By Kyle Coppola
Top 5 High School Baseball Pitchers in Lake & Sumter Counties
#1 Carter Parks : The Villages Charter School
Parks is one of the best all around pitchers in Lake & Sumter Counties by far. This season he has unloaded a firestorm upon the competition. The Senior has amassed 46 strikeouts in the early part of this season. He has faced 109 batters and pitched 26 innings. The national average for ERA is 5.33 so Parks is well ahead of that curve. He has only given up 6 earned runs this year. By far the best pitcher in the league by averages so far.
Parks just has that natural ability to know what to pitch and when to pitch it. He has worked extremely hard for the opportunity to be the lead pitcher for The Buffalo and over the course of his time at The Villages, Carter has improved a ton. This is the best start to the season that the Senior has ever had in his career. That should get the attention of scouts. At this time the Senior remains uncommitted to a college but this year he is impressing many, hopefully Parks gets the opportunity to play at the next level.
Parks is also a good fielder. He has a .275 batting average and 11 hits so far this season. Parks is also 3rd on the team for the most RBIs with 7. Parks will continue to be a threat to any team in the area. While The Villages has faced some tough competition so far this season Parks has been a standout amongst the team. We look forward to seeing the progression continue this year.
#2 Kaden Herrell : First Academy High School (Leesburg)
One of the best pitchers in the area is Kaden Herrell. Herrell has been dominant this season. In 21 innings pitched he has only given up 4 runs all season long. He has 23 strikeouts while posting a 1.31 ERA. He has faced 85 batters and given up only 8 runs while also surrendering 13 hits on the season. First Academy plays in Region 2A district 5. Herrell’s prowess on the mound has not gone un-noticed. His ERA is the best in Lake & Sumter County and while some of that is attributed to the weak division the Eagles play in, the athletic ability of Harrell is far beyond the competition.
Herrell has exceeded expectations in the 2A division. In fact he’s one of the best pitchers we have seen in that class in a very long time. The Eagles have looked good so far this season. Herrell’s results would likely be even higher if he had more opportunities to pitch but the batting has been so dominant for the Eagles, Harrell has not had to worry much. The Eagles have some of the best batters in 2A baseball including Seniors Bryce Cherry who is bating .524 and Jacob Pishko who is likewise batting .524 on the season. This has helped Harrell along as it’s been a total team effort to get where they are at 7-1 on the year.
The Eagles are one of the clear favorites to win the district this season. Herrell is improving his stock every time he takes the mound. He sits just behind Carter Parks as the runner up-in our top five pitchers in Lake & Sumter County. Herrell and the Eagles have a fairly easy schedule coming up which should assist in keeping Herrell healthy as The Eagles march towards the district tournament.
#3 Chase Marsh : Mount Dora Christian Academy
Chase Marsh, the Thomas University Commit makes our top 5 best pitchers list. The senior has faced 107 batters while only giving up 11 runs all season long. He currently sits at 3-2 this season but Mount Dora Christian have faced some tough competition to begin the year. Marsh has 40 strikeouts and a 2.66 ERA which is well below the national average in High School Baseball. Marsh is the kind of guy every coach would like to have on his team.
Marsh takes control of the game and just has a keen eye for what pitches to throw at the right times. It’s the reason he has 40 strikeouts thus far which leads the team by nearly half. Thomas University is getting a stellar athlete next year. Marsh impressed many last year which is why he was given the opportunity to sign with Thomas before the season even began. Marsh should continue to have plenty of opportunities this year to impress. We absolutely love the way he commands the mound.
Marsh is going to be the type of guy you want on the mound when the pressure is on. The amount of pressure will continue to mount as MDCA finds itself 7-7 on the season. As of now Trinity Christian Academy is the favorite to win the district but Master’s Academy and Mount Dora Christian should give them a run for their money this year especially if Marsh is at the helm.
#4 Colby White : Tavares High School
Colby White has been impressive to start the 2023 season off. The Lake Sumter State College Commit has been the backbone of the Tavares High School Baseball team. He has faced 103 batters this year while retiring 39 of them via strikeouts. White has a 2.70 ERA which is well under the national average of 5.33. White has only given up 20 hits so far on the year.
Lake Sumter State College is getting one of the better pitchers in our area. The Bulldogs have produced many excellent pitchers over the years and White is among some of the best. The Bulldogs find themselves below 500 on the season but the play of White has kept the team in a good position. The batters have struggled at times this season but White has bailed them out on multiple occasions. Tavares is only missing a few pieces but if they can get those corrected they could be a force down the stretch.
White has been a big reason for Tavares High School’s success this season. While it remains to be seen how the remainder of the season will play, White remains the bright spot for The Dogs. His fastball has increased 11mph and now is approaching the 90 mph range. His top result has been 88mph so far. We are excited to see White staying in the area and playing for the Lakehawks come next season. We also wish White the best of luck as the season winds down and the districts approach!
#5 Ryan Paul : Lake Minneola High School
Paul has had a fantastic year thus far. Paul has pitched 15 innings and thrown 21 strikeouts. He has an ERA of just 2.23 and has faced 64 batters which leads the team. Paul has only given up 5 runs this year through 12 games and he just keeps getting better as the season progresses. The Hawks have some of the best batters in Lake & Sumter counties. Paul has had a relatively easy start to the season as the batters have helped the Hawks out to healthy leads all season. This has limited the amount Paul has had to pitch leading to him getting plenty of rest which is important in the early part of the season.
Coming down the stretch it would be no surprise to see Paul be one of the most dominant pitchers in Lake & Sumter County and right now he certainly is. All three pitchers who make up Lake Minneola’s current roster including Ethan Diaz and Keegan Zinn are terrific. The trio of athletes has been a force to be reckoned with which is why the Hawks are 11-1 this year. The Hawks are the clear favorites to win the division and make a run in the playoffs. Ryan Paul has been a huge part of that success.
Photos Provided By:
Mount Dora Christian Academy
The Villages Charter School
Tavares High School
Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.
For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.
Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.
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