The Prep Zone Power Poll fueled by Anytime Fitness – 2019 Baseball Poll #6 (FINAL)
GAINESVILLE — There were some surprises in The Prep Zone coverage area as the high school baseball season brings an end to the 2018-19 school year across Florida.
There are some changes at the top, including a new #1 team that finishes this season atop The Prep Zone Power Poll.
Creekside (St. Johns) finishes No. 1 in the regional all-classification rankings after advancing to its fourth state semifinal appearance in seven seasons. Unfortunately for the Knights (23-7), they are 0-4 in those semifinal appearances.
In this year’s 7A state semifinal, the Knights led eventual 7A state champion Venice, 7-3, and tied the game when down to their final out in the 7th inning. But a Creekside error allowed Venice to walk-off with an 8-7 win in the 8th inning.
Despite the heartbreaking ending, the Knights received six of the seven first place votes and move into the top ranking for this final poll. Creekside won three Region 1-7A playoff games on the road to advance to the state semifinals at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
Another state semifinalist, 4A Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) drops one spot from the previous poll to finish 2nd. The Conquerors (20-8) advanced to the state semifinals for the second straight year, getting eliminated 9-0 by American Heritage (Delray Beach) in Fort Myers.
It was also the third semifinal appearance in five years for Gil Morales bunch, who won the 4A state title in 2015. Trinity Christian ended up falling one spot from the previous poll but picked up the other first place to vote to finish 2nd.
Bolles (Jacksonville) winds up 3rd.
The Bulldogs (24-3), who were 5A state champs in 2016 and 2017 and state runner-up in 2018, were upset in the Region 1-5A semifinals this year 3-1 by #4T Suwannee (Live Oak).
Speaking of Suwannee, the Bulldogs (20-10) advanced to their first state semifinal appearance since 1967 by upsetting Bolles and beating Walton (DeFuniak Springs) 8-2 in the Region 1-5A final to advance to Fort Myers. The ‘Dogs were shut out 2-0 by eventual 5A state champion Melbourne Central Catholic in the state semifinals.
Suwannee finishes tied for fourth with Spruce Creek (Port Orange).
The Hawks were beaten 6-5 by #6 Sandalwood (Jacksonville) in the Region 1-9A quarterfinals, but Sandalwood had to forfeit the win as the Saints’ pitcher threw over the 105-pitch limit. The Saints (21-7) stay put at #6 in the final poll despite the forfeit, which gave eventual 9A state champion Seminole (Sanford) a bye to the region finals.
Rounding out the top 10 is Region 1-6A finalist Paxon (Jacksonville) at #7, followed by No. 8 Bartram Trail (St. Johns), 1A state champion Williston at 9th, and 6A region finalist Dunnellon finishes 10th.
Williston won its third state title in six seasons by rallying to beat Madison County, 3-2, in the Region 4-1A final to advance to Fort Myers for the first time since 2015. There the Red Devils (20-9) scored four runs in the 6th inning to rally past Sneads, 4-2, to advance to the state championship game, where they rallied past rival #13T Chiefland, 4-2, to win their fourth state baseball title in school history.
The runner-up finish was the third in seven seasons for Chiefland, which saw coach Kyle Parnell retire after 21 seasons at the helm of the Indians’ program.
Dunnellon (23-6) drops two spots but finishes in the top 10 as they lost 10-0 in the Region 2-6A final at eventual state champion Jesuit (Tampa).
Moving into the final poll at #19 is Newberry, which advanced to the second round of the 5A playoffs after winning the District 5-5A title.
North Marion (Citra), which was beaten 16-13 by Dunnellon in the Region 2-6A semifinal, also makes it in at #20.
Falling out from the previous poll are Springstead (Spring Hill), which was beaten 4-1 by North Marion in the 6A opening round, and 1A Trenton.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is fueled by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
The Prep Zone Power Poll – 2019 Baseball Poll #6 (FINAL POLL)
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, final overall record, and total voting points)
1. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (6) (23-7) – 139
2. Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (20-8) – 131
3. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (24-3) – 114
4T. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (24-4) – 112
4T. Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (20-10) – 112
6. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (9A) (21-7) – 104
7. Paxon (Jacksonville) (6A) (20-6) – 98
8. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (23-6) – 93
9. Williston (1A) (20-9) – 92
10. Dunnellon (6A) (23-6) – 79
11. The Villages (5A) (23-6) – 66
12. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (16-9) – 54
13T. Chiefland (1A) (14-11) – 43
13T. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (8A) (20-4) – 43
15. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (9A) (16-10) – 33
16. Madison County (1A) (19-6) – 25
17. Santa Fe (Alachua) (5A) (20-7) – 23
18. Clay (Green Cove Springs (6A) (16-9) – 20
19. Newberry (5A) (20-10) – 15
20. North Marion (Citra) (6A) (17-12) – 13
Also receiving votes: Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (22-5) – 12; Trenton (1A) (20-5) – 11; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-13) -9; Fleming Island (Orange Park) (8A) (18-8) – 9; St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park) (3A) (20-8) – 7; Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (13-13) – 6; Lake Minneola (8A) (18-10) – 3; Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) (2A) (21-5) – 1.