The Times-Union baseball Power Poll will run Friday’s through the end of the regular season. It is being published two days early this week due to Spring Break. Records are through March 14 games.
Rank, School, Record, Classification, Previous
1. Providence (8-1), Class 4A, T5
Quality wins: Blessed Trinity, Ga., Cartersville, Ga., Etowah, Ga., Mandarin, Nease, Sandalwood, Sparkman, Ala.
Glance: Let’s look at the Stallions resume since last week. Beat national No. 21 Cartersville (6-4). Beat national No. 22 Sparkman, Ala. (4-2). Beat national No. 44 Etowah, Ga. (8-4). And for the capper, Providence beat the No. 1 team in Georgia, and the nation’s No. 3 team by MaxPreps, Blessed Trinity, 4-3 to win the Perfect Game High School Showdown in Emerson, Ga. I have a solid memory, but I can’t recall a showing like that from an area baseball team at a high quality tournament like that. Solid pitching, clutch hitting. Alec Sanchez belted two homers — he’s got an area-leading four now — at the PG tourney and took MVP honors. You’d think things would get easier with that tournament in the books, but quite the opposite. The Stallions host Berkeley Prep (4 p.m.) and Miami Westminster Christian (6:30 p.m.) on Friday in the Tournament of Champions. Providence vaulted into two national polls on the heels of its showing in Georgia. It is ranked 11th by MaxPreps, and 19th by Perfect Game. What a week for the Stallions. At the bottom of the poll is the schedule for the Tournament of Champions, hosted by Providence and Trinity Christian.
2. Atlantic Coast (7-0), Class 8A, 1
Quality wins: Nease, Oakleaf, Viera, Rockledge
Glance: The Stingrays’ stay at No. 1 lasted a week, although through no fault of their own. They won their lone game since last poll, convincingly over area No. 4 Oakleaf on Tuesday night, 8-4. Drew Rusak (5.2 IP, 4 K) did the work on the mound, Alex and Andrew Parcell and Noah Sapp drove in two runs apiece for Atlantic Coast in a major district win. Sapp leads the Stingrays at the plate (.333). Their fall one spot had nothing to do with Atlantic Coast, and everything to do with Providence. The Stingrays made a similar vault last week after its exceptional performances against Viera and Rockledge.
3. Trinity Christian (5-1), Class 4A, 2
Quality wins: Gainesville Buchholz, Ridgeview, West Orange
Glance: The Conquerors are 1-0 since last week, an excellent 3-0 win on the road at West Orange on March 10. The big arms kept things moving along smoothly for Trinity — AJ Labas (6 IP, 5 K, six hits) and Dylan Simmons (1 IP, 2 Ks). The schedule gets difficult in a hurry this week for Trinity with this lineup — Suwannee (Thursday), Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian (Friday) and Miami Westminster Christian (Saturday). Labas and Simmons are both sporting ERAs at 0.78 and under. Simmons, Keilin Washington and Tyler Isenberg are all hitting .412 or better at the plate among guys with 11 ABs or more.
4. Bishop Kenny (7-0), Class 5A, 4
Quality wins: Creekside, Fernandina Beach (twice).
Glance: Nothing going for Kenny since our last Power Poll, still smooth sailing for the Crusaders. As a team, Kenny is batting .310, with Nick Riscigno (.455) and Colby Halter (.417) at the forefront of that. Ridge Abinsay (.360), Tucket Talbott (.348) and Nick Niewulis (.308) are all above .300. On the mound, Connor Gonzalez (2-0, save, 1.31 ERA), Halter (2-0, 15 IP, 9 Ks, 2.33 ERA) and Niewulis (1-0, 8.3 IP, 7 Ks, 2.52 ERA) have led an excellent pitching staff.
(tie) 5. Bolles (4-2), Class 5A, T5
Quality wins: Christ’s Church, Providence, Trinity Christian
Glance: Nothing on the schedule since last week for the Bulldogs, who remain in the fifth spot for the second consecutive week. Not a lot of games on the schedule thus far, but Bolles has three high quality victories that are difficult for most teams on the bubble to touch.
(tie) 5. Suwannee (8-0), Class 5A, NR
Quality wins: Lee County, Ga., Yulee
Glance: The Bulldogs move in to the Power Poll over a hefty amount of quality teams, bumping Oakleaf out this week. Suwannee’s pitching has led the way. Suwannee rolls in to this week’s Tournament of Champions on the strength of three consecutive shutouts, including a 2-0 win over a solid Yulee team on March 10. Kyle Gamble (6.2 IP, 11 Ks, 4 hits) was sensational against the Hornets. It gets a major challenge on Thursday at 5 p.m. against No. 3 Trinity.
Dropped out: Ponte Vedra (5-4, Class 6A), lost three games since last week; OLa
Next four: Oakleaf (8-1, Class 8A); Sandalwood (6-1, Class 9A); Creekside (9-2, Class 7A); Fletcher (7-2, Class 7A).
On the bubble: Christ’s Church (4-3, Class 2A); Fernandina Beach (5-2, Class 5A); Mandarin (5-3, Class 9A); Nease (5-3, Class 7A); Parker (7-2, Class 6A); Ponte Vedra (5-4, Class 6A); Ridgeview (5-2, Class 6A); Stanton (6-1, Class 6A); University Christian (5-1, Class 3A).
Tournament of Champions
Berkeley Prep vs. Providence, 4 p.m.
Westminster Christian vs. Providence, 6:30 p.m.
Suwannee vs. Calvary Christian, 10 a.m.
Calvary Christian vs. Providence, 12:30 p.m.
At Trinity Christian
Suwannee at Trinity Christian, 5 p.m.
Bishop Verot vs. Suwannee, 4 p.m.
Calvary Christian at Trinity Christian, 7 p.m.
Bishop Verot vs. Westminster, 10 a.m.
Berkeley Prep vs. Bishop Verot, 12:30 p.m.
Westminster vs. Trinity Christian, 3 p.m.