Plant's Bats Deliver Against King

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

Yesterday afternoon, the Plant Panthers took on the King Lions in the Saladino tournament for a pool game at Jefferson HS, FL that would feature and back and forth affair early, with the Panthers eventually coming out on top. After a shaky first couple innings by the starting pitchers, they would lock in until the Panthers bats came alive again in the fifth inning with some big hits that would key their victory over the Lions 9-5.

Starting for the Lions, 2017 RHP Luke Drummond (King HS, FL) sat 85-87 mph, touching 88 with his fastball and featured a good mix with a 65-67 mph curveball along with 74-76 mph change up throughout the game. Drummond would struggle in the first inning, allowing four runs to cross the plate, but would settle in and set down the Plant lineup until their bats would wake up again in the fifth inning.

Starting for the Panthers, 2016 RHP Zane Hedaya (Plant HS, FL) sat 85-87 mph, touching 88 with his fastball along with a 72-74 mph curveball with 12/6 action and depth. The Holy Cross recruit also struggled in the first couple innings, but was able to settle down afterwards and the Lions would never score again after the second inning.

After Hedaya exited after four innings, 2018 LHP/OF Connor Scott (Plant HS, FL) entered the game and went three innings giving up no hits and striking out four. The Florida recruit overmatched the King lineup as he sat 84-86 mph, touching 87 mph with his fastball along with a 73-76 mph curveball with depth and shape. Scott pounded the strike zone and worked quickly and efficiently on his way to earning the win. Ranked No. 1 in the 2018 class for the state of Florida, Scott also impressed at the plate with a smooth, natural swing with juice in his bat from the left-hand side.

Leading the way on offense for the Panthers, 2017 OF AJ Hubbard (Plant HS, FL) would go 2-for-3 at the plate with a double while knocking in two runs and scoring twice on hard line drives to the right side of the field. 2017 1B/RHP Mike Pelaez (Plant HS, FL) went 1-for-3 at the plate and knocked in two runs while also scoring twice. 2017 MIF John Shields (Plant HS, FL) tripled.

On the King side, 2018 3B Jamarcus Lyons (King HS, FL) not only made a couple of nice plays in the corner including a backhand with a strong throw across the diamond, and doubled at the plate where he knocked in two runs on a hard hit into the left-center field gap. 2016 OF Sey Juan Lawrence (King HS, FL) made a couple of tremendous plays in center field, including a diving catch and an over the shoulder grab right up against the warning track in center field showing good range and a quick first step.

With the win, the Plant Panthers will move on from their pool and await their next opponent as they advance to the quarterfinals of the Saladino tournament.