Bolles (Jacksonville) once again tops final all-classification regional baseball poll after state runner-up finish
GAINESVILLE — There were no state champions in the 2018 season for high school baseball teams in The Prep Zone coverage area. But the team at the top is a familiar one.
Bolles (Jacksonville) just missed out on its third consecutive 5A state title, but the Bulldogs allowed an 8-run 6th inning and lost 10-4 to Monsignor Pace (Miami) in the state title game at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
Despite that, the Bulldogs (24-6) were the unanimous #1 team in the final all-classification regional rankings, picking up all six first-place votes. Bolles, which finished 2nd in the 5A state rankings, was a runner-up in District 3-5A to Suwannee (Live Oak), but won three regional playoff games on the road to earn a repeat trip to the state tournament.
Bolles defeated #4 Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville), 4-1, in a state semifinal game before suffering a loss in the championship game, denying the ‘Dogs of a 3-peat.
Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) moves up three spots to finish 2nd.
The Conquerors (19-9) defeated then-#1 Providence (Jacksonville), 11-8, in a region final game to advance back to Fort Myers. Trinity Christian saw its season end there with a 2-1 loss in the state semifinals against Calvary Christian (Clearwater), which had a 60-game winning streak end with a loss to Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) in the 4A state championship game.
Providence finishes 3rd after being ranked at the top of the previous poll.
Nature Coast Tech finished 4th after advancing to its first state semifinal appearance in school history.
The Sharks (26-5) moved up five spots from the previous rankings after knocking off 5A No. 1 Bishop Moore (Orlando) and Santa Fe (Alachua) to advance to Fort Myers. Nature Coast Tech was eliminated in the 5A state semifinals by Bolles, 4-1.
Rounding out the top five is another state semifinalist in Clay (Green Cove Springs).
The Blue Devils (24-7) also moved up five spots from 10th after winning regional playoff games on the road at Stanton (Jacksonville), Ponte Vedra, and nationally-ranked Mosley (Lynn Haven). Clay was eliminated in the 6A state semifinals in Fort Myers by eventual state champion Jefferson (Tampa), 7-2.
Trinity Catholic (Ocala) drops two spaces to finish 6th. The Celtics (17-6) saw their season end in the Region 2-4A final to Calvary Christian (Clearwater).
Creekside (St. Johns) finishes 7th. The Knights (21-8) won regional playoff games at Columbia (Lake City) and #16 St. Augustine before losing 3-2 at eventual 7A state runner-up Pace in the Region 1-7A final.
Dunnellon finishes 8th. The Tigers (20-7) moved up six spots in this final poll after advancing to the Region 2-6A final, where they lost 5-0 to eventual state champion Jefferson (Tampa).
Trenton finishes 9th. The 1A state champion in 2017, the Tigers (21-7) advanced back to Fort Myers, where they lost in the state semifinals 4-2 to #12 Madison County.
Rounding out the top 10 is Buchholz (Gainesville). The Bobcats (21-7) were eliminated in the opening round of the 8A playoffs, 6-4, at eventual state semifinalist Strawberry Crest (Dover).
Among the second 10 at #12 is Madison County. The Cowboys (17-12) move into the poll after finishing as the 1A state runner-up for the second year in a row.
Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) also moves into the rankings at 17th after advancing the 2A state semifinals, where they lost 13-5 to eventual 2A state champion Miami Christian.
Spruce Creek (Port Orange) also moves in at #14, along with No. 16 St. Augustine.
Suwannee (Live Oak) and Fleming Island (Orange Park) also move in to tie for 18th, while four teams – Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), Forest (Ocala), Ponte Vedra, and Yulee – are tied for 20th.
Stanton (Jacksonville), Hernando (Brooksville), Terry Parker (Jacksonville), and Ridgeview (Orange Park) fell out of the rankings.
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 powered by Strive Fitness.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2018 BASEBALL POLL #7 (FINAL POLL)
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, final record, and total voting points)
1. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (6) (24-6) – 120
2. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (19-9) – 114
3. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (24-6) – 101
4. Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (5A) (26-5) – 94
5. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (6A) (24-7) – 93
6. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (4A) (17-6) – 89
7. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (21-8) – 80
8. Dunnellon (6A) (20-7) – 64
9. Trenton (1A) (21-7) – 61
10. Buchholz (Gainesville) (8A) (21-7) – 57
11. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (9A) (20-6) – 50
12. Madison County (1A) (17-12) – 47
13. New Smyrna Beach (7A) (19-9) – 39
14. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (17-8) – 34
15. University Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (19-10) – 32
16. St. Augustine (7A) (18-12) – 31
17. Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) (2A) (19-7) – 20
18T. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (8A) (12-14-1) – 17
18T. Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (16-12) – 17
20T. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (18-9) – 15
20T. Forest (Ocala) (8A) (18-8) – 15
20T. Ponte Vedra (6A) (16-13) – 15
20T. Yulee (5A) (19-9) – 15
Also receiving votes: Santa Fe (Alachua) (5A) (16-14) – 12; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (19-11) – 11; Stanton (Jacksonville) (6A) (19-6) – 7; Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (18-11) – 3; Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (22-7) – 2.