Rich Hofman may be retired from high school baseball, but he's still very much involved in promoting competitive play. The former head coach of Westminster Christian High (Miami)—where he coached Alex Rodriguez and Doug Mientkiewicz)—and Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale) has helped run a few big tournaments this spring.
A couple weeks ago, Farragut High (Knoxville) defeated Flanagan High (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) in a classic championship game in the Hall of Fame National Classic. More recently, two Jacksonville schools, Mandarin High and Arlington Country Day, met in another instant classic in the Baseball Fever Classic championship game.
The game went 12 innings and was tied 1-1 after the seventh. In the top of the tenth, Arlington put up four runs and seemed to be headed for a victory. But Mandarin first baseman Brian Mathews launched a two-out, three-run home run to tie the game at five in the bottom of the frame. Arlington scored three in the 12th, but Mandarin came back with four runs, winning the game on a one-out, sacrifice fly.
Hofman was pleased to host two great finals in a two-week span.
"Just how I wrote the script," he joked in an e-mail to Baseball America.
Arce, Teammate Suspended Indefinitely
Following an arrest for consensual sexual contact with teenage females, Lakeland (Fla.) High catcher Eric Arce (No. 78 on High School Top 100) and teammate Kyle Wohlfarth-Simmons, were suspended from the baseball team by school principal Tracy Collins.
The two, who are both 18, were arrested on the night of April 9 when a Polk County Sheriff's deputy found them in a truck with a 14 and 15-year-old girls, who were described by the Lakeland Ledger as the two players' girlfriends. Both were charged with lewd battery and Arce faces a second charge of lewd molestation. Florida state law allows no sexual contact for minors under the age of 16.
Arce, a Florida State signee, was hitting .424/.627/.697 in 33 at-bats with 12 RBIs and one home run. Scouts are interested in his bat and a move from behind the plate is very likely. His arm action is poor as he pushes the ball on throws to second base. However, he has a sound swing, uses his hands well and gets good extension. He has good bat speed and power from the left side.
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