Providence (Jacksonville) back at #1 in all-classification regional poll as state baseball playoffs begin
GAINESVILLE — The state playoffs begin tonight for high school baseball teams across the state of Florida.
And for The Prep Zone Power Poll, there is a familiar baseball team back on top after district tournaments wrapped up.
Providence (Jacksonville), which fell to 2nd in the previous poll for the first time this season, moves back into the top spot after winning the District 2-4A tournament last week.
The Stallions (23-5) dropped games to #10 Clay (Green Cove Springs) and TNXL Academy (Longwood) in the final week of the regular season, but they came back to win the district tourney, including pounding #5 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), 14-4 in six innings, in the district title game.
Providence, which is ranked 3rd in the Class 4A state rankings, received five of the six first place votes from The Prep Zone panel and opens up in the 4A region semifinal on Wednesday against FSU High (Tallahassee).
Bolles (Jacksonville) lost in the District 3-5A championship game at Suwannee (Live Oak), 5-1, and drops a spot to #2.
The Bulldogs (20-5) also dropped a game to then-#6 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) in the final week of the regular season. Bolles opens up in the 5A region quarterfinals tonight at #16 Yulee.
Up four spots is Mandarin (Jacksonville).
The Mustangs (20-5) moved up to #3 after going 4-0 since the previous poll and winning the District 1-9A tourney last week. Mandarin opens up in the 9A playoffs tonight against RV Spruce Creek (Port Orange).
Another big mover in this poll is Trinity Catholic (Ocala), now 4th.
The Celtics (16-5), who are one spot behind Providence in the 4A state rankings, received the other first-place vote. They have won eight games in a row and won the District 3-4A tournament with wins over Windermere Prep and First Academy (Orlando).
Trinity Catholic plays Berkeley Prep (Tampa) Wednesday night in the 4A semifinals in a match-up of state-ranked top 10 teams.
Rounding out the top five is Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).
The Conquerors (17-8) only drop one spot despite the loss to Providence in the 2-4A championship game. Trinity Christian now has to travel to the Panhandle to take on Pensacola Catholic Wednesday night in another 4A region semifinal.
Leading off the second five is Buchholz (Gainesville).
The Bobcats (21-6) had a 10-game winning streak snapped with a 4-3 loss to #13 Forest (Ocala) in the District 3-8A championship game. Now Buchholz has to hit the road to Hillsborough County for an 8A region quarterfinal tonight at Strawberry Crest (Dover).
New Smyrna Beach (19-8) is 7th.
The Barracudas moved up four spots from the previous poll after winning the District 5-7A tournament with a 17-2 win over Pine Ridge (Deltona). New Smyrna Beach opens the 7A state playoffs at home against Melbourne.
Creekside (St. Johns) falls to 8th after dropping four games in the last few weeks, including losing the District 4-7A championship game 2-1 to RV St. Augustine. The Knights (19-7) now hit the road to Columbia (Lake City) in a 7A region quarterfinal.
Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) is up four slots and back into the top 10 after winning District 7-5A tournament title.
The Sharks (23-4) knocked off #17 Hernando (Brooksville), 6-3, in the district championship game, and are 4-0 in the last two weeks. Nature Coast Tech plays their 5A regional opener tonight in Brooksville against RV Taylor (Pierson).
Rounding out the top 10 is Clay (Green Cove Springs).
The Blue Devils (21-6) drop two spots after losing the District 4-6A title game 7-4 to RV Ponte Vedra. But Clay stays in the top 10, and they play at #15 Stanton (Jacksonville) in a battle of Blue Devils tonight in a 6A quarterfinal.
Jacksonville Stanton (19-5) is among those new to the poll this week after winning the District 3-6A title over #T-18 Terry Parker (Jacksonville).
Also moving back in this week is Forest, which dropped out two weeks ago but is back in at 13th this week.
Yulee is also in the poll for the first time this year. The Hornets (19-8) are #16 after knocking off #12 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) for the 2nd time this year, beating the Crusaders 7-2 to win the District 4-5A title.
Finally, Trenton finds their way in as they are tied for 18th with Terry Parker.
The Tigers (19-6) easily won the District 7-1A tournament by beating Chiefland 8-2. Trenton is also ranked #1 for 1A in ThePrepZone.com state baseball poll.
Dropping out this week is Fernandina Beach, Baker County (Glen St. Mary), Fletcher (Neptune Beach), and North Marion (Citra). Only the Colts (17-9) qualified for the state playoffs, and will play at #14 Dunnellon in a 6A region quarterfinal tonight.
This is the final regional baseball poll until after the FHSAA Baseball State Championships at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers later this month. The final rankings will be released the second week of June.
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.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2018 BASEBALL POLL #6
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, record through 5/5, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (5) (23-5) – 119
2. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (20-5) – 108
3. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (9A) (20-5) – 105
4. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (4A) (1) (16-5) – 97
5. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-8) – 88
6. Buchholz (Gainesville) (8A) (21-6) – 85
7. New Smyrna Beach (7A) (19-8) – 76
8. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (19-7) – 75
9. Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (5A) (23-4) – 73
10. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (6A) (21-6) – 72
11. University Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (18-9) – 67
12. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (18-8) – 65
13. Forest (Ocala) (8A) (18-7) – 37
14. Dunnellon (6A) (18-6) – 33
15. Stanton (Jacksonville) (6A) (19-5) – 32
16. Yulee (5A) (19-8) – 28
17. Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (22-6) – 22
T-18. Terry Parker (Jacksonville) (6A) (20-6) – 19
T-18. Trenton (1A) (19-6) – 19
20. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (6A) (19-7) – 12
Also receiving votes: St. Augustine (7A) (17-11) – 8; Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (15-6) – 6; Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (15-11) – 5; Ponte Vedra (6A) (15-12) – 4; North Marion (Citra) (6A) (17-9) – 3; Taylor (Pierson) (5A) (19-6) – 2.