A capsule look at the local teams heading into next week’s start to the 2020 regular season.

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Drew Law will be counted on to lead Suwannee’s pitching staff.

Suwannee

Key players

Drew Law (LHP, OF), Dawson Harrell (RHP, OF), Marquis Jones (OF), Ryan LeNeave (INF), Hunter Cantella and Alex Sapp

What to look for

Suwannee lost seven starters from last year’s Final Four team. The Bulldogs also won’t have a hard-throwing ace on the mound like previous years. But Law, a left-handed pitcher, got some big wins during the playoffs last season and showed he can pitch well under pressure. Harrell, a Polk State commit, is also another promising pitcher.

Jones and LeNeave can play multiple positions and will need to lead the offense this season. The Bulldogs are reloading this season, but they have the talent to make another run. Suwannee moves to Class 4A this season and will be joined in District 2 by Baker County, Clay, Ridgeview and Santa Fe.

Quotable

“Goals are to compete at a high level and find a way to compete in a new district with new teams. Find senior leadership and play the right way. To play hard and be a tough, gritty team while also learning about life and using baseball as a way to build men.”

— SHS coach Justin Bruce 


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Blake Howard is one of the numerous Trojans returning after advancing to the state playoffs a year ago.

Hamilton County

Key players

Brent Howard (C/P/INF), Blake Howard (P, INF), Brad Peacock (P, INF), Devin Cherry (INF), T’mo Paul (INF, OF)

What to look for

Hamilton County brings back almost the entire starting lineup from last year’s squad that advanced to the state playoffs. The Howard brothers will be key players at the plate and on the mound, as well as Peacock, a Thomas University commit.

Paul will provide some pop to the lineup. Cherry looks to provide a spark either at the top of the order or bottom of the order, getting on base and stealing bases.

The Trojans lost a lot of close games last season. But they have the potential and experience to get back to the playoffs.

Quotable

“We need to throw strikes. We walked too many people last year. We also need to play better with the lead.”

— HCHS coach Chris Howard 


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Lafayette is led by Dylan Mock, who has signed to play at Santa Fe.

Lafayette

Key players

Dylan Mock (INF, P) Jaxson Beach (INF), Joseph Perry (C, INF), Jarrett Pearson (P, INF) 

What to look for

The Hornets had a tough finish to the 2019 season as they had their season ended in a district semifinal by Hamilton County. Lafayette will bring back all but one starter, led by Santa Fe signee Dylan Mock.

Lafayette has good hitters and experienced players in Beach, Perry, Pearson and Mock — all seniors. They have a few injuries to start the season with Adam Perry and Darius Jones out, but could be a dangerous team when healthy.

Quotable

“Our schedule is tough – we’ve got Wakulla Christian, Suwannee, Trenton, Newberry and a tough distict – but I like our team. I’m hoping we can hit a little better.”

— LHS coach Tim Hanson

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