2018 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY BASEBALL

Three-time Player of the Year: NCT’s  Jonathan “J.P.” Gates.                                                         Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

BASEBALL

By TONY CASTRO
HernandoSport.com

Player of the Year – Jonathan “J.P.” Gates

Nature Coast Technical – Senior

J.P. Gates heads to the dugout between innings against Bishop Moore. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Rare four-year starter … Three-time All-Hernando County selection … Chosen Player of the Year for the third time … At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, he’s perhaps the best two-way player ever from Hernando County … Certainly a five-tool player … As a freshman, Gates batted .284 breaking in with 21 hits in 22 games, featuring 11 extra-base hits and 17 runs batted in … On the hill, he fanned 40 batters in 39 innings going 2-4 … A year later, the southpaw morphed into a dominant hurler … On the bump, he started 11 times with two complete games … In tossing 62.0 frames, Gates fanned a county-best 98 batters against 20 walks … Went 6-0 with a circuit-best 0.56 earned run average … Opposing batters hit a miniscule .124 … In facing 243 batters, no one tripled or homered off Gates … Behind his glove on the mound or at first base, Gates handled 77 chances without an error … At the plate, Gates was a demon … He paced the Sharks in hitting (.486), on-base percentage (.581) and slugging percentage (.864) behind a county-high 36 hits in 74 at-bats … Gates raked a county-high 19 extra-base hits and led the circuit in doubles (14) and homeruns (4), RBI (43) … Besides finishing third in the circuit in runs scored (28), he stole 17 bases in 17 attempts. …He threw a no-hitter in the 5A-7 semifinal to expunge defending champion Central, 2-0 … In 2017, Gates continue to terrorize the opposition … In toeing the rubber, Gates paced the circuit in starts (12), innings pitched (55.0), wins (7) and shutouts (1), while finishing runner-up in earned run average (0.89) … From the plate, he continued to rake … Offensively, he led the county in games played (29), hits (43), extra-base hits (19), homers (10), RBI (45), batting average (.478), on-base percentage (.580) and slugging percentage (.911) .… He finished third in at-bats (90), runs scored (30) and doubles (9) … Splendid senior season in 2018 … He helped elevate the Sharks to school record 26 wins … Paced the Sharks to back-to-back-to-back district titles for the first-time in school history, its first-ever regional crown and its initial FHSAA Final Four appearance … As one of six starting seniors, he enabled the Sharks to finish with a 15-1 slate at home … At the plate, the left-handed hitting Key West native, led the club in games played (31), at-bats (93), hits (40), extra-base hits (22), doubles (10), homers (10), RBI (48) and slugging percentage (.903) … Finished second on the Sharks in runs scored (32) and batting average (.430) … Offensively, he led the county in games played, extra-base hits, round-trippers, RBI, and slugging percentage … On the bump, he was top dog in the circuit in appearances (15), starts (14), complete games (6), innings pitched (80), strikeouts (135), wins (9), shutouts (3) and earned run average (1.05) … At one point, he captured a season-high six wins in a row … Of the Sharks’ school-record six post-season triumphs, Gates was responsible for four … Maintained a 3.0 overall grade point average … Turned away Division I offers from the University of Florida and Florida State University to sign D-I with the University of Miami at Coral Gables … Was not drafted in the June professional draft … Graduated from NCT as the school record holder in games played (107), at-bats (331), hits (140), extra-base hits (70), runs batted in (153), batting average (.423), on-base percentage (.553) and slugging percentage (.894) … Departed as the school record holder in career appearances (49), starts (46), complete games (11), innings pitched (236.0), strikeouts (387), shutouts (5), wins (24), ERA (1.13), no-hitters (3), perfect game (1).

Frank Vitale

QUOTE: “He batted OK as a freshman … Was able to knock in over 40+ RBI over the next three seasons … People were pitching around him this year … He was still disciplined enough to take the walks … There were many “wow” moments … He hit the ball over our scoreboard this year … His perfect game against Central was something … Players like J.P. don’t come around often … His biggest asset? I knew we’d be in every game with him on the field … He’s not a one-dimensional player … He can hurt people in many different ways … He’s a very focused young man … The other kids know him and respect him … Biggest plus for us was having him on the mound once a week … I’m gonna miss that go-to guy on the mound… Offensively, how can we recoup 153 runs batted in?”

Vitale

QUOTE: “Being selected as three-time Player of the Year says a lot … Honestly, he was carrying that ball club … That shows you his importance to the team … It’s immeasurable what he did for that program … His strength? He knows the game of baseball … Great head on his shoulders.”

Springstead’s Shawn Laferty

Tim Sims

QUOTE: “He does his talking on the field … One of the best high school baseball players to come out of Hernando County … On what stands out? His composure. He’s a baseball player, he conducts himself as a pro every day … We look forward to the next chapter of his life.”

Hernando High’s Tim Sims

 

Patrick McHugh

QUOTE: “He’s dominated the county for three seasons … He’s a special player … He did it at the plate and on the mound … Exceptional athlete who could pitch, but also someone who could change the game with one swing.”

Weeki Wachee’s Patrick McHugh

QUOTE: “It’s pretty obvious … J.P. dominated the county … He took his play to another level against us … As well as a he did against us, I’m gonna ask him for a donation when he cashes in his first pro paycheck … In his last four starts against us, he no-hit us three times and threw a perfect game … I think what stands out is his work ethic … You don’t get that good by just showing up … He’s a good young man, he never showed his butt against us.”

Central’s Al Sorrentino

1B – Anthony Urso

Hernando – Senior

Anthony Urso Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Three-year letterman for the Leopards … Repeat All-County selection … The stocky-built Urso at 5-foot-10, 188-pounder filled in at several positions, including closer in 2018 … As a sophomore in 2016, he enjoyed a cup of coffee at the varsity level with two hits in nine at-bats hitting .222 … As a junior in 2017 across 21 tilts, the left-handed hitting Urso hit .404 … Across 57 at-bats, he lifted 23 hits and posted a team-best-26 runs batted in … In 2018, most hitters wouldn’t mind hitting .282 after 13 games – but not Urso … He was up and down up to that point in the season … Then he ignited … He hit safely in a career-best 10 games in a row … During that tear, Urso went 4-for-5 against Weeki Wachee and 4-for-4 against South Sumter … Had he had one more official at-bat, he would’ve concluded the season as the county’s forth-best hitter at .398 … He finished second on the team in runs scored (29) and hits (33), extra-base hits (12) and RBI (24) … He also led the circuit in saves (4). … Next step is playing JUCO ball for the Bryant & Stratton College Bobcats in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

QUOTE: “A month into this year, he shortened up swing and decided to utilize the whole field. It changed his launch angles and opened up his power. You don’t have to just swing for the fences to be successful … To win games, you have to have situational hitting … His best strength? He can flat out hit … He’s not gonna dazzle you with his arm or his speed … We’re gonna miss having a starting first baseman hitting in the No. 3 hole … His bread ’n butter is knocking in runs; he did a really good job at that.”

Sims

2B – Chris Cesiro

Springstead – Senior

Chris Cesiro

COMMENTS: Second-year varsity letterman … First-year starter … First-time All-Hernando County selection … The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder filled in at pitcher and third when he wasn’t holding down second base … In his first varsity season in 2017, Cesiro quietly rapped four hits in 11 at-bats in his 28 games played … Enjoyed a fine 2018 campaign … Led the team in games played (29), finished second in circuit in at-bats (93) … Led the Eagles in runs scored (24) and finished second on the squad in hits (29) … Led the county with 12 doubles … Drove in a team-best 24 runs batted in … Finished third on the club in hitting (.312) … Enjoyed six multi-hit games highlighted by a 3-for-3 effort against Zephyrhills in the Tom Varn Tournament … Defensively, he finished fourth in the circuit in assists (44).

QUOTE: “Had a great senior year at the plate and on the field … I was surprised how well he hit.”

– Laferty

Shortstop – Trevor Adler

Central – Senior

Trevor Adler                Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Fourth-year letterman … Third-year starter … First-time All-County pick … Not the thickest guy in town at 5-foot-10, 145 pounds … Besides some mound appearances, Adler anchored shortstop for the Bears … Has made great strides … As a freshman, he played junior varsity and got promoted at the end of the season and went 0-for-1 in three games … A year later, his batting average went from zero to .185 … Was the team’s seventh-leading hitter with 12 safeties, no extra-base hits and seven runs batted in … Blossomed as junior … Batting average leapt 137 points to .322 … Finished second on the club in hitting, led the team in games played (27), at-bats (87) hits (28), extra-base hits (9), doubles (7) … Finished third on the squad in runs scored (23) and fourth in RBI (16) … Defensively, he led the county in assists (53) … Enjoyed his best-ever campaign in 2018 … Concluded the season ranked as the fourth-best hitter on his team and seventh in the county (.354) … Finished second on the team in at-bats (82), runs (22), runs batted in (22) and fourth in hits (29) … Defensively, for the second season in a row, Adler led the circuit in assists (63) … Tremendous student-athlete … Was recognized by the Lowman Law Firm as Central High’s Student-Athlete of the Year … Adler maintained a 3.782 unweighted and over a 4.0 weighted GPA … Will continue at the next level, playing for the NAIA’s Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.

QUOTE: “A lot of kids can’t handle the pressure of hitting in No. 3 hole, Trevor batted there over 90 percent of the time … He’s one of top 2-3 shortstops, I’ve ever had … Probably be playing third next year … He has the ability to play there … Very cerebral hitter …When some guys go into a slump they change everything … Trevor’s basically the same hitter he was when he came up as a freshman … He’s a quality young man … With him graduating, that leaves a big hole in the middle of our defense; those will be big shoes to fill.”

– Sorrentino

Third Base – Brennan Cross

Nature Coast Technical – Senior

Brennan Cross

COMMENTS: Third-year varsity letterman, two-year starter … First-time All-County selection … Cross maintained a 3.37 unweighted and a 3.59 weighted grade point average … At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, he solidified the infield with his steady play at the hot corner … Wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a sophomore collecting two hits in 14 at-bats through 16 games for a .143 clip … Batting average jumped almost 300 points as a junior … Collected 20 hits in 21 games (.426) … Majestic senior campaign … Ranked fourth on the team and eighth in the county in hitting behind a .353 average … Finished third on the team in at-bats (88) and fourth in hits (31) … Concluded the season as one of five Sharks with 20+ runs batted in.

QUOTE: “During his junior and senior seasons, he put up some outstanding numbers … Another solid infielder for us … When any ball was hit, he’d field it – was very consistent … We’re gonna miss his solid play at third … We’re also gonna miss his consistency in just putting the ball in play; we preach that to the guys all the time.”

Vitale

Catcher – Brandon Riera

Nature Coast Technical – Senior

Brandon Riera

COMMENTS: Rare fourth-year letterman … Three-peat All-County pick … As a freshman in 2015, Riera collected a quiet three hits in 12 at-bats for a .250 average and three runs batted in … A year later as the Sharks’ full-time receiver, Riera posted 20 hits in 23 games to hit .312 with 11 extra-base hits while driving in 15 … His long-ball threat resulted in four homers, tying him with teammate J.P. Gates for the county lead … Behind the dish, Riera ranked second in the circuit in total chances (203) and third in put outs (172) … In 2017, Riera compiled 31 hits in 29 games, hitting a career-best .374 … Even though he played catcher, he paced the Sharks in runs scored (30) … He swatted 13 extra-base hits, highlighted by eight doubles and three dingers … He finished second on the squad in runs batted in (27), landing 10 during the 5A-7 Tournament at Central … With the leather, he led the county with 302 total chances and 265 put outs … In 2018, his offensive numbers dipped … He paced the Sharks in games played (31), at-bats (93), doubles (10) … Finished third on the squad in RBI (26) and sixth in batting average (.312) … Liked to show off his arm behind the plate … Surrendered a stolen base early against Jacksonville-Bolles in the state semifinals, then threw out the next two who attempted to steal on him … Behind the dish, again he paced the county in total chances (244) and putouts (217).

QUOTE: “Started for us as a freshman … Served as a four-year catcher … Did a tremendous job of controlling the other team’s running game … There weren’t many guys who tried to steal on him … His arm was essential in shutting teams down … In his career, he always seemed to have big games against Hernando … He was the guy that had to protect J.P. in the batting lineup … Had a ton of RBI (71) … We’re gonna miss his arm and how he controlled the running game.”

Vitale

Pitcher – Jack Jasiak

Springstead – Junior

Jack Jasiak  Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Twoyear letterman, two-year starter … Repeat All-Hernando County selection … Outstanding student-athlete who maintains a 3.75 unweighted and 4.125 weighted grade point average… At 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Jasiak was the team’s unequivocal leader at the plate and on the rubber … As a pitcher, the right-hander was consistently clocked in high 80s … In 2017, he ranked fourth in the county in starts (10) … Tied with NCT’s J.P. Gates in wins (7) … Ranked third in ERA (0.95) … Fanned 51 batters in 44 frames … His strikeout to walk ratio was a ridiculous 7 to 1 ratio (51-7) … At the plate, Jasiak rapped 26 hits in 26 games … Finished third on the team in RBI (21) … Notched eight multi-hit games … Went 3-for-3 with six runs driven in the 6A-6 title game victory against Dunnellon … Was even better in 2018 … Jasiak ranked sixth in the county in hitting (.366) … Also led the Eagles in hits (30) and multi-hit games (8) … When he wasn’t filling in the infield – typically at shortstop – Jasiak toed the rubber … Ranked second in the local circuit in appearances (12), starts (11), complete games (4), innings pitched (57.0), strikeouts (86), and ERA (1.60) … Finished third in wins (7) and fourth in shutouts (1).

QUOTE: “Jack had a great year … He’s playing ball all over the country this summer … I’m thankful he’ll be back … The kid sleeps and breathes baseball … I’d like to see him continue to progress … He doesn’t take much time off … As good as he is, he conducts himself as a professional and just goes about his business … It’s never about him.”

Laferty

Outfield – Tyler Adler

Central – Senior

Tyler Adler

COMMENTS: Trevor Adler’s twin brother … Due to injuries he only played two seasons … First full season in 2018 … First-time All-County selection … Never saw any varsity playing time as a freshman or sophomore … Played sparingly as a junior in 2017 … In 14 games, he responded with three hits in 14 at-bats (.214) … Enjoyed a breakout senior campaign … Ranked second on the team and fifth in the county in hitting (.385) … Paced the Bears in games played (26), at-bats (92), and hits (35) … Finished tied for second on the team in RBI (19) and finished third in runs scored (21) … Signed with the NAIA’s Brescia Bearcats in Owensboro, Ky.

QUOTE: “Began the season batting leadoff … Played there for the first third of the season before switching to cleanup … The great thing was he got to play a full season this year … A shoulder injured sidelined him as a sophomore … He missed a third of the year in 2017 … This year, we finally got to see what he could do … came into every game prepared … Made in-game adjustments … Was a very consistent player … He was never in a real slump … He and his brother are great young men … Tyler is a 3.3 – 3.4 GPA kid … Moreover, he never got in trouble … He was always at practice on time … There’s a lot of talent there.”

Sorrentino

Outfield – Zach Funkhouser

Nature Coast Technical – Senior

Zach Funkhouser

COMMENTS: Rare four-year letterman, three-year starter … Three-time All-Hernando County selection … Doesn’t exactly possess an Al Kaline or Roberto Clemente-type arm in right field, but who does? … Greatest assets included his speed, his closing ability on the ball and an innate ability to serve as the ultimate table setter at the top of the lineup for the Sharks’ offense … Listed at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds … As a frosh in 2015, Funkhouser wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar with two hits in nine games with two runs batted in … That wasn’t the case in 2016 … Flourished as the Sharks’ leadoff batter … In all, Funkhouser led the local circuit in hitting (.378), ranked second in runs scored (32) and ranked third in hits (31) … Besides pilfering 12 bases in 13 stolen base attempts, Funkhouser threw out four runners from right field including two in the 5A-7 semifinal at first base against Central … Another fine season in 2017 … Ranked fifth in the local circuit in hitting at .344 … Tied for third in at-bats (90) … Was accidentally stepped on during the Tom Varn Tournament and missed two games … Whale of a senior season in 2018 … Led the Sharks in hitting (.453) and doubles (10) … Paced the county in runs scored (49), triples (4) and on-base percentage (.575) … Ranked third in the county in slugging percentage (.663) and fourth in walks (22) …Was the only Shark to hit safely in all seven post-season games this year … Outstanding student-athlete maintaining a 3.68 unweighted and a 4.1 weighted grade point average … Was a two-year member of the prestigious National Honor Society … Outside of school, Funkhouser has amassed some 370 hours of community service … Concluded his prep career his 104 hits across 91 career games (.390) … Holds the NCT school record for most runs scored (122).

QUOTE: “After his class trip, he took off and made contact … He’d run thru a wall for us … Went hard all the time … Great kid, who was super smart and had an outstanding GPA … Is not afraid to dive to get to any ball … Has a college-type arm … We’re gonna miss his on-base percentage … Why did he score so much? Because he was always on base and ran like the wind … Zach was one of the main reasons we scored early in almost every game we played.”

Vitale

Outfield – Brandon Frangione

Nature Coast Technical – Senior

Brandon Frangione

COMMENTS: Played in four varsity seasons … Three-year starter … Repeat All-County selection … Listed at 6-foot, 170 pounds … One of NCT skipper Frank Vitale’s best moves was switching Frangione from shortstop to centerfield … Broke in going 0-for-6 as a freshman in 2015 … Improved with 14 safeties in 25 games to hit .241 in 2016 … By relaxing, Frangione broke loose at the plate in 2017 … Was one of four Sharks to lead the county in games played (29) … Finished fourth in the county in hits (34) and third in extra-base hits (15) … Tied Springstead’s Johnny Oliveira for the circuit lead in doubles (10) … Ranked tied for second in triples (4) … Compiled a career-best 34 hits in 29 tilts for a personal-best .415 batting average … Finished third on the Sharks in runs batted in with 26 … Stellar senior campaign in 2018 …Was across the board steady at the plate … Ranked second on the team in games played (30) and RBI (36), third in at-bats (88), runs scored (31), hits (36) and batting average (.409) … Left the program with 84 career hits and 72 RBI in 88 games, hitting .359 … Fine student-athlete maintaining a 3.47 unweighted and a 3.89 weighted grade point average … Member of the NCT Beta Club and a two-year member of the prestigious National Honor Society … Plans on enrolling at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

QUOTE: “Kinda learned from his past mistakes at the plate and stayed back a little longer in the box … Hit well the other way … He drove in a bunch of RBI … Once he made the switch to center, he played well defensively … He’s another kid that displayed good intensity … He had that focused look on his face … He was a competitor … Played like a rock for us … His greatest attribute was he made the adjustment from shortstop to centerfield appear seamless.”

– Vitale

Designated Hitter – Connor Morgan

Hernando – Sophomore

Hernando third baseman, Connor Morgan, throws to first during the game against Fivay. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Two-year starter … First-time All-County selection … Also swam and played soccer behind his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame … Most improve on his range at the hot corner and his mobility … Didn’t pitch as much as planned due to tightness … In 2017, Morgan debuted as the Leopards’ fifth-best hitter at .259 … A year later, Morgan led the county in hitting (.489) … He also paced the local circuit in hits (44) … Ranked second in the circuit in singles (29), extra-base hits (15), doubles (10), RBI (34), and slugging percentage (.755) … Tightness limited him to 10 innings and a 1-0 record with nine strikeouts against seven walks.

QUOTE: “Connor put together an outstanding season … There’s still a lot to learn … As far as competition, he can flat out hit … He carried us for most of the season … We took care of his arm; we’re giving him time to restrengthen it … In Year 3, I’d like to see him continue to mature as a young man… I see him stepping up into a leadership role similar to what Logan Flood and Austin Legg have been for us the last couple of years.”

Sims

UTILITY – Jonathan Allion

Central – Senior

Jonathan Allion Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Multi-sport athlete, who has played football and basketball for the Bears … Physically gifted at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds … A 2016 and 2017 All-Hernando County football selection at tight end … Repeat All-County baseball selection … Continues to grow into his body … As a frosh in 2015, Allion was 1-for-6, hitting .167 … As a sophomore, he climbed to .253 with 20 hits in 27 games … In 2017, the left-handed hitting Allion cracked 27 safeties in 27 contests, hitting .321 … Hitting in a ballpark that is not conducive to going deep, Allion smacked three homers and drove in a team-best 30 runs batted in … He ranked third in taters and third in RBI in the county …Started his senior campaign on the interstate .. He collected four hits in 22 at-bats, hitting .182 … Rallied from the that point on to hit .327 down the stretch to finish hitting at .282 … Allion was the sixth Bear to collect at least 20 hits … Led CHS with seven extra-base hits, including three round trippers … Drove in a team-best 24 RBI.

QUOTE: “He might be the most gifted player I’ve had since Matt Warner … He walks into a game and just crushes the ball … If he would’ve put in more time into baseball, there’s no telling where he’d be right now … There aren’t many guys around like him … And yes, he has that kind of natural ability, you don’t often see … He batted in No. 3 hole for three years for us … Like to see him continue to grow up and see what lies ahead of him.”

– Sorrentino

UTILITY – Dalton Mosser

Weeki Wachee – Senior

Dalton Mosser Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Fourth-year Hornet letterman … Three-time All-County pick … At first glance, Mosser appears to be a surfer from Huntington Beach, California with his long blonde locks beneath his baseball cap … An extremely versatile player … As a freshman in 2015, he posted pedestrian offensive numbers hitting .269 with six runs batted in … A year later, Mosser dipped to .267 with 12 RBI … Besides regularly playing as a middle infielder, Mosser can deal … After going 2-0 with 20 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched in 2015, Mosser was the US-19 crew’s ace with 11 starts and two complete games in 2016 … Across 55 IP, the right-hander registered 69 punch outs, ranking second behind NCT ace J.P. Gates’ 98 … Mosser finished 3-6 with a fine 2.16 ERA. … In 2017, Mosser paced the Hornets in eight key offensive categories including: games played (24), at-bats (76), runs scored (23), hits (23) extra-base hits (12), doubles (8), runs batted in (23) and batting average (.461) … Finished runner-up in the hitting race to NCT’s J.P. Gates’ .478 … On the bump, Mosser ranked fourth in innings pitched (48.0) and third in strikeouts (66) … Defensively, he ranked second in the local circuit with 51 assists behind county leader Trevor Adler of Central (53) … As a senior in 2018, Mosser finished second on the team in hitting (.296) … For a team that hit a collective .245, he led the squad in hits (24) and games played (25) … Biggest value was on the mound … Across 53.0 frames, the right-hander fanned 75 against 27 free passes … He finished 5-5 overall … His seasonal highlight arrived when he bested Inverness-Citrus in the 6A-6 district quarterfinal via a one-hit shutout, 2-0.

QUOTE: “He means everything to us … He elevated us to a different level … This year, we had more of a complete team around him … He’s matured since his freshman year … Basically, we went how he went … If he was on for the day, we could beat anybody … I’ll miss the comfort of giving him the ball on the mound … Before he played Citrus, he told everyone he didn’t want this to be his last game and pitched a whale of a game … He’s a gamer and a happy-go-lucky type kid off the field.”

McHugh

UTILITY – Jiovel Lantigua

Springstead – Junior

Jiovel Lantigua

COMMENTS: Two-year letterman … First-year starter … Initial All-County pick … The 6-foot, 230-pounder enjoyed a cup of coffee at the varsity level in 2017 … The Dominican Republic product batted 15 times in 10 games, gathering three hits for a quiet .200 batting average … As a junior, Lantigua blossomed … The left-handed batter with a swing reminiscent of David “Big Papi” Ortiz, played in a team-high 29 games … Excellent eye at the plate … Led the Eagles on on-base percentage (.500), and slugging percentage (.561) … Collected 28 walks, ranking third in the county … Served as the team’s fifth-best hitting at .303 … Finished second on the team in RBI (23) and runs scored (22), fifth in hits (23) … Finished tied for third in the circuit in homers with four with HHS’ Connor Morgan … With the graduation of Nick Collins – the county’s No. 2 homerun hitter, look for Lantigua to anchor first base in 2019.

QUOTE: “What a great attitude … Displays great baseball knowledge … Plays the game beyond his years … He’s another Jasiak as far as baseball IQ … There was a big difference in his plate approach this season … If you know him, you don’t pitch to him – ask Dunnellon … Nick (Collins) did an exceptional job for us at first, but with him graduating, Jiovel will get chance at first base.”

Laferty

UTILITY – Jackson Short

Hernando – Senior

Jackson Short

COMMENTS: Two-year letterman … First-time All-Hernando County pick … Was strictly utilized as a PO – or pitcher only … He batted once in two years … In 2017, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound breaking ball specialist finished 4-3 over 37.2 frames … The right-hander struck out 26 but walked 20 with a 5.02 ERA … In a year’s time, he ascended to being the Leopards’ ace … Led the squad in starts (10), complete games (4), wins (7), ERA (1.65) … He fanned a team-best 43, compared to issuing 26 free passes.

QUOTE: “He gave us everything he had … He’s a pitcher … Kind of kid that utilizes every inch and uses the entire strike zone … He’s a not a guy who can throw it through a car wash to keep it dry … He’s the same guy who no-hit Nature Coast over there (12-0) … I’m gonna miss the simple communication he had with the dugout … I really didn’t expect him to be our No. 1 … He made a big jump … He’s a team-goal, oriented person.”

Sims

UTILITY – Dylan DuPhily

Hernando – Freshman

Dylan DuPhily
Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: First-year starter … First-time All-Hernando County pick … The 5-foot-8, 145-pounder … Became the first frosh to make All-County since HCA’s Ian Townsend in 2008 … Debuted as the Leopards’ third-best hitter and county’s ninth-best hitter behind a .337 average … Led the team in games (29), at-bats (92), and runs scored (34) … Finished third in hits (31) and RBI (20) …Defensively, he finished second in the circuit in assists (58) to Central’s Trevor Adler … On the mound, DuPhily hurled over 24.0 innings, finishing 3-2 overall … He fanned 30 and walked five … His three wins were against first-year Cypress Creek, winless Gulf and the last ever Ridgewood nine.

QUOTE: “If he’s not playing shortstop, we don’t win 22 games … Age-wise, it was a perfect time to come in and play middle infield for us … With our nine seniors, he was not afraid of competing for a spot … He’ll be challenged and he’ll continue to get better … He pressed a little bit on his hitting, instead of just relaxing.”

Sims

Coach of the Year – Frank Vitale

Nature Coast Technical – 4th Year (13th overall)

Frank Vitale
Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

COMMENTS: Three-time All-Hernando County selection … Previously named Coach of the Year in 2009 at Springstead … Was also named Co-COY along with Springstead’s Shawn Laferty in 2016 …From 2004-14, the Sharks literally had a revolving door at head baseball coach … Seven previous mentors saw their way in and out before Vitale arrived for the 2015 campaign … In Year 1 at NCT, Vitale finished 6-15-1 … After that, his club went 20-5, 19-10 and 26-5 … The Sharks, under Vitale captured back-to-back-to-back district titles … Through the program’s first 12 seasons, they had never won a district crown … Under Vitale, the Sharks also captured Hernando County titles in 2016 and 2018 – it’s the program’s fourth and fifth county titles … Vitale paced the Sharks to a single-season school record of 26 wins … The Sharks also set a school record for most home wins (15) … NCT claimed its first-ever regional title by thumping host Alachua-Santa Fe, 12-3 … By reaching Fort Myers for the Class 5A State Final Four, the Sharks reached “The Show” for the first time … Vitale’s 71 career wins after four seasons at NCT also serves as the school record.

QUOTE: “I couldn’t have done this without my assistant coaches … They really helped in the fall … They were extremely dedicated … This was a senior-laden team we had built up for four years … It wasn‘t hard to coach this team this year … I leaned on our seniors as leaders … Sometimes, kids will tune out coaches, but not their teammates … Taking my coaching stints into account in New Jersey and Florida, this was my best-ever team … We took baby steps forward as sophomores playing and losing to Lake Highland Prep … The next year, we beat LHP but lost a 2-1 game at Bishop Moore … All we talked about with this year’s team was taking the next step … We did that when we played Bishop Moore here and won …What I enjoyed most was we had our own goals and maintained almost every one of them.”

– Vitale

Al Sorrentino

QUOTE: “Led a great group of guys to the penultimate game of the season … When you’ve got a great team, one of the toughest things as a coach is not screwing it up … Give Frank credit, he kept them focused.”

Sorrentino

QUOTE: “Frank had a fantastic season … Got his team to the Final Four … That’s what we’re all striving to do.”

– McHugh

Shawn Laferty

QUOTE: “Look at Frank’s record there for the last four years … He’s carried a program to where it’s never been before … He’s done a good job with those kids … As a coach, you can’t deviate from working hard; that’s what he brought with him when he came aboard.”

– Laferty

QUOTE: “Frank did a good job coaching them up … He’s a competitor … We enjoy the competition, especially within the county ranks … Those games create excitement and they’re very competitive … Congrats to Frank and his staff, they put in their time.”

– Sims 

2018 HernandoSport.com

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

Jonathan Gates                                             Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Anthony Urso

HER

12

2B

Chris Cesiro

SPG

12

SS

Trevor Adler

CEN

12

3B

Brennan Cross

NCT

12

C

Brandon Riera

NCT

12

P

Jack Jasiak

SPG

11

OF

Zach Funkhouser

NCT

12

OF

Tyler Adler

CEN

12

OF

Brandon Frangione

NCT

12

DH

Connor Morgan

HER

10

UTIL

Jiovel Lantigua

SPG

11

UTIL

Jonathan Allion

CEN

11

UTIL

Dalton Mosser

WW

12

UTIL

Jackson Short

HER

12

UTIL

Dylan DuPhily

HER

9

Player of the Year – Jonathan “J.P” Gates 12th (Nature Coast Technical)

Coach of the Year – Frank Vitale (Nature Coast Technical)

2017 HernandoSport.com

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Johnny Oliveira

 

 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Anthony Urso

HER

11

2B

Dalton Mosser

WW

11

SS

Jack Jasiak

SPG

10

3B

Dakota Blevens

SPG

12

C

Brandon Riera

NCT

11

P

Joey DelGatto

SPG

12

OF

Johnny Oliveira

SPG

12

OF

Logan Flood

HER

12

OF

Jonathan Allion

CEN

11

DH

Zach Funkhouser

NCT

11

UTIL

Justin Chevalier

CEN

12

UTIL

Brandon Frangione

NCT

11

UTIL

Adam Palma

CEN

12

UTIL

Cameron Sereda

WW

12

Player of the Year – Jonathan “J.P” Gates 11th (Nature Coast Technical)

Coach of the Year – Shawn Laferty (Springstead)

2016 HernandoSport.com

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Logan Flood
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Matt Warner

CEN

12

2B

Stephen Bienstock

SPG

12

SS

Jake Murray

SPG

12

3B

Andres Cabrera

HER

12

C

Luke Laferty

SPG

11

P

Miguel Martinez

SPG

12

OF

Johnny Oliveira

SPG

11

OF

Mason Stacy

NCT

12

OF

Tyler Skipper

HER

12

DH

Zach Funkhouser

NCT

10

UTIL

Brandon Riera

NCT

10

UTIL

Logan Flood

HER

11

UTIL

Pierce Kimbrough

HER

12

UTIL

Dalton Mosser

WW

10

Player of the Year – Jonathan “J.P” Gates 10th (Nature Coast Technical)

Co-Coach of the Year – Frank Vitale (Nature Coast Technical)

Co-Coach of the Year – Shawn Laferty (Springstead)

2015 HernandoSport.com

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Justin Young
Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Thomas Sorrentino

CEN

12

2B

Zach Sorrentino

CEN

12

SS

Tanner Bammert

HER

12

3B

Jeff Misener

WW

11

C

Owen Morgan

HER

12

P

Thomas Sorrentino

CEN

12

OF

Tyler Ledington

HER

12

OF

Eric Correa

SPG

12

OF

Justin Young

HER

12

DH

Vito Tambasco Jr.

NCT

12

UTIL

Scott Dwyer

CEN

12

UTIL

Stephen Bienstock

SPG

11

UTIL

Matt Warner

CEN

11

UTIL

Miguel Martinez

SPG

11

Player of the Year – Justin Young 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Al Sorrentino (Central)

2014 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Kyle Kilbourne
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Thomas Sorrentino

CEN

11

2B

Zach Sorrentino

CEN

11

SS

Matt Clark

CEN

11

C

Austin Treverton

NCT

12

P

David Flowers

HER

12

P

Trevor McKenna

CEN

12

OF

Kyle Cotilleta

SPG

12

OF

Frankie Gomez

NCT

11

OF

Justin Young

HER

11

UTIL

Will Pagan

SPG

12

UTIL

Vito Tambasco Jr.

NCT

11

UTIL

John Peloro

NCT

11

UTIL

Chris Lake

NCT

12

Player of the Year – Kyle Kilbourne 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2013 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Christian Arroyo
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Thomas Sorrentino

CEN

10

2B

Nic Pasarela

SPG

12

3B

Scoot Dwyer

CEN

10

C

Jake Johnson

HER

12

P

Trevor McKenna

CEN

11

P

Trae Ratliff

HER

12

OF

Kyle Cotilleta

SPG

11

OF

C.J. Martinez

CEN

10

OF

Brandon Lawson

HER

12

UTIL

Ryan Nicoll

SPG

12

UTIL

Vito Tambasco Jr.

NCT

10

UTIL

Brandon Brosher

SPG

12

UTIL

Drue Brooks

NCT

12

Player of the Year – Christian Arroyo 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Jim Diven (Springstead)

2012 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Brandon Lawson
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Brandon Brosher

SPG

11

2B

Brandon Gemmiti

HER

12

SS

Christian Arroyo

HER

11

3B

Zack Taylor

CEN

11

C

Jake Johnson

HER

11

P

Trae Ratliff

HER

11

OF

Jose Alonzo

NCT

12

OF

Jimmy Diven

SPG

12

OF

Joe Siegfried

SPG

12

UTIL

Ryan Nicoll

SPG

11

UTIL

Nic Pasarela

SPG

11

UTIL

Jason Santiago

CEN

12

UTIL

Tommy Tambasco

NCT

10

Player of the Year – Brandon Lawson 11th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando) 

2011 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Brett Maggard
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Josh Colon

CEN

12

2B

J.T. Simpson

HER

12

SS

Christian Arroyo

HER

10

3B

Julian Perez

SPG

12

C

Tyler Bammert

HER

12

P

Bobby Pasarela

SPG

12

OF

Ian Townsend

HER

12

OF

Louis Colaiacomo

HER

12

OF

Taylor Owensby

HER

12

UTIL

Gregg Rittenberry

NCT

12

UTIL

Ryan Nicoll

SPG

10

UTIL

J.R. Wright

SPG

12

Player of the Year – Brett Maggard 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2010 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Louis Colaiacomo                  Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Julian Perez

SPG

11

2B

Taylor Owensby

HER

11

SS

Ian Townsend

HER

11

3B

Jack Diven

SPG

12

C

Tyler Bammert

HER

11

P

Danny Colon

NCT

12

P

J.T. Simpson

HER

11

P

Justin Gates

HER

12

P

Bobby Pasarela

SPG

11

OF

Chris Churay

SPG

12

OF

Patrick Dwyer

SPG

12

UTIL

Austin Rollins

HER

12

UTIL

Brett Maggard

HER

11

Player of the Year – Louis Colaiacomo 11th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2009 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Patrick Dwyer
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Josh Romeo

HCA

12

2B

Tyler Bosworth

HCA

12

SS

Ian Townsend

HCA

10

3B

Brandon Brosher

HCA

8

C

Ryan Brady

HER

11

P

Mike Adams

NCT

12

P

Bobby Pasarela

SPG

10

P

J.T. Simpson

CEN

10

OF

Derek Wohlfiel

SPG

12

OF

Jonathan Russell

NCT

12

OF

Mike Speakman

SPG

12

UTIL

Mike Ogren

CEN

12

UTIL

Justin Perez

SPG

10

Player of the Year – Patrick Dwyer 11th (Springstead)

Coach of the Year – Frank Vitale (Springstead)

2008 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Ian Townsend
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Andrew McNeal

HER

12

2B

Kenny Treverton

NCT

12

SS

Tom Dwyer

SPG

12

3B

Ian Townsend

HCA

9

P

Morgan Rogers

HER

12

P

David Rotteveel

HCA

11

P

Joe Silvestri

NCT

12

P

Michael Jacobs

SPG

12

OF

Chris Jones

NCT

12

OF

George Fribley

HER

12

UTIL

Brandon DeRespris

NCT

12

UTIL

Cam Kick

CEN

12

UTIL

Bryan Nicolini

SPG

12

Player of the Year – Travis Murray 12th (Nature Coast Technical)

Coach of the Year – Bob Shepard (Nature Coast Technical)

2007 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Travis Murray
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Greg DePace

SPG

12

2B

Kenny Treverton

NCT

11

SS

Brandon DeRespiris

NCT

11

3B

Bryan Nicolini

CEN

11

C

Corey Drummond

HCA

12

P

Bryan Daniels

NCT

12

P

Kyle Neal

HER

12

OF

Blake Dudkewic

NCT

12

OF

Kyle Kuzniar

NCT

12

OF

George Fribley

HER

11

OF

Lowell Bebout

NCT

12

UTIL

Tom Dwyer

SPG

11

UTIL

Kai Huff

HER

12

UTIL

Travis Murray

NCT

11

Player of the Year – Travis Murray 11th (Nature Coast Technical)

Coach of the Year – Dan Garofano (Nature Coast Technical)

2006 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Monte Ketchum
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Robbie Fleischer

HCA

12

SS

Brandon DeRespiris

NCT

10

3B

Justin Jacobs

SPG

12

C

Ryan Erbe

NCT

11

P

Bryan Daniels

NCT

11

P

T.R. Ross

CEN

12

DH

Travis Murray

NCT

10

OF

Jake Meadors

CEN

12

OF

Kyle Kuzniar

NCT

11

UTIL

Ryan Knight

HCA

12

UTIL

Zach Bowe

HCA

12

UTIL

Joe Silvestri

NCT

10

UTIL

Kai Huff

HER

11

Player of the Year – Monte Ketchum 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2005 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

James Johnson
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Zach Bowe

HCA

11

2B

Jeff Oleson

HER

12

SS

Eric Nickolaison

SPG

12

C

Mike Edwards

NCT

12

P

Stephen Legner

SPG

12

P

Chris Poulos

SPG

12

OF

Monte Ketchum

HER

11

OF

Jay Olmstead

SPG

12

OF

Matt Padgett

HER

12

OF

Chris Pape

SPG

12

UTIL

Robbie Fleischer

HCA

11

UTIL

Victor Quinones

NCT

12

UTIL

T.R. Ross

CEN

11

Player of the Year – James Johnson 12th (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2004 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Andrew Boyer
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Matthew Blanton

HER

12

2B

Jake Bowe

HCA

11

3B

Jeff Oleson

HER

11

C

Mike Rachesky

SPG

12

P

Zack Bowe

HCA

10

P

Eric Nickolaison

SPG

11

P

Chris Poulos

SPG

11

OF

Anthony Morana

CEN

12

DH

James Johnson

HER

11

UTIL

Andrew Boyer

HER

12

UTIL

Brian Dunn

HER

12

UTIL

Robby Fleischer

HCA

10

UTIL

Terry Meaney

NCT

11

UTIL

Chris Pape

SPG

11

Player of the Year – Andrew Boyer (Hernando)

Coach of the Year – Tim Sims (Hernando)

2003 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

D.J. Anderson
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Kurt Senft

SPG

12

2B

John DeSenso

SPG

12

SS

D.J. Anderson

CEN

12

3B

Fred Farmer

HER

12

C

Mike Rachesky

SPG

11

P

Randy Cseh

CEN

12

P

John Cook

HER

12

P

Josh Smith

CEN

12

OF

Arnold Mendoza

CEN

12

OF

Jimmy Goodworth

CEN

11

DH

John Grotto

CEN

12

UTIL

Tommy Hessler

HER

12

UTIL

Kenny Zarrillo

CEN

12

Player of the Year – Keiv Huff (Hernando)

Coach of Year – Gary Buel (Central).

2002 Hernando Today

All-Hernando County Baseball Team

Gary Buel
 

POS

 

NAME

 

SCH

 

YR

1B

Sean Steele

CEN

12

2B

Tommy Hessler

HER

11

SS

Brian Hoogewind

HER

12

3B

Kurt Senft

SPG

11

P

Thomas Bunn

HER

11

P

Thomas LoBianco

CEN

12

DH

John DeSenso

SPG

11

DH

Frank Kraft

SPG

11

OF

Kenny Zarrillo

CEN

11

OF

Justin Melnik

SPG

11

OF

Travis Tolbert

CEN

11

UTIL

Jamie McElfresh

CEN

12

UTIL

David Moen

HER

12

Player of the Year – D.J. Anderson (Central)

Coach of Year – Gary Buel (Central).

 

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