2018 FHSAA Baseball state tournament recap
Teams in The Prep Zone’s coverage area are in bold
Class 9A Final
Jupiter 6, Timber Creek (Orlando) 3
Senior Peter Cowley’s 2-RBI double in the fifth inning helped lead the Warriors (20-11) to their first state baseball title in school history. Jupiter took an early 3-0 lead in the third inning thanks to an error at third base and an RBI ground out by Cowley. They added their other three more in the top of the fifth. The defending state champion Wolves (22-8), who were seeking to become the first team from Orange County to repeat in 80 years, answered with a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Parker Wood, and they added two more in the bottom of the fifth, but Cowley’s double in the top of the fifth proved to be the difference in the game.
Class 9A Semifinals
Timber Creek (Orlando) 5, Dr. Phillips (Orlando) 1
Jupiter 9, Columbus (Miami) 4
Class 8A Final
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) 8, Sarasota 4
St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked No. 16 in the country by Baseball America, won its first state title since 2003 and third overall (4A – 2003 & 5A – 1995). The Raiders (27-3) put the game away in the sixth on a 3-run triple by University of North Carolina signee Caleb Roberts, who finished the game 3-for-4 with two triples, a double, and four runs driven in. Sarasota, which was seeking its first state title since 2007 and ninth overall, had scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a one-run game, 5-4. In the state semifinals, St. Thomas Aquinas also rallied for three runs in extra innings to beat George Jenkins, which was ranked No. 7 in the nation by Baseball America.
Class 8A Semifinals
Sarasota 5, Strawberry Crest (Dover) 2
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) 6, George Jenkins (Lakeland) 3 (8)
Class 7A Final
Venice 3, Pace 1 (9)
Junior Danny Rodriquez allowed just one run on three hits in five innings of work on the mound, and his infield hit in the top of the ninth helped start a 2-run inning, as the Indians (24-8) won their fifth state title. Rodriguez finished 2-for-4 and scored the winning run. West Point commit Kevin Dubrule finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Jacksonville University commit Ty Kircharr started the game on the mound for Pace (24-7) and allowed just one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings pitched.
Class 7A Semifinals
Pace 5, Leto (Tampa) 3
Venice 11, Doral Academy 1 (5)
Class 6A Final
Jefferson (Tampa) 6, Merritt Island 5 (9)
Junior Oscar Galvez went 3-for-5, including the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, as the Dragons (22-8) won their first state title in school history. FSU commit Robby Martin had a home run in the semifinals and pitched a total of seven scoreless innings in the tournament and allowed just one hit. Merritt Island (24-7) was making its first state championship game appearance since it won back-to-back Class 5A titles in 1999 & 2000. Galvez had one of the best performances offensively in the state tournament, finishing 7-for-9 in Fort Myers.
Class 6A Semifinals
Jefferson (Tampa) 7, Clay (Green Cove Springs) 2
Merritt Island 8, Barron Collier (Naples) 2
Class 5A Final
Monsignor Pace (Miami) 10, Bolles (Jacksonville) 4
The Spartans (24-6) got revenge from a 1-0 loss to Bolles in nine innings in the 2016 final by scoring eight runs in the top of the sixth, rallying from a 4-1 deficit to win their seventh state title overall. The two-time defending champion Bulldogs (24-6), who were seeking their ninth state title overall, had taken a 3-run lead in the third on a 411-foot homerun by Virginia commit Hunter Barco. However, sophomore Victor Mederos, a University of Miami commit, picked up the win on the mound and delivered the biggest blow at the plate, a 2-out 3-run double to break the tie in the sixth.
Class 5A Semifinals
Bolles (Jacksonville) 4, Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) 1
Monsignor Pace (Miami) 4, Avon Park 3
Class 4A Final
Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) 5, Calvary Christian (Clearwater) 1
Roberto Pena delivered a two-strike single that plated two runs in the fifth inning, giving the Eagles a 3-1 lead en route to a 5-1 win against nationally-ranked No. 1 Calvary Christian (Clearwater), according to Baseball America, and its second state baseball title in school history. The loss snapped a state-record 60-game winning streak for the defending champion Warriors, who finished 30-1. The Eagles had to forfeit a total of 12 regular season games, 11 of them wins, due to three transfers being dressed while ineligible due to incomplete paperwork, in finishing the season with a final record of 17-15.
Class 4A Semifinals
Calvary Christian (Clearwater) 2, Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) 1
Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) 3, Benjamin (North Palm Beach) 1
Class 3A Final
Canterbury (Fort Myers) 6, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) 1
Canterbury was the only team in all nine classifications to repeat as state champions this season. The Cougars won their third straight title, joining Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches) & Westminster Christian (Miami) as the only other teams to do so. Pitchers Levi Shuck and Bryce Einstein combined to allow just one hit. According to the Fort Myers News-Press, Canterbury (27-5) also became the fourth Lee County athletic program to win three straight state crowns, joining Canterbury volleyball (2000-02), Estero High girls’ cross-country (2010-13) and Fort Myers girls’ basketball (2016-18).
Class 3A Semifinals
North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) 3, Carrollwood Day School (Tampa) 2
Canterbury (Fort Myers) 4, John Carroll Catholic (Fort Pierce) 3
Class 2A Final
Miami Christian 9, Wakulla Christian (Crawfordville) 3
The Victors (24-5) won their 2nd state title. Senior Diego Fernandez and junior Marcos Pedraza each drove in three runs. Junior Jason Marono started on the mound and threw four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits with three walks and four strikeouts. It was Miami Christian’s first state baseball championship since 1975.
Class 2A Semifinals
Wakulla Christian (Crawfordville) 13, Mount Dora Christian 5
Miami Christian 13, Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) 5
Class 1A Final
Port St. Joe 4, Madison County 0
The Sharks won their second state title. Chris Stockton tossed a complete-game 4-hit shutout and John Gee’s RBI single proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. It was the second straight year that the Cowboys (16-11) finished as state runners-up. Port St. Joe defeated Florida High (Tallahassee) in 1997 to win the Class 3A state title.
Class 1A Semifinals
Port St. Joe 7, Blountstown 3
Madison County 4, Trenton 2