Northeast Florida high school baseball Power Poll: Trinity Christian on the rise

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Here are this week’s Times-Union’s high school baseball Power Rankings, highlighting the leading teams from across Northeast Florida. The rankings are released each Tuesday through the end of the regular season. Bolles, Fleming Island and St. Johns Country Day are all aiming for a return trip to the Florida High School Athletic Association state tournament, which will be held later in May in Fort Myers. Records are through April 11 games. The softball rankings appear Mondays.

1. St. Johns Country Day (13-2, 2A)

Last week: 1.

Quality wins: Bolles, Houston County, Providence, Trinity Christian.

This week: Second place in the nation's premier high school baseball tournament. That's big. Traveling to North Carolina, the Spartans stormed to the final at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational with impressive victories over three elite California teams (8-4 vs. Servite, 12-2 vs. Don Bosco Prep and 1-0 vs. Huntington Beach) before Stoneman Douglas defeated St. Johns 5-3 in the final. Bradley Hodges, who batted .500 for the event, and Jordan Taylor earned all-tournament honors. The Spartans have a relatively calmer week after their return, playing Tocoi Creek Wednesday and potential playoff opponent University Christian on Thursday.

2. Trinity Christian (12-5, 3A)

Last week: 3.

Quality wins: Episcopal, Providence, Ravenwood, Tattnall Square.

This week: A perfect week for the Conquerors. Trinity's bats whacked baseballs all week long, resulting in 39 runs: 14-3 at Ponte Vedra, 3-1 against Creekside, 6-0 against Episcopal and 16-6 against St. Joseph. They're batting .292 as a team, led by Jacob Miller (.429), Colton Avera (.388), Eric Fouraker (.345) and Alonzo Austin (.340). This week will be a test with three serious opponents, all at home: Bishop Snyder on Tuesday, Baker County on Thursday and Clay on Friday.

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3. Sandalwood (12-2, 7A)

Last week: 2.

Quality wins: Columbia, First Coast, Oakleaf, Phenix City Central.

This week: Despite a Wednesday night loss to Fletcher, it's a pretty nice week for the Saints on the whole. Cooper Whited struck out 10 batters in a two-hit shutout as Sandalwood won 5-0 against Oakleaf on Friday, and Holden Bradshaw homered to support a strong Tanner Reed start to defeat Alpharetta of Georgia by a 4-1 count Saturday. Three more games are on the way: Atlantic Coast on Tuesday, Eagle's View on Wednesday and Christ's Church on Friday, leading up to a Gateway Conference tournament where they'll be among the favorites.

4. Providence (10-7, 3A)

Last week: 4.

Quality wins: Blessed Trinity, Florida High, Tattnall Square, Thomas County Central.

This week: The Stallions got a split during the past week against major Georgia opponents, losing 10-3 to Parkview but fighting back for a 5-2 victory over Thomas County Central. It's nothing new for Providence, credited by MaxPreps with the highest strength of schedule (17.3 rating points) in Florida baseball. This is a four-game week, beginning Tuesday with a significant private-school showdown against Bolles and continuing with games against Wolfson, Creekside and Nease.

T-5. Columbia (12-2, 5A)

Last week: 5.

Quality wins: Baker County, Tallahassee North Florida Christian (2), Suwannee.

This week: Columbia continues to pummel the ball, winning 6-4 over Ridgeview and then 10-0 on Monday against Bishop Kenny. Hayden Gustavson is leading the charge with the bat, doubling twice and collecting five RBIs in the week. Columbia heads to the dangerous Tallahassee Chiles on Tuesday, followed by Middleburg on Thursday and Union County on Friday.

On the bubble: Bartram Trail (11-7, 7A), Bishop Snyder (10-2, 3A), Bolles (7-6, 3A), Clay (10-6, 4A), Episcopal (10-6, 3A), Fletcher (11-2, 6A), Mandarin (13-2, 7A), Nease (9-5, 6A), Oakleaf (12-5, 7A), Suwannee (12-4, 4A), University Christian (14-4, 2A).

Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville high school baseball Power Rankings: April 12, 2022