High school baseball ‘22: Previewing Tuesday and Wednesday’s first-round playoff matchups

The first round of the high school baseball playoffs are Tuesday and Wednesday night this week. (Abbie Parr, 2020 Abbie Parr)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first round of the high school baseball state playoffs are Tuesday and Wednesday night this week. A glance at the opening round games. All games are 7 p.m. unless indicated.

Tuesday’s games

Region 1-7A

(5) Sandalwood (18-6) at (4) Hagerty (14-11)

(7) Oviedo (15-11) at (2) Bartram (19-8)

Region glance: The Bears are loaded with college prospects and are clicking at the right time. Notre Dame commit Brody DeLamielleure (.429, 3 HR, 23 RBI) and JU pledge Justin Nadeau (.377, 5 HR) lead a tough Bartram offense. Stetson commit Hunter Pankey (4-0), Tampa signee Ashton Pocol (4-1) and Florida State commit Schuyler Sandford (3-3) headline a Bartram pitching staff with a 2.04 ERA. Should it win, Bartram would host either West Orange or Apopka on Friday. … The Saints are paced by Holden Bradshaw (.395), Cooper Whited (.369) and Alvin Pabon (.355). Whited also doubles as Sandalwood’s ace (5-1, 2.32 ERA). The Saints would face either DeLand or top-seeded Lake Brantley on Friday with a win.

Region 1-6A

(5) Tate (23-3) at (4) First Coast (15-8)

(6) Fletcher (23-3) at (3) Orange City University (23-5), 4 p.m.

Region glance: First Coast pulled the upset of Fletcher to win the district title and get a challenging opener against an always-tough Tate squad. Hunter Carns (.516, 14 RBI, 4 RBI) is one of the area’s top players. The Bucs enter having won four straight but they’ll need to be at the top of their game to top the Aggies. The winner would face Ocala Forest or Pensacola Pace on Friday. … The Senators have one of the top pitching staffs around and that gives them a shot in any game. Kyson and Malachi Witherspoon are excellent, be it at the plate or on the mound. Should the Senators win, they’d get Tallahassee Chiles or Spruce Creek on Friday.

Region 1-5A

(8) St. Augustine (17-8) at (1) Columbia (19-8)

(5) Mosley (15-11) at (4) Stanton (16-11)

Region glance: Can the Yellow Jackets beat the Tigers for the first time in three tries this season? Columbia routed St. Augustine 11-2 for the district title and also has a 4-1 win over the Yellow Jackets this year. Hayden Gustavson (.405, 26 RBI) and Chandler Howard (.400, 21 RBI) power the Tigers. For St. Augustine, Luke Hayes (.394) and Conor Curtin (.364) lead the way. … Tough opener for the Blue Devils, who draw defending state champ Mosley in the opener. The Blue Devils have never won back-to-back playoff openers and could do that with a victory here. They beat Pine Ridge 9-5 last season. Cole Durham (.347, 13 RBI) and Alex Bairan (.338, 26 RBI) lead the Blue Devils. Should Stanton win, it would set up an all-local second-round game against Columbia or St. Augustine on Thursday.

Region 3-1A

(4) Fort White (14-6) at (1) Union County (14-11)

Region glance: The fourth meeting of the season between the teams. Union has 6-2 and 6-3 wins over the Indians. Fort White beat the Tigers 2-0. Kyler Cohen (.382, 4 HR, 21 RBI) leads Union in the Triple Crown categories, with Lucas Johns (5-1, 1.01 ERA, 41 Ks, 41.2 IP) solid on the mound. Tucker Hardee (.444, 15 RBI) and Jonathan Fischer (6-1, 35 Ks, 39 IP, 1.08 ERA) pace Fort White. A win moves the Indians or Tigers to a Friday night game against Madison County or Lafayette.

Wednesday’s games

Region 1-4A

(8) Baker County (13-12) at (1) Suwannee (21-4)

(5) Clay (17-10) at (4) Santa Fe (20-6)

(7) South Walton (14-10) at (2) Bishop Kenny (19-6), 6 p.m.

Region glance: A good shot we see a local program in the regional final. The top-seeded Bulldogs pounded Baker County (10-1) in the regular season and enter this one on a 12-game winning streak. Matthew Gill (.444, 29 RBI) and Peyton Water (.415, 5 HR, 28 RBI) lead a strong Suwannee offense. Jamil Jones (.373, 5 3Bs, 21 RBI) is Baker County’s top playmaker. … Max Williams (.390, 5 HR, 17 RBI) leads Clay at the plate, with hurler Brandon Adams (6-0, 75 Ks, 53 IP, 1.32 ERA) dominant on the mound. A Clay win would send it on to meet the Baker-Suwannee winner on Saturday. … Who wants to face the Crusaders right now? Kenny is on a tear, ripping off 10 straight wins, including a high-quality W over St. Johns Country Day. Andrew Tabor (.411, 13 RBI) and Trey Seeker (.368) power Kenny at the plate. Garrett Corbett (7-0, 51 Ks, 52 IP, 1.21 ERA) hasn’t lost a hasn’t lost a start since April 20, 2021. The Crusaders would host Arnold or Wakulla on Saturday if they win.

Region 1-3A

(8) Fernandina Beach (14-9) at (1) Bishop Snyder (16-4)

(6) Providence (14-12) at (3) Episcopal (17-10)

Region glance: Aidan King shut down Baldwin in a complete game, 11-K performance for Snyder’s first district title. He’s got 31 Ks in his last four starts. Nick Wrubulski (.478), Sebastian Ortiz (.420) and Gavin Eichelberger (.389) power Snyder at the plate. The matchup against Fernandina is tough. The Pirates, led by Jackson Denton (.439) and Caden Hartman (.360), have swapped wins with the Cardinals this season. Snyder won the season-opener (9-1) and Fernandina won 11-5 in mid-March. The winner would see Trinity Catholic or Pensacola Catholic on Saturday night. … Another all-local matchup between the Eagles and Stallions, a rematch of the district title game won 9-4 by Episcopal. Providence played a rugged schedule this season and the record reflects just how tough it was. Hayden Perry (.342, 5 HR, 27 RBI), Hunter Russell (2-2, 2.39 ERA, 44 Ks) and Ian Moore (6-1, 37 Ks, 1.31 ERA) lead the Eagles in the rubber match between the teams this season. Either Florida High or The Villages await the winner on Saturday night.

Region 1-2A

(8) St. John Paul II (13-8) at (1) St. Johns Country Day (21-4)

(5) Trinity Christian (19-8) at (4) St. Joseph (10-16), 4 p.m.

(6) Wakulla Christian (18-2) at (3) University Christian (21-6)

Region glance: The Spartans are favorite to play for a state championship after reaching the title game last season. Bradley Hodges (.494, 9 HR, 27 RBI; 9-0, 105 Ks, 54.1 IP, 1.03 ERA) has a case as the state’s best overall player, but the Spartans are loaded with talent. Kyle Boylston (.486), Jordan Taylor (.434, 6 HR, 27 RBI) and Finn Howell (.411, 3 HR, 23 RBI) follow in a lineup that is stacked from 1 to 9. … Colton Avera (.387, 6 HR), Eric Fouraker Jr. (.378, 19 RBI) and Jacob Miller (.366, 15, RBI, 2 HR) have been steady all season for the Conquerors. Aiden Torrez (.448) and Evan Rodriguez (.365, 5 HR) will try and get St. Joseph its first playoff win since 1994. The winner of this one gets the St. Johns CD/St. John Paul winner on Saturday night. … UC enters on a seven-game winning streak and has been very steady this season. Brady White (.458), Noah Clark (.397) and Gabriel Cantona (.392) lead the Christians. A win would send them to a Saturday night game against Oak Hall or North Florida Christian.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.