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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2023 Baseball Poll #5


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Providence (Jacksonville) moves into top spot

GAINESVILLE — The number one ranking in The Prep Zone Power Poll has already been passed from St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) to Columbia (Lake City) in 2023.

Now a third baseball team has emerged, even though the Providence (Jacksonville) Stallions are no stranger to state titles, final four appearances, and number one rankings.

Providence (19-4), which is ranked 2nd in 3A and No. 7 overall by MaxPreps, moves up four spots to the #1 ranking in the all-classification regional rankings for the first time this season.

The Stallions, who received five of the 10 first-place votes, have won six games in a row and have picked up wins in the last two weeks over No. 2 St. Johns Country Day, #6T Clay (Green Cove Springs), and 11th-ranked Buchholz (Gainesville). They also own wins over No. 8 North Marion (Citra), No. 15 Fleming Island (Orange Park), and 18th-ranked Wolfson (Jacksonville).

St. Johns Country Day remained second. The Spartans (18-4) picked up two first-place votes with wins against No. 3 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), RV Mandarin (Jacksonville) and Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville), along with a close 7-6 loss to Providence. They are ranked 1st in 2A and No. 16 overall statewide by MaxPreps.

Trinity Christian remained 3rd. The Conquerors (19-4), ranked 5th in 3A and 15th overall by MaxPreps, lost 6-1 to St. Johns Country Day but also defeated No. 12 Oakleaf (Orange Park), RV Bolles (Jacksonville), and Bartram Trail (St. Johns).

Columbia, which received two first-place votes, dropped three spots from first to fourth.

It’s not that the Tigers (19-4) fared that poorly, they just were surrounded by teams with wins over ranked teams. Columbia defeated No. 20T Union County (Lake Butler) and 2A No. 8 North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), but dropped games at unranked Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) and Chiles (Tallahassee).

A newcomer to the poll rounds out the top five in Montverde Academy.

The Eagles (18-3) have been an independent in baseball for many years, but this season are in 3A and are ranked 3rd in the classification and 8th overall by MaxPreps. Montverde Academy is also ranked No. 22 nationally and receives the final first-place vote this week. They own wins over RV The Villages, Osceola (Kissimmee), West Orange (Winter Garden), Lake Nona (Orlando), Farragut (TN), Loganville (GA), and Hoover (AL).

Clay (Green Cove Springs) and Fernandina Beach are tied for 6th.

The Pirates (19-3) moved up four more spots as their winning streak has extended to 17 games in a row. Clay stays put after defeating Ridgeview, No. 19 Creekside (St. Johns), and No. 20T Santa Fe (Alachua). Their only loss came to Providence.

North Marion remained 8th. The Colts (19-4), ranked No. 2 in 4A and 18th overall by MaxPreps, continued to roll through the second half of the season as they completed sweeps of Dunnellon, Trinity Catholic (Ocala), and Santa Fe.

Sandalwood (Jacksonville) remained 9th. The Saints (17-4) won the Gateway Conference Tournament title by beating Wolfson, 12-1, in the final. They defeated Englewood (Jacksonville) and Fletcher (Neptune Beach) on their way to the championship game.

Rounding out the top 10 is Lake Minneola. The Hawks (18-4) dropped six spots from the previous poll but edged Buchholz by a point to stay in the top 10.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball 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 by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.

(School, followed by classification, first place votes, record through 4/24, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (5) (19-4) – 191
2. St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (2) (18-4) – 184
3. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (19-4) – 174
4. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (2) (19-4) – 172
5. Montverde Academy (3A) (1) (18-3) – 151
6T. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (18-5) – 137
6T. Fernandina Beach (3A) (19-3) – 137
8. North Marion (Citra) (4A) (19-4) – 135
9. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (7A) (17-4) – 124
10. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (18-4) – 111
11. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (16-6) – 110
12. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (17-5) – 90
13. Hernando (Brooksville) (4A) (18-4) – 68
14. Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (16-3) – 55
15. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (15-6) – 54
16. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (16-6) – 44
17. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (4A) (17-6) – 41
18. Wolfson (Jacksonville) (3A) (18-4) – 40
19. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (16-6) – 33
20T. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (16-8) – 13
20T. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (15-6) – 13
Also receiving votes: Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (15-8) – 11; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (14-4) – 5; Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (13-8) – 4; Madison County (1A) (13-7) – 3; Bolles (Jacksonville) (3A) (12-11) – 1; Keystone Heights (3A) (14-7) – 1;The Villages (4A) (11-12) – 1.

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