Plant Defeats Sickles In Pivotal Playoff Matchup


Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout


In a heated playoff matchup, the Plant Panthers visited the Sickles Gryphons in a back and forth affair until the Panthers took the lead for good in the top of the fifth as they scored three runs to take a commanding four-run lead. The Gryphons couldn’t put anything together in the final three frames and fell 7-3 to the Panthers.

2018 RHP Brock Fagler (Plant HS, FL) struggled early on, giving up three runs in the second inning, but really settled in after that and shut down the Gryphons for the rest of his time on the hill. The State College of Florida recruit featured a fastball that mostly sat 87-88 mph while mixing in a 79-80 mph slider with an occasional 82 mph changeup. Fagler threw a high percentage of first pitch strikes and showed command of the zone as he racked up 11 strikeouts in six and two-third innings. He also helped himself out at the plate where he went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and single. Fagler would be credited with the win.

Offensively, the Panthers received production up and down their lineup, especially at the top of their order. Uncommitted 2018 MIF Mike Haydak (Plant HS, FL) had a strong day out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

After the Panthers took a 5-3 lead courtesy of Haydak’s RBI double in the top of the fifth, 2018 OF Connor Scott (Plant HS, FL) stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run single to left field, giving the Panthers a commanding 7-3 lead and effectively ending the Gryphons chances of making a comeback.

 

 

On the other side, 2019 RHP Dylan Eskew (Sickles HS, FL) started for the Gryphons and showed why he was one of the top pitchers in the state this year, featuring a fastball that sat 91-92 mph with movement early on, before settling in at 87-90 the rest of the way. He also mixed in a 79-81 mph slider that showed depth, along with a 73-74 mph curveball and an occasional 83 mph changeup. The Miami recruit would be credited with the loss as he gave up four runs on six hits while striking out four in his four innings on the mound.

2020 RHP Chase Centala (Sickles HS, FL) worked out of relief for the Gryphons and showed a nice jump in velocity as he sat 89-90 mph with his fastball while mixing in an 82 mph changeup and 76-77 mph slider that he threw for strikes. The uncommitted sophomore has a quick arm and looks to have leaned out over the past several months.

With the victory, the Plant Panthers will take on the winner of Sarasota HS and Lakewood Ranch HS next week.

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Dylan Eskew, RHP, Sickles HS, FL (2019)
Miami recruit. Currently stands at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds with a projectable, athletic frame. Quick, clean arm action. Fastball sat in the 91-92 mph range with movement early on before settling in at 87-90 for the rest of the time on the mound. Also mixed in a 79-81 mph slider that showed depth, throwing it for strikes along with a 73-74 mph curveball that showed some shape and occasionally throwing an 83 mph change up. Athletic and looks to jump on hitters with his fastball, working both sides of the plate. Shows a good mix of his pitches. At times can fall off to the first base side, yanking his pitches out of the zone. High follow for his class with more velocity to come as he adds to the frame.

Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS, FL (2018)

Chase Centala, RHP, Sickles HS, FL (2020)

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