July 22, 2009

All-State baseball teams for Classes 3A-1A


   Several top baseball players from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties highlighted the
Class 3A-1A All-State teams released late Tuesday night.

   Three members of Miami Westminster Christian's state championship squad made the
Class 2A first team. Senior catcher Anthony Iglesias and outfielders Carlos Saade, a
senior, and David Thompson, a freshman, led the Warriors to their first state title
since 1998 in May.

   Miami Christian senior third baseman Gaby Escoto, who hit safely in all 28 games this
past season, also earned first team honors.

   State runner-up Plantation American Heritage was represented on the Class 3A in the
form of shortstop Deven Marrero. Miami Gulliver Prep senior pitcher Steven Rodriguez and
Miami Florida Christian catcher/designated hitter Danny Canela also made first team.

   Brito Miami Private junior designated hitter Manny Machado was the only player from
Dade or Broward to earn first team honors in Class 1A.

   The All-State teams for Classes 6A-4A are expected to be released Thursday.

   Here's a look at the rest of the players that made All-State from Dade and Broward:

   Class 2A … Second team: P Michael Arostegui, Westminster Christian, Sr.; INF Blake
Martinez, Weston Sagemont, Jr.; OF Michael Taylor, Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy,
Sr.; UT Kevin Moesquit, Pompano Beach Highlands Christian, Jr.; Honorable mention: P
Kyle Young, Westminster Christian, Sr.; C Taylor Gushue, Fort Lauderdale Calvary
Christian, Fr.; INF David Corral, Westminster Christian, Sr.; OF Julian Loret deMola,
Westminster Christian, So.; Jameel Middlebrooks, Westminster Christian, So.

   Class 3A … Second team: P Mike Clark, American Heritage, Sr.; Bryan Radziewski,
Florida Christian, Sr.; Dylan Wolchik, Coral Springs Charter, Sr.; INF Eric Acevedo,
American Heritage, Sr.; Stephen Perez, Gulliver Prep, Sr.; OF Alex Marrero, Florida
Christian, Sr.; Third team: P Jimmy Nesselt, American Heritage, So.; C Breandon Sedell,
American Heritage, So.; INF Hector Crespo, Florida Christian, Sr.; OF Patrick Grady,
Pompano Beach, Jr.; Honorable mention: P Chris Diaz, Gulliver Prep, So.; C Matt Watson,
Pompano Beach, Sr.; OF Jonathan Torres, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest, Sr.

June 09, 2009

Baron happily surprised to be taken before 2nd round

Ferguson catcher Steven Baron figured his asking price was too high, that teams might not be willing to take a chance on him after his "average" senior season at the plate.

Steven Baron He found himself to be pleasantly surprised to say the least Tuesday night when the Seattle Mariners decided to spend the 33rd overall pick (and first pick in the compensatory round) on him.

"I'm still trembling," said Baron, who was watching the draft online from his parents' home in Kendall. "I was on the phone with my advisor and he said stay on the phone with me and watch the computer. All of a sudden I heard 'Steven Baron' and my heart skipped a beat."

Baron earned All-Dade First Team honors after leading the Falcons to the GMAC title. He hit .350 with two home runs and 16 RBI -- not as good as he wanted. But it didn't stop the Mariners, who he visited on his own last week for a workout, from being convinced Baron has a bright future.

"I'm so excited right now. It's unbelievable," Baron said. "This was totally unexpected. It's been such a crazy year. Everything is just so unbelievable. I had people hugging me, people knocking on the door. This is a moment I'll never forget."

Baron was all set to go to Duke before the draft began. Blue Devils coaches visited him Monday night and showed him a powerpoint presentation, geared to demonstrate the benefits of attending college instead of going to the minor leagues. They also bumped his scholarship up -- raising the offer from $40,000 a year to $50,000.

Baron (6-0, 190) may still choose to go to Duke (he has until August 15th to negotiate). But there's probably a better chance the Mariners will make an offer closer to Baron's $1.3-$1.4 million asking price and convince him to begin his professional career.

"It's been tough. I've had a lot of people tugging me both ways," Baron said. "But I got to do what's best for me."

May 05, 2009

Dre's picks are back! Opening round for baseball; Decision day for softball

An action-packed day awaits around Dade and Broward with the regional quarterfinals for baseball and the regional finals for softball.

The biggest game for baseball could be at Alex Rodriguez Park....I mean Mark Light Field where Florida Christian takes on Gulliver in front of an expected crowd of at least 2,000 people.

Should be a great pitching matchup between Radziewski and Rodriguez. This one is happening one round early after Chaminade upset Florida last week.

I'm gonna go on a limb and say Gulliver, a steadily improving team all season.

Here's the rest of the games with some bold predictions.

Region 3-6A

South Broward at Douglas, 3:45 -- Ashley Bulluck, the 6-8 pitcher for South Broward got the Bulldogs here with that huge win against Flanagan. He'll keep it close, but Douglas prevails.

Taravella at Cypress Bay, 7 -- Taravella

Region 4-6A

South Dade at Columbus, 4 -- Fred Burnside's Bucs are the Cinderellas of the playoffs. But no one has touched Gus DeQuesada in these playoffs. He gets Columbus to Friday and likely a fifth matchup with Ferguson.

Ferguson vs. Palmetto (Southridge), 7 -- Another very good pitching matchup as Ferguson likely throws Javy Barros against Casey Delgado of the Panthers. The Falcons' have a bit more of a potent lineup and look for them to break up the duel. Ferguson

Miami Springs vs. Goleman (St. Thomas U.), 7 -- Gators went to state last year and have been kind of lost in the shuffle this year. They still have a solid arm in Jerrald Mejia and some good hitters.

American vs. Hialeah (Alex Fernandez), 7 -- American has been scrappy team the whole season, but Hialeah has pulled out some close games to get to this point. Add another one as they get payback for last year's 1st round exit. Hialeah

Region 4-5A

Naples Gulf Coast at Nova, 7:30 -- The Titans have been picking up momentum of late with some big wins including the district victory against Aquinas. Look for them to set up a rematch.

St. Thomas Aquinas at Cape Coral Mariner, 7 -- Did I say rematch? I may have typed too soon. Mariner is 24-4 and on the road, and I think will be "google-ing" how to get to Nova on Friday. Mariner

Region 4-4A

Pembroke Pines Charter at Belen, 4 -- Belen keeps on winning after surviving its tough regular season schedule. The Wolverines seem to get stronger this time of year. I say they keep their season going for their departing coach Tony Meilan. Belen

Key West at Archbishop McCarthy, 7 -- The Conchs scored a huge win by knocking out Pace in the district semis. They were brought down to earth by Belen, and will be sent home by a more talented Mavericks squad. McCarthy

Region 4-3A

Florida Christian vs. Gulliver (Mark Light), 7 -- See intro, I took Gulliver

Tavernier Coral Shores at Chaminade, 4 -- The Lions will have a tough start to the playoffs from a solid Coral Shores squad. But they battle as it showed when they rallied in the final three innings to beat FC. Chaminade

Boca Raton St. Andrews at American Heritage, 7 -- The defending national champs haven't lost in a while. Don't expect them to in this round anyway. American Heritage

Coral Springs Charter at West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman, 7 -- CSC is one of the top small school teams in Broward. They've been in the mix the whole season and look for them to earn another shot at Heritage. Coral Springs Charter

Region 4-2A

Dade Christian at Westminster Christian, 4 -- Westminster

Miami Christian at Miami Country Day, 7 -- Miami Christian

West Palm Beach Summit Christian at Highlands Christian, 7 -- Summit Christian

Calvary Christian at Delray American Heritage, 7 -- Delray Heritage

Region 4-1A

Sheridan Hills vs. Brito (Florida Memorial), 7 -- Brito

Champagnat at Westlake Prep (Seminole Rec. Center), 4  -- Westlake

SOFTBALL REGIONAL FINALS

Region 3-6A

Lake Worth Park Vista at Cooper City, 7 -- The Cowboys have played a brutal schedule that has set them up for this. Park Vista is 24-2 and they beat Palm Beach Gardens, but that wasn't your big sister's Palm Beach Gardens. Cooper City

Region 4-6A

Ferguson at Goleman, 4 -- Great job by Goleman and it's coaching staff this season. When does Ferguson leave for Plant City?

Region 4-4A

Pines Charter at Cocoa Space Coast, 7 -- Unless something special is waiting for them near Cape Canaveral, Pines and  and star pitcher Lauren Sewell are headed back to state.

Region 4-3A

American Heritage at Gulliver, 4 -- It wouldn't be right if the softball playoffs didn't have a showdown between these two teams. They have met eight years in a row with Gulliver leading the series 5-3. The only way the Raiders win is if Sara Buchholz pitches lights out, maybe even into extra innings. But with her recent back injury, that's going to be tough. Either way Heritage's lineup is tough to slow down. American Heritage

Region 4-2A

Delray Beach American Heritage at Westminster Christian (Palmetto Bay), 7 -- The Warriors get their first tough opponent of the playoffs. Luckily for them, they beat some of Class 2A's best during the regular season. Westminster

Region 4-1A

Fort Lauderdale Christian at Lake Worth Christian, 4 -- Lake Worth advances.

April 20, 2009

GMAC baseball first round - Big wins for Ferguson and Southridge; North half interrupted by inclement weather

Due to that monster thunder storm that hit the North Miami area this afternoon, the Killian-Goleman and Hialeah-Columbus games at Alex Fernandez Field were postponed until Tuesday afternoon.

The other half of the bracket at Southridge went on without any weather issues. Ferguson broke open a tie game in the fourth inning and mercy-ruled Miami Springs 11-1 in six innings. From Melissa Arteaga's story that will post later online at www.miamiherald.com/hssports: Ferguson senior Javy Barros (5-1) threw a complete game and allowed just two hits and an unearned run, while striking out three. Senior Bryant Elliott went one-for-three with a double and three RBIs to ignite the Falcons’ fourth inning rally.

In the late game, Southridge won a closer game 7-4 against American to advance to the semis. The Spartans, a favorite to win it will play either Hialeah or Columbus next.

The tournament will now be run over the next 3 days. Here's the new schedule.

TUESDAY

Quarterfinals

Killian-Goleman (Fernandez), 3:30

Hialeah-Columbus (Fernandez), 6:30

WEDNESDAY

Semifinals

Ferguson vs. Goleman-Killian winner (Southridge), 3:30

Southridge vs. Hialeah-Columbus (Southridge), 6:30

THURSDAY

Championship at site either Alex Fernandez or Southridge, 6:30

April 16, 2009

Killian baseball team circling the wagons; GMAC baseball field looks set

What a turnaround season for the Killian baseball team.

The Cougars looked buried early on starting the year 2-9, but they have come on strong in their second wave of district games and won eight of their past 10 games.

It looks like the result is coach Angel Herrera's tough young squad is headed to the GMAC tournament.

That's right, wins against Palmetto and Southridge in recent weeks has propelled the Cougars into a Monday matchup with Goleman in the first round.

Killian beat Coral Reef 9-3 on Thursday, coupled with Southridge's 6-4 win against Palmetto did the trick.

Miami Springs also beat Miami High 12-2, which should put the Golden Hawks into a first-round game against Ferguson Monday.

Due to space restrictions, Thursday's baseball results won't appear in the paper until Saturday, but they will be posted online at www.miamiherald.com/hssports in the next couple of hours.

So please check them out there.

April 15, 2009

GMAC baseball is next week!

For those baseball fans anxious for the postseason, here's an early look at the way the GMAC tournament bracket is shaping up.

The action begins Monday with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals Tuesday and the final on Thursday.

Monday's games will be played at Alex Fernandez Field in Hialeah and Southridge.

The games at Fernandez will be - Goleman vs. either Killian or Palmetto at 3:30 p.m. followed by Columbus vs. Hialeah at 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile at Southridge, Ferguson will play either Miami High or Miami Springs at 3:30, followed by Southridge vs. American at 6:30

The semis will be at 3:30 and 6:30 on Tuesday at Southridge and will pit the winner of Goleman-Palmetto/Killian against Ferguson or MHS/Springs. The other game will be Southridge-American winner against the Hialeah-Columbus winner.

The final will be played at a site to be determined Thursday at 6:30.

Who do you think will win? I invite you to share your opinions on this post. I will post the finalized matchups later in the week when they are released by the GMAC.

June 25, 2008

Coral Gables High to host recruiting showcase

Because "there is a college for every athlete," as the press release (and the website) attest, Coral Gables Senior High School has scheduled a baseball recruiting showcase Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The target: "unsigned seniors, college players looking to transfer and upcoming high school juniors and seniors looking to get recruited," according to officials at Team USA College Recruiters, Inc.

Coaches include former UM player/Yankees prospect Rey Noriega. Among the success stories: Coral Park's Alex Castellanos, who went to Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College and was drafted in the 10th round by the Cardinals this year.

Cost is $70 in advance or $80 on the day of the showcase. E-mail (teamusacr@aol.com) or call (305-273-8904) for info.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

June 19, 2008

Hosmer: Signing not imminent

A recent report in The Morning News (of Northwest Arkansas) late Wednesday indicated that the Kansas City Royals' signing of Eric Hosmer -- the American Heritage All-State first baseman-turned-No. 3 overall pick by the Royals -- "is a matter of when and not if."

The quote from J.J. Picollo, Kansas City director of player development:

"We wouldn't have taken him (Hosmer) if we didn't think we were going to sign him," Picollo said. "We were real happy that Hosmer was there (available). We had 15, 16 different reports on him and every one was very consistent in that he has a very, very high ceiling as an offensive player. Defensively, he has also been described as a Gold Glove guy."

Reached by phone Thursday afternoon from Ohio, where he is playing in his second year with the Midland Redskins summer team, Hosmer denied that the signing is imminent.

"I haven't decided anything," Hosmer told The Herald. "Probably around August we'll start cracking down on stuff."

Hosmer is signed with perennial baseball power Arizona State, and all indications are that Tempe, Ariz., remains a very real option for the 6-5 power hitter. That goes double because, as a Scott Boras Corp. client, Hosmer likely will command big bonus money from the Royals.

Meanwhile, from the way he describes his performace in the Cincinnati area, Hosmer appears to be building upon his reputation as one of the nation's top (former) high-school bats. Hosmer, who is DHing with the Midland Redskins, said he has two home runs through five games, and went 3 for 3 Wednesday with three doubles.

Hosmer said he'll be in Ohio into early August, with his pro vs. college decision likely coming soon after.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

June 18, 2008

Last batch of All-State baseball

There was no shortage of Miami-Dade and Broward baseball players -- 27, to be exact -- honored on the 6A All-State baseball team, released today (along with the 5A team) by the Florida Sports Writers Association. Here they are...

6A:

  • First Team: Ahmed Garcia (P, South Miami); Corey Witkowski (P, Flanagan); Rolando Gomez (IF, Flanagan); Rony Rodriguez (DH, Sunset).
  • Second Team: Anthony Angulo (DH, Southridge).
  • Third Team: Casey Delgado (P, Palmetto); Harold Martinez (IF, Braddock); Albert Faz (OF, South Miami).
  • Honorable Mention: Joe Coto (P, Goleman); R.J. Fondon (P, Flanagan); Terry Roberts (P, Cypress Bay); Sam Robinson (P, Killian); Kevin Alexander (P, Taravella); Mark Lau (C, Cooper City); Brent Scarberry (C, Western); Alejandro Sanchez (IF, Flanagan); Mike Martinez (IF, Killian); Frank Solis (IF, Goleman); Anthony DeAngelo (IF, Western); James Young (IF, Southridge); Willie Medina (IF, Taravella); Luis Montesinos (IF, Palmetto); Roly Hernandez (IF, South Miami); Pablo Bermudez (OF, Miami Springs); T.J. Clarkson (OF, Coral Springs); Cody Stiles (OF, Taravella); Darnell Sweeney (OF, American).

5A:

  • First Team: Michael Broad (IF, Nova).
  • Second Team: Joey Housey (P, Nova); Brent Zimmerman (IF, Nova).
  • Honorable Mention: Daniel LoCastro (P, St. Thomas Aquinas); Anthony Parilla (OF, Coral Glades); Conor O'Neill (OF, St. Thomas Aquinas).

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

June 17, 2008

All-State baseball: 3A and 4A

As promised, the 3A and 4A All-State baseball teams were released Tuesday by the Florida Sports Writers Association. And, as expected, American Heritage dominated (nine players total, four on first team). Here are the Miami-Dade and Broward honorees:

3A:

  • First Team: JuanCarlos Sulbaran (P, American Heritage); David Villasuso (C, Florida Christian); Eric Hosmer (IF, American Heritage); Daniel Canela (IF, Gulliver Prep); Joey Belviso (OF, American Heritage); Adrian Nieto (DH, American Heritage).
  • Second Team: Ryan Kahn (P, American Heritage); Leo Carrillo (OF, Florida Christian).
  • Third Team: Ryan Arnold (P, Pompano Beach); Austin Yager (OF, American Heritage); Deven Marrero (IF, American Heritage).
  • Honorable Mention: Joe Hone (P, Chaminade-Madonna); Dylan Wolchik (P, Coral Springs Charter); Anthony Tzamtzis (IF, LaSalle); Eric Acevedo (IF, American Heritage); Brandon Sedell (IF, American Heritage).

4A:

  • First Team: Mark Alfonso (P, Pace); Luis Lumpuy (IF, Mater Academy).
  • Second Team: Lucas Calderon (IF, Belen); Gabby Lima (IF, Cardinal Gibbons); Anthony Bondarenko (OF, Pines Charter).
  • Third Team: Carlos Hechevarria (P, Pace); Chad Cabrera (OF, Archbishop McCarthy).
  • Honorable Mention: Eric Whaley (P, Cardinal Gibbons); Chris Turino (IF, Archbishop McCarthy).

Teams for 5A and 6A are coming Wednesday...

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)