Class 8A

Apopka knocks off nation’s No. 1 high school baseball team

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – The No. 1 high school baseball team in the nation fell from the ranks of the unbeaten Friday as Orlando Olympia was crushed 8-4 by Apopka in the Class 8A, District 3 title game.

The loss means the Titans (25-1-1) go on the road in the opening round of the region playoffs. Apopka, which lost two games to Olympia each by 2-0 margins, starts the postseason at home with a potential rematch looming in the second round.

Olympia went 29-0 in 2012 before losing in the region championship game.

On Friday Apopka right-hander Nick Barber pieced together an impressive game on the mound until Olympia began rallying in the final inning while down 8-1. A double by Kirk Sidwell, single by Drenis Ozuna and 2-RBI triple by Juan Hillman was not enough though as Barber finished with eight strikeouts against six hits.

(Read more about Apopka’s 8-4 win over Olympia at Orlando Sentinel)

Barber yielded three singles in the fourth inning after working three up and three down over the first three innings. He also finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and RBI.


National No. 1 Olympia High School turns in unbeaten regular season

ORLANDO, Fla. – A come-from-behind win on the final day of the regular season kept Orlando’s Olympia High School atop the MaxPreps national high school baseball rankings this week.

The No. 1 Titans became just the second team in Central Florida history to make it through the regular season without a blemish on its record. But it’s an elusive trip to the state final four that would be most satisfying as playoff qualifiers get underway this week.

The Titans face Ocoee on Wednesday in their Class 8A, District 3 opener, just four days after local rival Dr. Phillips had their backs against the wall late in the season finale.

Olympia scored seven runs in the final three innings to win 9-5 (in eight innings) and improve to 100-12-1 since 2012, which happens to be the last time Olympia went unbeaten before losing in the region title game to finish 29-1.

(Read more about Olympia’s win over Dr. Phillips at Orlando Sentinel)

“They just believe they’re going to win,” Olympia coach Chuck Schall said. “Even at the end there when we’re down, there’s not a guy on that bench that doesn’t think we’re going to come back.”


Carnahan Coverage: Turnovers costly for Bloomingdale in playoff loss to Dr. Phillips

Junior quarterback Isaiah McIntyre could not hold back tears as he wandered aimlessly along the sideline following Bloomingdale’s 24-21 loss to Orlando Dr. Phillips in the opening round of the Class 8A region quarterfinals on Friday.

Bloomingdale was in the midst of a four-minute drive when McIntyre fumbled the football while pulling his right arm back to pass just 24 yards from the end zone with 57 seconds remaining. It was his second lost fumble of the half, each recovered by junior Tashaun Lindquist.

“On the final drive the ball just slipped out of my hands,” McIntyre said afterwards. “I wish we would’ve won this game because of our seniors. They really wanted it, but the ball slipped out of my hand.”

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap of Bloomingdale at Dr. Phillips for Tampa Bay Times – )

For the all the great things McIntyre did for the Bulls on Friday, and throughout the season, he’ll likely have a hard time forgetting what went wrong in the final two quarters after leading his team to a 14-3 advantage at halftime.


Carnahan Coverage: Pitchers Combine For 20 K’s in Playoff Game

For the second night in a row I found myself covering a high school postseason game that needed extra time to be decided.

West Orange High School scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning on Wednesday to come away with a 3-0 win over Boone in a Class 8A region semifinal, in what was an interesting pitching dual much of the way.

Tennessee commit Kelsey Morrison went 4-for-4 and struck out eight batters for West Orange. Lost in all of this excitement the superb night turned in by Boone’s Chase Cassady, who struck out 12 in the loss.

– (Click here to read my recap for Bright House Sports Network) –