The Florida High School Athletic Association enters the first round of the high school baseball playoffs in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. In 2022, the playoffs are staggered over different days and different classes, leading to a week-plus span of state championships May 18-21 and May 23-25 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. Bolles, Fleming Island and St. Johns Country Day made the bottom four in northeast Florida last year. Game times are subject to change.
7 p.m. Wednesday
Baker County (13-12) at Suwannee (21-4)
This could be a special year for Suwannee, entering No. 1 in Class 4A statewide. Winners of their last 12 games, the Bulldogs have already beaten Baker County 10-1 this year on a big night for senior Peyton Waters. Jamil Jones of Baker County is batting .373 with five triples to go along with his 10 football interceptions.
Clay (17-10) at Alachua Santa Fe (20-6)
These two have played some classics lately – Clay won 5-4 in 14 innings last year, Santa Fe won 2-1 in nine in April. Tyler Mills and Max Williams lead the Blue Devils longpitch squad, a combined team for 22 homers this season. For Santa Fe, Devan Mitchum (.386) and Devante Mitchum (.366) are a powerful one-two combination.
South Walton (14-10) at Bishop Kenny (19-6)
Hot red. The Crusaders have 10 straight wins, including victories over Clay and St. Johns Country Day, and Garrett Corbett (7-0, 1.21) is a force on the mound. Ronan Fowler is batting .433 with six doubles for South Walton. If the Crusaders win, they will meet Wakulla or Panama City Beach Arnold.
Fernandina Beach (14-9) at Bishop Snyder (16-4)
First-time district champion Bishop Snyder beat the Pirates 9-1 in the season opener, but Sean Benjamin’s five RBI night led Fernandina Beach to an 11-5 victory in March. Nick Wrubluski and Sebastian Ortiz play home plate for the Cardinals. The winner plays Ocala Trinity Catholic or Pensacola Catholic.
Providence (14-12) to episcopal (17-10)
A high-profile rematch, after the Eagles rallied with seven points in the seventh to top Providence in a home-and-away District Championship game. Providence’s Nove Masci and Episcopal’s Hayden Perry are among the extra-base threats in action. The winner would get The Villages or Florida High in the next round.
Tallahassee St. John Paul II (13-8) at St. Johns Country Day (21-4)
The start of a championship march? Bradley Hodges, Jordan Taylor and the top-seeded Spartans begin their quest for the playoffs against a Panthers team with a 5.71 ERA. St. Johns made the Class 2A Finals last year and reached the title match at the National High School Invitational.
Trinity Christian (19-8) at St. Joseph (10-16)
Perennial contender Trinity opens the playoffs on the road, with a growing pitching squad that has youth (eighth-grade Brayden Harris) and experience (senior Brady Ellison). Logan Dantzler and Ashton Nugent each doubled twice when the Conquerors beat St. Joseph 16-6 in April. Evan Rodriguez (.365, 5 HR) energizes a St. Joseph team that’s gotten hot just in time for the games that matter most.
Wakulla Christian (18-2) at University Christian (21-6)
Brady Wright, Trenten May and UC are on a roll heading into the playoffs, winning seven in a row. William Pell has an OPS of 1.329 for Wakulla Christian, who is averaging 12 points per game. The winner then meets Gainesville Oak Hall or Tallahassee North Florida Christian.
Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.