS winning team), Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Though the wait was long, on Sunday, the Mets honored the four-time All-Star and one-time Silver Slugger (he hit eight career homers, and drove in 67) at Citi Field by retiring his No. 16 jersey. A number of former Mets teammates, including the Mets other phenom of the era (and player probably most connected to Gooden) Darryl Strawberry, and Gooden’s nephew and fellow Tampa baseball legend Gary Sheffield were in attendance.

3 Games to Watch this week

#2 Gaither (13-5) at Jefferson (13-7), Monday: Tonight’s game in West Tampa is a big one for both teams. Gaither started the season with some huge wins over Top 10 teams in Newsome, Plant and Jesuit, before hitting some struggles in the Saladino Tournament, but have gotten things back on track with four-straight wins of late. While Jefferson also started the season well, with an 8-2 mark through its runner-up finish in the Saladino, but injuries and struggles to produce runs have resulted in a 5-5 run since. This projects to be a battle on the mound between senior pitchers.

#3 Newsome (15-4) at #10 Bloomingdale (12-6), Tuesday: A Top 10 East Hillsborough showdown is one that we always enjoy, and if you’ll oblige a little self-indulgence, is special for us as this matchup at Bloomingdale in 2017 was the first-ever game covered by 813Preps. After a three-game skid in mid-March, Bloomingdale has gone 7-1 and are coming off a big 4-2 win against Sickles last Friday. Newsome has won 11-of-12 of late and the Wolves will likely put the ball in the right hand of senior Wade Walton who is 7-1 with a sub-1.00 ERA.

#7 Strawberry Crest (12-6) at #1 Durant (16-3), Thursday: Our freshly-minted No. 1 Durant squad is 9-1 in its last 10, and looking to continue its dominance east of I-75, having gone 8-0 against this side of the county with Spoto and Crest ahead this week. The Cougars are likely to employ a combination of its two D-I starting pitchers Chase Mobley (FSU) and Blaine Rowland (UF) to go after the Chargers, while the Chargers (with a game on tonight against Wharton) are looking to pickup a marquee, late-season win to help with the unpredictable FHSAA/MaxPreps rankings for the upcoming region tournament. Should be a good one from Turkey Creek.