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The 2022 Classic Pool B Preview


Pool B of The Classic is wide open, with two regional champions from 2021 leading the field. Five of the six teams played postseason baseball last season, and five of the six will head to Seminole County featuring at least one Division I commit.


DeLand

Location: DeLand, Florida

Head Coach: Zach Spivey

2021 Record: 3-19

Playoff Finish: District Quarterfinalists

Key Players:

Anthony Ruocco, INF, c/o 2023 (Winthrop commit)

Elliot Sande, P/INF, c/o 2024 (Miami commit)


Former Florida Gulf Coast and Bethune-Cookman standout Zach Spivey, a local product from Spruce Creek, is charged with leading DeLand High back to the upper echelon in baseball in Central Florida. The Bulldogs won three regional titles in less than ten years in the 2000s and 2010s, and have a pair of young Division I commits entering the 2022 season. In big games, DeLand will turn to sophomore righthander Elliot Sande, who Perfect Game has clocked up to 90 mph and ranks among the top 25 sophomores in the state of Florida.


Mount Dora Christian

Location: Mount Dora, Florida

Head Coach: Jason Sanders

2021 Record: 22-7

Playoff Finish: Regional Champions, State Semifinalists

Key Players:

Dallas Dale 2023 (LSU Verbal Commit) Outfielder

Collin Priest 2023 (Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Verbal Commit) 1b, 3b, OF, P


In just his second season in Mount Dora, Jason Sanders took MDCA to a regional championship and a trip to Fort Myers for the state series. The Bulldogs return seven starters and several major role players from their regional championship team, including a pair of major Division I commits in Dallas Dale and Collin Priest. Sanders, who has been an assistant coach in the Florida League for the Seminole County Snappers, says his group will be one with a high baseball IQ, and is loaded with pitchers that "just pitch and command the zone."


Okeechobee

Location: Okeechobee, Florida

Head Coach: Eric Kindell

2021 Record: 11-9

Playoff Finish: District Champions, Regional Quarterfinalists

Key Players:

Jacob Hardy, RHP, c/o 2022 (Eastern Florida State College commit)


Head coach Eric Kindell has turned the Brahmans into a playoff contender in the Treasure Coast area, as Okeechobee won a district title in 2021 and has made a playoff appearance in three of the past four full seasons. The Brahmans, who are still a younger group despite returning eight of nine starters from their district-winning team, will rely on EFSC commit Jacob Hardy, who went 7-3 with a 1.24 ERA and totaling 85 strikeouts in 62⅓ innings for the Brahmans last season, earning 5A Pitcher of the Year honors in the Treasure Coast area.


Oviedo

Location: Oviedo, Florida

Head Coach: Andy Lyon

2021 Record: 18-10

Playoff Finish: Regional Quarterfinalists

Key Players:

Isaiah Barkett, MIF, c/o 2022 (NC State commit)

Danny Baez, MIF, c/o 2022 (Indian River State commit)

Xavier Lopez, LHP, c/o 2022 (Daytona State commit)

Preston Felker, IF, c/o 2022 (King College commit)

Eli Fleming, RHP, c/o 2024 (Pittsburgh commit)


Andy Lyon, who has taken both Lake Howell and DeLand to the regional playoffs during his coaching career and was named 2014 Volusia County Coach of the Year after winning a regional title at DeLand, brings a talented Oviedo group to the FHSI in 2022. The Lions are led by the number one middle infield prospect in the state of Florida, Isaiah Barkett, as well as one of the top sophomore pitchers in the state in Eli Fleming. Including Barkett, the Lions boast eleven seniors, setting them up to be a force in a very difficult district that includes Winter Park, Timber Creek, and Hagerty, all of whom won 15 games last season.


Seminole

Location: Sanford, Florida

Head Coach: Kenne Brown

2021 Record: 10-10

Playoff Finish:

Key Players:

Mason McDaniel, LHP, c/o 2022 (Presbyterian commit)

Jason Carroll, C, c/o 2022 (Palm Beach State commit)


Head coach Kenne Brown, who was at the helm of Seminole's 2019 state championship team, brings the Seminoles to the FHSI for the eleventh time. Brown's 2022 group is a young one, returning three varsity starters from the 2021 campaign. The Seminoles will use the FHSI to prepare for one of the state's toughest districts, in which state finalist Spruce Creek didn't even win in 2021. Brown is assisted by Mike Powers, who won Seminole's first state championship in 1992 and currently serves as head coach of the Florida League's DeLand Suns.


Viera

Location: Melbourne, Florida

Head Coach: Brock Doty

2021 Record: 20-7

Playoff Finish: Regional Champions, State Semifinalists

Key Players:

Alex Sosa, C, c/o 2023 (NC State commit)


Viera finally cracked the regional playoff code in 2021, advancing to the final four for the first time in school history in the final season for head coach Bob Doty, who is now an assistant under his son, Brock. Viera comes into the 2022 season with what Doty calls a "solid pitching staff [with] three plus righthanders and solid middle relievers." Much of the scouting attention will be focused on catcher Alex Sosa, who is currently ranked as the number two catching prospect in Florida by Perfect Game, and is pledged to play his college baseball at NC State.

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