P - Brooks Walton, Buchholz, senior: The Sun’s Player of the Year, 9-1 on the season with 1.40 ERA, 75 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched, only 12 walks, batted .349 with 18 RBIs for 21-7 8A quarterfinalists; son of UF softball coach Tim Walton; signed with Santa Fe College.

P - Garrett McCranie, Santa Fe, senior: Went 7-3 with 2.20 ERA, 35 strikeouts in 60.1 innings pitched for 16-14 5A regional finalists.

P - Chase DeMichele, Gainesville, senior: Went 4-4 with 2.20 ERA, 45 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched for 13-14 7A regional quarterfinalists; also hit .368 with 11 doubles, 18 RBIs; Daytona State College signee.

P - Micah Kreighauser, Columbia, senior: Went 6-3 with 2.87 ERA, 66 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched for 7A regional quarterfinalists and four-time district champions; Toccoa Falls College signee.

P - Luke Baker, Buchholz, sophomore: Went 6-2 with 2.69 ERA, 50 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched.

P - Dustin Beckelheimer, Santa Fe, junior: Went 3-4 on season with 2.29 ERA, 50 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched.

C - Peter Meyers, Eastside, junior: Hit .366 with six doubles, three home runs, 24 RBIs for 10-16 Rams.

INF - Ethan Brunson, P.K. Yonge, senior: Batted .519 for 19-9 Blue Wave with 10 doubles, two triples, one grand slam, 37 RBIs, 12 stolen bases; only one error playing second base; 2-1 as pitcher with five saves and 26 strikeouts.

INF - Austin Sutton, P.K. Yonge, senior: Hit .432 with 13 doubles, one home run, 28 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

INF - James Sapp, Buchholz, senior: Started all four years at shortstop for Bobcats, excellent defensively; hit .300 with six doubles and 18 RBIs.

INF - Ethan Thompson, Santa Fe: Batted .333 with 10 doubles, four home runs, 25 RBIs, 26 runs scored for 5A regional finalists.

INF - Dave Mitchum, Santa Fe, sophomore: Hit .350 with nine doubles, two triples, one home run, 16 RBIs.

OF - Mike Rosario, Buchholz, senior: Batted .373 with five doubles, three triples, five home runs, 31 RBIs.

OF - Clayton Steinruck, Columbia, senior: Hit .310 with seven doubles, 12 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, .990 fielding percentage for 16-13 Tigers.

OF - Devante Mitchum, P.K. Yonge, 8th grade: Batted .383 with 10 doubles, 16 RBIs, 10 stolen bases.

OF - Brant Parker, Fort White, senior: Hit .349 with six doubles, two triples, 12 RBIs for 13-11 Indians.

OF - Dee Covey, Newberry, junior: Hit .373 with seven doubles, one triple, 10 RBIs, 33 runs scored, 13 stolen bases for 16-10 Panthers.

OF - David Robinson, Newberry, senior: Batted .342 with four doubles, one triple, 19 RBIs, 30 runs scored, 22 stolen bases.

UTIL - JoJo Strong, Gainesville, senior: Batted .297 for Hurricanes with three doubles, one triple, four home runs, 15 RBIs, 24 runs scored, walked/hit by pitched 32 times; two wins, three saves as pitcher, 3.40 ERA, 66 strikeouts in 47.1 innings pitched, .198 opponents batting average; Bethune-Cookman signee.

UTIL - Luke Marquis, Gainesville, junior: Played in infield, catcher and pitcher, hit .338 with five doubles, one home run, 20 RBIs, five stolen bases, .443 on-base percentage; had three wins and one save, 29 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched.

UTIL - Daveion Love, Columbia, senior: Batted .305 with six doubles, 13 RBIs; 5-5 as pitcher, 2.15 ERA, 45 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched.

UTIL - Cory Troiano, P.K. Yonge, senior: Played outfield and infield for Blue Wave, hit .317 with five doubles, two home runs and 24 RBIs.

UTIL - Tyler Shelnut, Fort White, sophomore: Played infield and pitcher, hit .426 with 10 doubles, three triples, one home run and 12 RBIs; on the mound, went 5-3 with 2.27 ERA, 69 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched, one shutout.


Mac Rendek, Santa Fe: Despite opening the season 1-7, led the Raiders to District 5-5A title, with back-to-back upset wins over Mount Dora (8-0) and Tavares (5-4) in regionals before falling to Nature Coast (12-3). Santa Fe finished the season 16-14. Recognition also goes to Buchholz coach Ron Brooks, whose Bobcats went 21-7, falling at Dover Strawberry Crest 6-4 in Class 7A regional quarterfinals; and Columbia coach Brian Thomas, whose Tigers won their fourth straight district title. 


P - Landon Kennedy, Trenton, senior: Went 11-1 with 1.13 ERA, 72 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched for Class 1A state semifinalists.

P - Joe Ruth, Oak Hall, senior: Went 6-1 with 1.37 ERA, 73 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched, 14 walks, opponent’s batting average .150; batted .426 with five doubles, four triples, three home runs, 12 RBIs, nine stolen bases.

P - Garrett Mullins, Union County, freshman: Went 7-1 with one save, 0.77 ERA, 60 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched, 31 hits allowed, nine walks, three complete games.

P - Illich Purcell, Lafayette, senior: Went 8-2 with 1.83 ERA, 75 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched, 44 hits allowed; batted .338 with six doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs.

P - Levi Pickel, Williston, senior: Went 5-0 with 1.75 ERA, 32 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched; batted .317 with four doubles, 14 RBIs.

C - Wyatt Langford, Trenton, sophomore: Batted .382 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 30 RBIs, 23 runs scored, 14 stolen bases.

C - Colton Rawlins, Bell, senior: Hit .371 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run.

C - Jake Elder, Williston, junior: Batted .339 with 16 RBIs.

INF - Christian Rey, Williston, senior: The Sun’s Player of the Year, third baseman batted .485 with six doubles, three triples, four home runs, 42 RBIs, 11 hits by pitch, 15 walks, 22 stolen bases, one error in 79 chances in playing at third base; had seven saves on mound, with 33 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched.

INF - Chase Malloy, Trenton, senior: Hit .419 with four doubles, three home runs, 20 RBIs, 41 stolen bases, 42 runs scored, 26 walks for 21-7 Tigers.

INF - Daniel Plank, Trenton, senior: Batted .390 with nine doubles, 17 RBIs, 31 stolen bases, 32 runs scored.

INF - Sammy Loveday, Bell, senior: Hit .377 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs; had 68 strikeouts as pitcher.

INF - Chandler Neal, Williston, senior: Hit .386 with three doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs, 31 stolen bases, 31 runs scored.

INF - Carlo Williams, Dixie County, junior: Batted .382 with four doubles, three triples, four home runs with one being a grand slam for 10-12 Bears.

OF - Keegan Mclelland, Chiefland, junior: Hit .397 with seven doubles and 20 RBIs.

OF - Will Sumner, Chiefland, junior: Hit .328 with six doubles, 16 RBIs, 12 runs scored.

OF - Matthew Webb, Williston, senior: Battled .290 with 15 RBIs, 27 runs scored.

UTIL - Trey Sanchez, Trenton, senior: Hit .296 with two doubles, one home run, 23 RBIs, 16 runs scored; went 4-3 on mound with 3.09 ERA, 41 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched.

UTIL - Caleb Land, Lafayette, senior: Hit .390 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 28 RBIs for 15-9 Hornets, which reached 1A regional finals; also went 4-1 on mound with 3.00 ERA, 29 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched.

UTIL - Dylan Mock, Lafayette, sophomore: Hit .333 with four doubles, one triple, 12 RBIs; on mound, went 2-5 with 2.90 ERA, 40 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched.

UTIL - Luke Hatcher, Dixie County, sophomore: Batted .386 with two doubles, one home run, 18 RBIs.


Scott Hall, Trenton: Leaving Williston to take a position at Port St. Joe didn’t last long for Hall, who returned to the area and found an opening for a baseball coach at Trenton. A two-time state champion coach at Williston (2014-2015), Hall led the Tigers, the 2017 defending Class 1A state champions, back to state tournament. Trenton fell to Madison County (4-2), the team the Tigers beat in the 2017 final. Recognition also goes to Lafayette coach Tim Hanson, whose Hornets reached the 1A regional finals, losing a heartbreaker at Madison County, 2-1, in eight innings; and Williston coach Jim Smith, whose Red Devils went 18-8 and fell at Madison County in the regional semifinals, 7-6, in nine innings.

— The Gainesville Sun all-area teams, players of the year and coaches of the year were selected by high school sports editor Larry Savage with help from area coaches. If a team is not represented, it is because the coach did not respond to repeated emails sent to the school requesting information and numerous reminders in the newspaper. Click to for second team and honorable mentions.


P - Payton Weinberg, Gainesville, senior: Went 3-3 with 2.64 ERA, 24 strikeouts in 39.2 innings pitched; as hitter, had four doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs.

P - Caden Kresak, Buchholz, freshman: Went 3-2 with 1.55 ERA, with 22 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

P - Ryan Brown, Santa Fe, freshman: Went 3-3 on season with 2.36 ERA, with 25 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.

P - Anthony Whelan, P.K. Yonge, senior: Went 5-4 with 2.50 ERA, with 36 strikeouts.

P - Alex Thomas, Eastside, senior: Went 6-3 on season with 4.3 ERA, with 48 strikeouts for the Rams, had one no-hitter.

P - Dylan Schaffer, Newberry, freshman: Went 4-1 with 2.45 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched.

INF - Aidan D’Agostino, Santa Fe, senior: Hit .345 with three doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs, 15 runs scored.

INF - Tate Worrell, Columbia, sophomore: Hit .280 with five doubles, two triples, 16 RBIs, 19 runs scored.

INF - Austin Akey, Buchholz, sophomore: Batted .276 with one double, 7 RBIs, 25 runs scored, only made four errors at second base for Bobcats.

INF - Isiah Malone, P.K. Yonge, junior: Hit .356 with two doubles, 15 RBIs.

INF - Danny Dawson, P.K. Yonge, sophomore: Third baseman batted .340 with four doubles, 20 RBIs.

INF - Joe Ukeiley, Eastside, sophomore: Hit .316 with one double, eight RBIs, 14 runs scored.

INF - Caleb Mathews, Fort White, senior: Batted .343 with four doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs.

C - Parker Aultman, Newberry, junior: Batted .350 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and 23 RBIs.

C - Peyton Welch, Bradford, senior: Hit .290 with one double, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs.

OF - Zeb Marquis, Gainesville, junior: Batted .306 with six doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs, 23 runs scored, 12 stolen bases, 38 putouts in 38 attempts at center field.

OF - Nolan Louis, Eastside, junior: Batted .304 with four doubles, two triples, one home run, 17 RBIs, .438 on-base percentage, battled through multiple injuries throughout the season.

OF - Jacob Deason, Santa Fe, sophomore: Hit .303 with six doubles, one home run, 22 RBIs, 21 runs scored.

OF - Sammy Walker, Columbia, junior: Batted .295 with three doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs, 14 runs scored.

UTIL - Mikah Gustavson, Columbia, sophomore: Led team with .314 batting average. .414 on-base percentage; 3-2 as pitcher with two saves, 2.0 ERA, 31 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched.

UTIL - Connor Osteen, Keystone Heights, senior: Batted .324 with one double, one triple, one home run, 19 RBIs; on mound, 13 appearances, 4.89 ERA.

UTIL - Brett Baron, Newberry, senior: Batted .324 with seven doubles, three triples, 16 RBIs, 32 runs scored, seven stolen bases; 5-2 as pitcher, 1.75 ERA, 38 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched.

DH - John Rechsteiner, Santa Fe, freshman: Batted .363 with five doubles, 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored.

DH - Jacob Sosa, Fort White, senior: Hit .345 with five doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs.

DH - Andrew Cox, Keystone Heights, sophomore: Batted .325 with six doubles with 18 RBIs.


Bradford: Jacob Polk (So.); Buchholz: Corbin Grantham (So.), Dario Astudillo (Fr.); Fort White: Trey Houk (Jr.), Kameron Couey (So.); Keystone Heights: Alex Kanos (Sr.), Nate Gagnon (Sr.), Gary Searle (Sr.); Santa Fe: Brennan Haire (Jr.)


P - Carson Jones, Trenton, senior: Went 2-2 with 2.93 ERA, 28 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched.

P - CJ Strange, Williston, junior: Went 3-1 with 1.67 ERA, 29 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched.

P - Parker Seay, Williston, junior: Went 2-3 with 2.47 ERA, 41 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched.

P - Gabe Pena, Williston, senior: Went 1-2 with 2.58 ERA, 37 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched.

INF - Grayson Geiger, Williston, junior: Hit .294 with three doubles, two triples, nine RBIs, .503 on-base percentage, 17 runs scored, only two errors in 63 chances at second base.

INF - Holden Richardson, Lafayette, senior: Batted .353 with one double, 13 RBIs.

INF - Jaxson Beach, Lafayette, sophomore: Hit .309 with two doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs, 11 stolen bases.

INF - Payne Parnell, Chiefland, junior: Hit .318 with three doubles, six RBIs, 17 runs scored.

INF - Seth Thomas, Chiefland, senior: Batted .300 with four doubles, 13 RBIs, 21 runs scored.

INF - Rocky DiBernardo, Oak Hall, sophomore: Second baseman batted .359 for Eagles with nine doubles, 11 walks and seven stolen bases.

INF - Cole Gonzales, Oak Hall, 8th grade: Hit .387 with three doubles, 10 walks and nine stolen bases.

OF - Skyler Shatto, Union County, freshman: Batted .356 with two doubles, 10 RBIs for Tigers.

OF - Trace Croft, Union County, junior: Hit .308 with five doubles, two triples, 18 RBIs.

OF - Travis Pleasant, Dixie County, senior: Hit .323 with seven doubles, 11 RBIs, 13 stolen bases.

UTIL - Whip Davis, Union County, freshman: Infielder and pitched on occasion, .395 batting average with four doubles, two triples and 16 RBIs; 2-0 as pitcher, 1.37 ERA, 15 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.

UTIL - Connor McKinnon, Dixie County, sophomore: Batted .354 with three doubles, 10 RBIs.


Chiefland: Wyatt Hammond (Jr.), Josh Webber (Sr.), Kelby Osteen (Jr.); Dixie County: Chase Johnson (So.), Cody Roden (So.); Trenton: Blake Hall (Jr.), Zach Hardee (Jr.), Jacob Guthrie (Fr.).