With the weather turning more spring-like and the record rainfall from March slowing down, the high school baseball teams in the Prep Zone Power Poll are back on the field in full swing.
But the team has remained the same all season and finished the 2021 season as the top regional team.
The St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) Spartans are the top-ranked team in Class 2A and statewide according to Max Preps. This comes after the Spartans (13-2) dropped only their second game of the season, to first-place 7A Stoneman Douglas (Parkland) at the NHSI Invitational in Cary, North Carolina. But the Spartans won games against Huntington Beach (CA), Don Bosco Prep (NJ), and Servite (CA) before the loss to Douglas.
St. John’s Country Day also picked up wins over receiving votes (RV) Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), RV Oakleaf (Orange Park), and RV Providence (Jacksonville) and picks up six of the seven first-place votes to remain at No. 1 this week.
Fletcher (Neptune Beach) is up two spots to No. 2. The Senators (11-2) lost their first two games of the season – to No. 14 University Christian (Jacksonville) and RV Nease (Ponte Vedra) – but Fletcher won their five other games over the past two weeks, including wins at No. 3 Sandalwood (Jacksonville) and Trinity Christian.
Speaking of Sandalwood, the Saints (12-2) are up four spots. Sandalwood went 8-1 over the span with the only loss to Fletcher and included wins over Alpharetta (GA), Central (AL), both Chiles and Lincoln from Tallahassee, and suddenly red-hot Oakleaf.
Another red-hot team, Columbia (Lake City), is up five spots to No. 4. The Tigers (12-2), who are ranked No. 4 in 5A by Max Preps, were 4-1 over the past two weeks with a win over No. 19T Baker County (Glen St. Mary) and 2A sixth-ranked North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), with their only setback – a 7-6 loss – at the same Baker County team.
Santa Fe (Alachua) drops three spaces this week but rounds out the top five. The Raiders (12-3) easily took care of business with easy wins at Keystone Heights, West Nassau (Callahan), and then-No.18T North Marion (Citra), but dropped two games to Baker County.
Mandarin (Jacksonville) drops one spot to No. 6, but the Mustangs (13-2) received the other first-place vote after winning six of seven games in the last two weeks. Mandarin defeated Alpharetta, Ponte Vedra, and Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine) with their only loss coming to Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville).
The remaining top 10 consists of No. 7 Spruce Creek (Port Orange), who won seven in a row and is up seven spots. Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) also moves in at No. 8 after a 10-2 start, with their only recent loss to No. 13 Bartram Trail (St. Johns).
No. 9 Clay is down six spots from the last poll while No. 10 Forest (Ocala), who was unranked previously, moved all the way into the top 10 as the Wildcats (12-2) have won six in a row. The streak includes wins over RV Dunnellon, North Marion, and No. 11 Buchholz (Gainesville).
The Villages (11-4) moves into the poll this week after beating Buchholz and Trinity Catholic (Ocala). Also new to the poll are No. 18 University (Orange City) and No. 19 Lake Minneola (Minneola), who is tied with Trinity Catholic and Baker County this week.
Dropping out from the previous poll are DeLand, Providence, Fleming Island (Orange Park), and North Marion.
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 weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2022 BASEBALL POLL #4
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 4/11, and total voting points)
1. St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (6) (13-2) – 139
2. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (11-2) – 124
3. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (7A) (12-2) – 112
4. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (12-2) – 111
5. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (12-3) – 110
6. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (1) (13-2) – 108
7. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (6A) (13-5) – 86
8. Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) (3A) (10-2) – 85
9. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (4A) (10-6) – 79
10. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (12-2) – 71
11. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (11-4) – 70
12. Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (13-0) – 60
13. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (11-7) – 59
14. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (14-4) – 50
15. Hernando (Brooksville) (4A) (13-4) – 30
16. Bolles (Jacksonville) (3A) (7-6) – 29
17. The Villages (3A) (11-4) – 23
18. University (Orange City) (6A) (12-4) – 19
19T. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (4A) (10-7) – 17
19T. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (5A) (11-4) – 17
19T. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (11-5) – 17
Also receiving votes: Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (12-5) – 16; Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (12-5) – 15; Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (10-7) – 14; Suwannee (Live Oak) (4A) (12-4) – 12; Nease (Ponte Vedra) (9-5) – 5; DeLand (7A) (9-7) – 3; Dunnellon (4A) (11-5) – 3; St. Augustine (5A) (11-4) – 1.