The Florida High School Athletic Association’s initial baseball and softball power rankings coincided with some impressive varsity performances by the Ridge Community and Haines City teams.
* The Ridge Community High baseball club went 3-0 at last week’s Lake Region High Thunder Spring Classic. Ridge allowed six total runs during a pair of Pool 2 victories over the Kathleen Red Devils and one against Fort Meade, giving the Bolts first-place honors in the seven-team field.
Ridge entered the tournament having previously defeated Lake Gibson, Cypress Creek and Harmony by a combined 18-4 margin.
* Haines City also posted a 3-0 mark at the Thunder Spring Classic, extending the Hornets’ winning streak to five games and raising their overall record to 9-6. A five-run seventh inning highlighted an 8-4 comeback decision over Lake Region on March 24, and that followed Pool 1 victories for the Hornets over Discovery High and All Saints’ Academy.
* Ridge Community’s softball team improved to 9-3 overall by winning five of six games during a recent 11-day stretch. The Bolts, who rallied with three runs in the top of the seventh inning en route to a 7-6 victory at Mulberry High on March 18, are scheduled to play host Liberty High (10-2 record as of March 25) on Wednesday, March 31.
The FHSAA released the first set of power rankings for baseball and softball last Thursday. The ratings will be used to seed district tournaments, which are scheduled to get underway in both sports on April 26.
The six baseball teams in Class 7A-District 6 ranked as follows: Osceola (8.376), Ridge Community (7.637), Celebration (1.544), Cypress Creek (1.268), Haines City (0.412) and Lake Nona (-0.016). Ridge was ranked No. 34 in Class 7A, while Haines City’s class rank came in at No. 67.
The won-loss records and fewest runs allowed helped determine the winner of the 2021 Thunder Spring Classic.
Ridge faced Kathleen twice during the tournament – scoring 10 runs on March 22 and 14 the following day - when Tenoroc High did not participate. A.J. Gabriel and Brian Ehrlich also collected three hits and four RBIs apiece in a 10-2 win over Fort Meade.
The Bolts brought an 11-2 record into Tuesday’s scheduled game (March 30) against Discovery, but results were unavailable at press time.
Haines City posted two-run victories over Victory Christian Academy and Frostproof prior to the Thunder Spring Classic. The Hornets opened tournament play with a 10-4 triumph over Discovery on March 22, and they added a 3-2 decision over All Saints’ Academy as Austin Vakiener pitched a complete-game five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Andrew Conrad went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
On the softball diamond, Ridge Community and Haines City make up half of Class 7A-District 10 with Osceola and Celebration occupying the other two spots. The first set of power rankings for those teams broke down as follows: Osceola (3.235), Ridge (0.794), Celebration (-3.854) and Haines City (-7.495).
The Bolts, who are also set to host Lake Wales this Thursday (April 1), were ranked No. 49 in Class 7A. Haines City (No. 73 in Class 7A) looked to end the month of March on a positive note against Lake Minneola – results were unavailable as the Hornets went for their third win of the season – before starting its April schedule on Thursday against visiting Lake Placid.