News4Jax Super 6 baseball: Clay, St. Johns teams headline 2021 rankings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school baseball season stopped abruptly last spring during the pandemic. So, too, did the News4Jax Super 6 rankings. But they return this week for the first installment in 2021. They’ll be published every Thursday during the regular season.

A bit of a refresher from last year. When the season was paused, and eventually canceled due to COVID-19, our Super 6 looked like this — Creekside, Providence, Bartram Trail, St. Johns Country Day, Oakleaf and Fleming Island.

Records are through Feb. 24 games.

Super 6 baseball rankings

Rank, School, Record, Classification

1. St. Johns Country Day (2-0, Class 2A)

Notable wins: Bartram Trail, Bolles.

Glance: Starting out with wins over blue blood programs in Bartram (5-2) and Bolles (2-0) was a reminder of just how strong the Spartans are. They were very good last season when things went haywire. They lost one senior and returned everyone else. IF Connor Moore (Florida State signee) hit .480 last season and returns to lead the offense. P/OF Brad Hodges (.333, 2-0, 25 Ks in 13.2 IP) is a Virginia commit and back for the Spartans.

2. Creekside (3-0, Class 6A)

Notable wins: Atlantic Coast, Bishop Kenny.

Glance: The Knights were atop the Super 6 last season when things shut down. P Colby Frieda was 3-0 with a save last season and 30 Ks in 18.2 IP. He’s the ace of the Creekside staff. Graduations nicked the lineup, but this is still a squad full of deep season expectations. The Knights reached the state semifinals in 2019.

3. Clay (3-0, Class 4A)

Notable win: Trinity Christian.

Glance: The Blue Devils have opened the season outscoring opponents by a combined score of 20-5. This was a solid team in 2020, going 8-3 before the season stopped. Clay added some help with transfers. Max Williams hit .357 and Richie Long was a .450 hitter, both at Ridgeview last season. Long is also a stout hurler. Add those two to what was already a strong group of returnees in .350 and above hitters Dylan Greene and Tyler Mills and it’s easy to see the Blue Devils playing deep into spring. The top three arms in Brandon Adams, Steven Reiss and Logan Wilson (combined 39 Ks, 1.21 ERA in 40.2 IP in 2020) are also back.

4. Bartram Trail (3-1, Class 7A)

Notable win: Fletcher.

Glance: The Bears graduated a good bit of talent, but don’t mistake that for a dropoff. While this team is younger, the expectations are the same — go deep into the postseason. IF Justin Nadeau is the team’s top returning batter. He hit .353 in the abbreviated 2020 season with four RBI in 17 ABs. Versatile sophomore Brody DeLamielleure hit .250 last year in limited ABs, but he’s already a Notre Dame commit. P Bryce Kemper is the only returning hurler who notched a win last season, but arms tend to run deep at Bartram.

5. Fleming Island (3-0, Class 6A)

Notable wins: Episcopal, Nease.

Glance: Very good start for the Golden Eagles, who play in what should wind up as one of the top two or three districts in the area in 3-6A. C Jack Gidcumb is out to a blistering start at the plate (7 for 8, 3 doubles, 3 RBI) and the pitching staff is mowing batters down at a two-to-one K rate thus far.

6. Bolles (3-1, Class 4A)

Notable wins: Mandarin, Ridgeview.

Glance: Solid wins over Mandarin (4-1) and Ridgeview (15-3) have the Bulldogs off and moving. OF Jackson Mayo (.333) and IF Gunner Boree (.300, 2 HR) are the top returning batters for Bolles. Jackson Baumeister is back after missing the abbreviated 2020 season due to a knee injury, but the two-way player is going to be a force at the plate and on the bump. Baumeister, a Florida State signee, entered this season with a 7-1 career mark and six saves. He belted a grand slam in a Tuesday night win over Christ’s Church.

Others

Bishop Kenny (0-1, Class 4A); Episcopal (3-1, Class 3A); Fernandina Beach (3-0, Class 3A); Mandarin (2-1, Class 7A); Oakleaf (1-1, Class 7A); Providence (1-0, Class 3A); St. Joseph (4-0, Class 2A); Sandalwood (3-0, Class 7A); Trinity Christian (1-2, Class 3A).


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