Prep Roundup: Upsets, No-Nos And Homers

It’s postseason time for much of the South, which is prime time for notable performances and of course, upsets. The last week in the high school baseball world, especially the weekend, had a lot of craziness. Here are some highlights, starting with Top 25 upsets…

• Most states have single elimination formats in the postseason, which obviously leads to more upsets. Even the most talented teams can slip in one game against a good arm. No. 4 American Heritage High (Plantation, Fla.) was looking for a second consecutive title, but fell short when Estero (Fla.) High found redemption in a region final rematch. The Patriots’ loss will prevent a dream matchup with No. 11 Jesuit High (Tampa) in the state finals. American Heritage and Jesuit faced off in last year’s semifinal with the Patriots winning in extra innings.

• No. 8 Barbe High (Lake Charles, La.) has an unbelievable tradition of winning, but the Buccaneers’ run for a second straight state title ended in the quarterfinals against West Monroe (La.) High. The Rebels came out swinging and shocked Barbe with a 13-4 drubbing. West Monroe lost in the semifinal to the eventual 5-A champion, Catholic High (Baton Rouge).

• No. 9 Klein High (Spring, Texas) wasn’t a victim of a one-and-done system, but were nonetheless upset in the Texas 5-A playoffs. The Bearkats split the first two games of a three-game series with Round Rock (Texas) High and were in an early hole in the decisive third game. Down 5-0, Klein roared back with seven runs between the fourth and fifth innings to go up 7-5. But Round Rock put up a five-spot in the top of the seventh. Klein managed two more runs, but ultimately lost 10-9 and were eliminated. A win would have pit the Bearkats against No. 5 The Woodlands (Texas) High in the region quarterfinals.

• No. 12 Owasso (Okla.) High finished its perfect season by winning the 6-A state title in Oklahoma. It’s the Rams’ 12th title, but first perfect season. Senior Trae Bobo led the team with 15 home runs while hitting .371. Two juniors, Jeb Bargfelt and Braden Webb, combined to throw 111 innings and went 15-0 so expect Owasso to be in the thick of it again next season.

• Florida Christian School (Miami) had a forgettable run in the 2013 National High School Invitational, going 0-4, but the Patriots are making a strong run in the 3-A playoffs in Florida and experienced a wild one in the region final. They were up against a tough challenge, having to face Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian Academy and its ace—righthander Touki Toussaint, who is one of the top juniors in the country. Toussaint can throw in the mid 90s with a nasty curveball, but he does struggle with control at times. Coral Springs put up eight runs in its first two innings at the plate, but Florida Christian responded with 10 runs in the bottom of the second. Coral Springs tied it at 10 before Florida Christian went up 13-10 after three innings. Those three innings took two hours. Neither team scored again until Coral Springs got two in the seventh on a home run by Toussaint, but the Patriots ultimately won 13-12. Toussaint threw 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on on three hits and five walks. He struck out two. Only 24 of his 56 pitches were strikes.

• There were at least five no-hitters last week, a couple of which were from draft prospects. Righthander Clinton Hollon tossed one on May 7, striking out 11 while walking just one. He is now 6-2, 0.74 with 68 strikeouts and 11 walks in 47 innings. Los Osos High (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) clinched a league title behind a no-no from lefthander Chris Kohler. He struck out eight and walked one. Both pitchers project as fourth to sixth round picks in this year’s draft based on talent. Rye (Colo.) High lefthander Denton Keys threw a five-inning perfect game on May 7. After only throwing 69 pitches in that game, Keys took the mound again on May 11 and threw another no-hitter, his fourth of the season. On the year, Keys is 6-1, 0.00 with 97 strikeouts and five walks over 38 innings. The Kansas recruit is putting up gaudy numbers, but doesn’t face good competition in rural Colorado.

• Righthander Josh Pettitte of Deer Park (Texas) High picked a good spot to throw his second no-hitter of the season, blanking Kempner High (Sugar Land, Texas) in the opener of a three-game playoff series. Andy’s son walked one and struck out seven. He is committed to Baylor. Parker Johnson, a righthander at Roberson High (Asheville, N.C.) also threw a postseason no-hitter. His came in the first round of the North Carolina 4-A playoffs against East Mecklenburg High (Charlotte). A Wake Forest signee, Johnson walked two and struck out 11.

• Outfielder Clint Frazier is making a strong bid to be Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year. In a postseason series against Riverwood International Charter School (Sandy Springs, Ga.) he went 2-for-5 with two home runs as Loganville (Ga.) High advanced on a sweep. Frazier walked three times in the two games and is now batting .505/.612/1.165 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 30 games.

• No. 15 Lexington (S.C.) High advanced to the South Carolina 4-A state finals by beating South Aiken High with a walk-off double in extra innings on Friday. Catcher Nick Ciuffo, a potential first-round pick in this year’s draft, is hitting .477/.564/.756 with five home runs and 31 RBIs. The Wildcats will face Blythewood High in a three-game series starting Monday night.