FHSAA Diamond Notes: 4/23 to 4/29

Phil Kerber
PBR Florida/JUCO Wire

Throughout the 2019 high school season, we’re accepting nominations from the coaches across the state of Florida for their program’s PDQ Player of the Week candidates. While there can only be one PDQ Player of the Week in the state, we’ll be using this weekly FL Diamond Notes post to highlight the top performers of the past week who fell just short of PDQ POTW honors. We cover all corners of the state, and the evidence is in this post.

Below are the Diamond Notes from April 23 to April 29.

PBR Florida would like to thank all the coaches from across the state who nominated their players. There were numerous worthy selections, making it a difficult challenge to narrow down our Diamond Notes.

Connor Roth, OF, Jupiter, 2020
In three games last week, Roth went 7-11 at the plate with seven RBI, including a game tying three-run home run in the sixth inning against district rival Palm Beach Gardens. Then, in extras of the same game, he doubled and scored the game winning run to clinch the No. 1 seed for districts. On the night, Roth went 4-5 with a single, two doubles, one home run, three RBI and a stolen base

Pierce Chambers, C, Calvary Christian (Clearwater), 2020
Chamber, a TCU commit, had two huge games at the plate last week against Tampa Jesuit and Venice. Facing Jesuit, Chambers went 2-3 with a double and a three-run home run, amassing four RBI. He followed that up by going 3-4 against Venice with a grand slam and six RBI.

Connor Varnum, SS, Paxton, 2020
Varnum came up clutch last week for Paxton. Needing a victory against Ponce de Leon, to clinch the No. 1 seed in the district standings, Varnum hit the game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Taylor Buffington, OF, George Jenkins, 2019
Buffington was 7-9 in 3 games last week.  On the week, Buffington hit 2 HRs, 4 2Bs, 7 RBIs and 3 SBs.  Buffington also made a highlight reel catch in centerfield, ranging far into the left centerfield gap to lay out and make the catch.  Buffington is now batting .556 on the season with 3 HRs, 6 2Bs, 8 3Bs, 20 RBIs, 33 R and 18 SBs

Aiden Mastantuno, LHP, Fleming Island, 2021
Mastantuno, a Florida State commit, led the Golden Eagles to win the St. John's River Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. Aiden threw 6 no-hit innings striking out 8 in Monday's win in the quarterfinals, hit a go ahead 3 run homerun to fuel a come from behind win in the semifinals on Wednesday, and capped off his big week with a 2 RBI triple in the championship game on Thursday. He ended the week with 5 RBIs, 3 runs scored, and picked up a W on the mound.

Jason Brackman, SS/RHP, South Lake, 2020
A do-it-all type of player, Brackman pitcher a complete game shutout allowing only three his and three walks while striking out eight. Brackman also added a .444 batting average on the week.

Hunter French, SS/RHP, Lake Minneola, 2020
Another jack-of-all-trades type of player, French went 5-9 at the plate with four singles, one double and four RBI.  He also provided his services on the mound, striking out three batters in two innings.

Cameron Gagliano, LHP, Fort Walton Beach, 2019
Gagliano continues the trend of two-way players having outstanding weeks. The southpaw tossed seven innings last week, racking up 12 strikeouts while only allowing one hit, good for two saves. At the plate, he went 4-8 with four runs scored, four stolen bases and four RBI.

Karsun Barrett, LHP, Fort Walton Beach, 2019
The second Fort Walton Beach player to be nominated, Barrett performed well on the mound and at the plate. In his start, Barrett picked up the W tossing five hitless innings, striking out nine and walking none. Offensively he went 4-8 with a double, triple and four RBI.

Johnny Thraum, OF, Pine Crest, 2020
Thraum went 5-7 with three doubles, one home run, also drew three walks and had a sacrifice bunt. The centerfielder made a highlight play when he tracked a ball down in deep center and threw out a runner tagging from second base.

Josiah Miller, SS, North Florida Christian, 2019
A Florida State recruit, Miller has been one of the driving forces behind North Florida Christians successful season. Last week he hit an incredible 7-10 with three doubles, one home run, five RBI and six runs scored.

Parker Messick, LHP, Plant City, 2019
PDQ Player of the week on 4/16/19, Messick pitched his third complete game in a row versus Lennard High School on 4/25/19. The highlight of this game was not only that he allowed just two hits and one unearned run, but he had a career day on the mound with no walks and 17 strikeouts in an 8-1 route of the (15-5) Longhorns, for his sixth win of the season. Parker also went 2-4 with a double and a 2 run Home Run, his first of the year as well. Going into the final week of the regular season the FSU commit is having an outstanding year on the mound and currently leads Florida Class 8A in total strikeouts for all pitchers with 81. Messick will get one more start on Tuesday vs Brandon H.S. to close out his regular season and prior to hosting the district playoffs.

Tyler Kreissler, 1B/RHP, Lemon Bay, 2019
Kriessler had a nice week at the plate, going 4-8 with 5 RBIs.  He also logged an outstanding pitching performance on Friday night.  Tyler had 5 innings of work allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits and struck out 4.  His effort help Lemon Bay to a 8-4 win over Fort Myers High School.

Tommy Benson, INF, IMG Academy, 2019
Benson, a North alabama recruit, had one of the most impressive offensive games we have had submitted. In a split doubleheader, Benson went 4-9 with an incredible three home runs and 10 RBI.

Justin Turk, OF, Sickles, 2019
The St. Petersburg recruit went 8-9 during the week, scoring four runs, two RBI and two stolen bases.

Adam Haidermota, MIF, Robinson, 2020
Haidermota went 5-7 last week with three doubles and two RBI for Robinson.

Ryan Pettys, LHP, Mosley, 2019
Facing one of the top 7A programs in the state, Pace Patriots, Pettys dazzled. The Florida State recruit went six and two-thirds of two hit baseball with nine strikeouts and one walk.

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