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The 2022 Classic Pool A Preview

Pool A of "The Classic" edition of the Florida League High School Invitational features five teams that played in Florida's regional playoffs last season, including three that found themselves in the regional finals. Although the tournament's top-ranked team resides in Pool A, Division I commits across all five teams make this pool a difficult one to navigate.

Bishop Moore

Location: Orlando, Florida

Head Coach: Tony Mehlich (8th season)

2021 Record: 16-13

Playoff Finish: Regional Finalists

Key Players:

Ryan Furey, P, c/o 2022 (Rollins commit)

Jacob Rollen, P, c/o 2022 (Rollins commit)

David Cole, P, c/o 2022 (Southern Maine commit)

Caleb Scott, IF, c/o 2023 (Lipscomb commit)

One of the top programs in the Orlando area, head coach Tony Mehlich has taken the Hornets to states three times since 2016. BMCHS brings a deep, senior-led pitching rotation to the FHSI, led by a pair of Rollins College commits in Ryan Furey and Jacob Rollen, as well as a lineup that Mehlich says has plenty of pop. The 2021 season will be the second trip to the FHSI for Bishop Moore, which has also served as the home of the Florida League's Winter Park Diamond Dawgs. Entering the week of March 6, the Hornets boasted a four-game winning streak.

Martin County

Location: Stuart, Florida

Head Coach: Brett Hawkins (6th season)

2021 Record: 21-5

Playoff Finish: Regional Quarterfinalists

Key Players:

Tyler Murphy, IF, c/o 2022 (Florida Atlantic commit)

Luis Alvarez, IF, c/o 2022 (Coastal Alabama CC commit)

Martin County went 20-3 in the regular season a year ago before falling to state powers Dwyer and St. Thomas Aquinas in the district and regional playoffs, respectively. Head coach Brett Hawkins describes his team as "a well rounded team that tries to do the little things right to win ball games." FAU commit Tyler Murphy, who logged four saves on the mound last season, is the standout for the Tigers, who will also lean on Nick Robert on the mound. Robert struck out 37 hitters in 34.1 innings with a 1.02 earned run average in 2021.


Location: Orlando, Florida

Head Coach: Mike McDaniel

2021 Record: 15-14

Playoff Finish: Regional Quarterfinalists

Key Players:

Nico Banez, OF, c/o 2022 (Dartmouth commit)

Sam Taveras, 3B, c/o 2022 (CCBC commit)

Tyler McClanahan,OF, c/o 2023 (Alabama State commit)

Derek Lopez, C/P, c/o 2023 (Florida International commit)

Head coach Mike McDaniel, who also serves as head coach of the Florida League's Winter Garden Squeeze, brings what he calls a talented but young team to the FHSI, one that is looking to build off an appearance in the regional playoffs last season. Ivy League commit Nico Banez, ranked by Perfect Game as one of the top 100 seniors in the state, is the catalyst for the Titans' order, which features Division I commits in Banez, McClanahan, and Lopez. The Olympia pitching staff is guided by senior Jayson Kowalski and junior Robert Hurlock, among others.

Ponte Vedra

Location: Ponte Vedra, Florida

Head Coach: Tom Stanton

2021 Record: 13-15

Playoff Finish: Regional Finalists

Key Players:

Tyler Bernstein, IF, c/o 2022 (Trinity College commit)

Sam Demaio, LHP, c/o 2022 (College of Wooster commit)

John Noell, RHP, c/o 2022 (Northeast CC commit)

Matt Hoag, LHP, c/o 2024 (Duke commit)

Ponte Vedra went just 13-15 a year ago, but got hot at the right time of year, advancing all the way to the regional championship game before falling to eventual 5A state champion Mosley. Tom Stanton has been the head coach of the Sharks since their inception, building a program that has won three regional titles in the first 15 years of the school's existence, including a state championship in 2013. Stanton stated after making the run to the regional finals with a freshman-laden group, the Sharks are "prepped to make another deep run in the playoffs."

The First Academy

Location: Orlando, Florida

Head Coach: Scott Grove

2021 Record: 30-1

Playoff Finish: State Champions

Key Players:

Isaac Sewell, LHP, c/o 2022 (Virginia Tech signee)

Ben Barrett, RHP/3B, c/o 2022 (Florida State commit)

Greg Pettay, SS, c/o 2022 (Central Florida commit)

Riley Parker, C, c/o 2022 (Central Florida commit)

Jaden Bastian, CF, c/o 2023 (Jacksonville commit)

Nathan Seeber, RHP/LF, c/o 2023 (Maine commit)

In a deep tournament, The First Academy comes in as the unquestioned team to beat. The defending 3A state champions, who went 30-1 last season return their entire pitching staff and seven of the top position players from one of the best teams in the nation. Those returners include six Division I commits, led by 2021 Florida 3A Player of the Year Isaac Sewell. MaxPreps currently ranks the Royals as the No. 15 team in the nation. Head coach Scott Grove has won regional titles with three different teams in his coaching career, doing so at Colonial and Timber Creek before winning the 2021 title at TFA.


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