By: J. Daniel Pearson
For Positively Osceola
With the exception of a few baseball events, spring break shut down most sports in Osceola County last week. But baseball and softball jump back into action this week with a heavy schedule of action around the county.
Most teams were off last week, except Osceola and Harmony who participated in tournaments in Polk and Orange County respectively. The Kowboys had a huge week, going 3-0 in their tournament and finding their offense by scoring 36 runs in beating Inspiration Academy (Bradenton, FL), 12-10; Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), 19-8; and Auburndale, 6-4 to push their record for 7-3 on the season. Jason Ramos (8 for 11, 5 RBI), Nick Palmi (5 for 10, Triple) and Louis Rodriguez (5 for 13, HR) led the way for the Kowboys.
Harmony (4-7) came away with a 1-2 record after playing in the O-Town National Classic, which featured a highly competitive field. The Longhorns lost to state powers The First Academy (5-2) and Apopka (10-2) but came away with an impressive win over Ponderosa (Parker, Colorado) by an 8-5 score. Jhon Peralta went (4-10) and Cade Walter (3 for 9) led Harmony in hitting for the week; while Iziah Santiago (3.2 IP, 1 ER) picked up the pitching win over Ponderosa. Ismael Rivera (3.2 IP, 1 ER) pitched well in the loss to the First Academy.
Osceola County will be busy this week with a full slate of games as they prepare for next week Orange Belt Conference Championship Tournament that will be contested with quarterfinal games on Monday (3/27), semifinal and consolation games on Wednesday (3/29) and Championship and placement games on Friday (3/30).
This Week’s County Baseball Schedule:
Monday, Mar. 20
St. Cloud at Tohopekaliga, 7 p.m.
Ridge Community at Celebration, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Mar. 21
Melbourne Central Catholic at Harmony, 6 p.m.
Tohopekaliga at Olympia, 4:30 p.m.
Poinciana at Gateway, 6 p.m.
Ellwood City (Pennsylvania) at Celebration, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Mar. 22
Osceola at Winter Haven, 7:30 p.m.
Liberty at Lake Nona, 7 p.m.
Tohopekaliga at Gateway, 5 p.m.
Olympia at St. Cloud, 7 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 23
Melbourne at Harmony, 6 p.m.
Lake Wales at Osceola, 7 p.m.
Wekiva at Liberty, 6 p.m.
All county team were idle last week for spring break but several key games are on tap for this week, including big rivalry games this week when Osceola (4-3) hosts St. Cloud (4-3) and Liberty (1-4) travels to Poinciana (4-3) on Tuesday. Celebration (0-5) and Gateway (0-3) will be seeking their first wins of the season; while after playing a tough early season schedule, Harmony (1-3) returns to action against East River (2-7) and Timber Creek (2-5).
Some interesting early season numbers are developing. Tohopekaliga freshman Jessilyn Diaz is hitting .571 in her first year of varsity competition. Senior Jodee Matos was hitting at a .566 clip (13 of 23) for the Lady Kowboys; while Poinciana’s Alondra Lozado had an incredible on-base percentage of .875, having reached base safely in 14 of 16 plate appearances, which included 9 of 11 hitting and five walks.
This week’s county softball schedule:
Monday, Mar. 20
Liberty at Ft. Meade, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Mar. 21
Liberty at Poinciana. 4:30 p.m.
Davenport at Celebration, 5 p.m.
East River at Harmony, 7 p.m.
St. Cloud at Osceola, 7 p.m.
Bayside at Tohopekaliga, 6 p.m.
Heritage at Gateway, 6 p.m.
Wedneday, Mar. 22
Davenport at St. Cloud. 7:15 p.m.
Jones at Poinciana, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Mar. 23
Timber Creek at Harmony, 7 p.m.
Trinity Christian at Osceola, 5 p.m.
Tohopekaliga at Edgewater, 4:30 p.m.
Viera at Liberty, 6 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 24
Haines City at Gateway, 7 p.m.
St. Cloud at Satellite, 6 p.m.
Poinciana at Lake Buena Vista, 6 p.m.