3A State Championship Preview and Prediction

Justin Burgess
Florida Area Scout

In the 3A division of the 2015 FHSAA state tournament, North Florida Christian and Westminster Christian have proven to be the best two teams in the state (or at least the hottest two teams) and will be facing off in the championship game this afternoon at 4:05. Both teams were able to survive fairly close semifinals games, with a 4-2 win over Canterbury for Westminster and a 3-1 win against Bishop McLaughlin for North Florida Christian. The difference in these two games were that NFC had the lead the entire time in their game while Westminster came from behind to win.

This is a matchup where a more offensive-minded team in Westminster will be facing the stifling pitching staff of NFC. Westminster is led by 2015 3B and Vanderbilt Signee Julian Infante, who is hitting an incredible .464 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs coming into the state tournament. Also, 2015 2B and Davidson Signee Adrian Mayans is having a strong year himself hitting .420 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs. As for NFC, they have just as impressive of statistics, but theirs happen to be from the mound. The Eagles probably have the best one-two starting pitching rotation in the state with 2015 RHP and FSU Signee Cole Sands, and 2016 LHP and FSU commit Cole Ragans. Coming into the state tournament, Sands had a 0.59 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched, and all of those numbers should have improved with his complete game outing yesterday where he allowed no earned runs. Remarkably, Ragans is coming into this championship game with slightly better numbers than Sands with a 0.43 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.

The key for Westminster in this game will be to work the count and put the ball in play with hopes of getting runners on base by walks, errors, and timely hitting by Infante and Mayans who can drive runners in. For NFC, Ragans needs to pitch how he has all year and they need to make the routine plays. NFC should be able to score three or four runs while Ragans should not allow more than two. NFC will likely win the state championship over Westminster by a score of 3-1. 

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