Prep Roundup: Venice Wins Florida 7-A Title; Mater Dei Bounced Early

The High School Top 25 is going to look very different tomorrow as the last week brought on even more upsets. Here’s a look at what happened…

• No. 1 Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) was in the driver’s seat to bring a national title back to California, but it’ll be up to Harvard-Westlake High (Studio City, Calif.) now that the Monarchs were bounced in the first round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs. Mater Dei lost to Huntington Beach (Calif.) High last Thursday. The 2-1 loss was Mater Dei’s third loss of the season, all of which came by one run.

• No. 3 Venice (Fla.) High secured its position near the top of the Top 25 with a second consecutive 7-A title in Florida. The Indians were down 3-1 after one inning against Haines City (Fla.) but charged back and won 14-4. Mater Dei’s loss will move Venice up to No. 2 in the latest rankings and the Indians will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the Southern Section playoffs. Should Harvard-Westlake fail to claim a crown, Venice would claim the distinction has Baseball America’s Team of the Year.

• There were big upsets in Georgia as No. 6 Gainesville High and No. 10 Loganville High each lost to a Fayetteville, Ga. team in the quarterfinals of the 5-A state tournament. Gainesville fell to Whitewater High while Loganville was bounced by Starrs Mill High.

• Buster Kelso, the head coach at Memphis’ Christian Brothers High, recently claimed his 900th career win. The Purple Wave is currently in the playoffs and has won 22 of 23 since playing in the National High School Invitational.

• Righthander Tyler Danish would likely trade his stats for a state title as Durant High (Plant City, Fla.) fell in the 8-A finals to Lake Brantley High (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), but put him down as a strong candidate to be Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year. He didn’t give up an earned run all season and finished with a 15-1 record and 157 strikeouts in 93 innings.

• No. 14 St. Francis High (Mountain View, Calif.) opened the playoffs in dramatic fashion, getting a perfect game on 66 pitches from righthander Michael Strem.

Lexington (S.C.) High

Lexington (S.C.) High

• No. 15 Lexington (S.C.) High capped its season with a 4-A title, beating Blythewood (S.C.) High 2-1 in the best-of-three finals. Lefthander Josh Reagan pitched complete games on Monday and Friday to help the Wildcats win.

• No. 20 Coronado High (Henderson, Nev.) put an end to a historic run, beating Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High to win a state title. Bishop Gorman had won seven straight state championships.