Sharks off to impressive start

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After beginning the season as one of the teams in the area to watch, the Ponte Vedra Sharks Varsity baseball team has not disappointed. The Sharks are off to a 3-1 start on their season and are currently ranked #4 in the North Florida Power Poll index. The team started its season with two road games in Valdosta, Georgia. In its season opener, the Sharks found themselves down 4-0 after four innings to Central High School (Alabama). This deficit did not deter the Sharks from rallying in the final three innings. The Sharks rallied behind timely hitting from Jack Hahnemann (three hits) and Carter Page (two hits) for a come-from-behind 5-4 win in extra innings. Offensively, the Sharks outhit Central 11-6. The Sharks performed solidly on the mound with Brody Maynard starting the game, Dom Berardi and Kevin Faulkner keeping the game tight and Tony Roca coming on for the save.

In game two, the Sharks once again found themselves down late in the game and rallied with a run in the seventh. Despite outhitting Columbus 6-3, the Sharks stranded the tying run at second base and fell 2-1 to 12-time Georgia State Champion Columbus (Georgia) Blue Devils. The Sharks were solid once again on the mound led by game two starter Zach Chappell (three innings, five Ks, one ER) followed by outstanding efforts by Reagan Philley and Duncan VanKouteren. Offensively, Carter Page paced the team with two hits and Jack Hahnemann had the team’s only RBI.

The Sharks came back to Florida with a Tuesday evening tilt versus the defending 5A State Champion Bolles Bulldogs. The Bulldogs had won 19 consecutive games and 28 consecutive games versus teams from Florida. Bolles was also ranked #18 in the nation by the national high school ranking service Maxpreps. The Sharks were hitting on all cylinders in this matchup and quickly jumped out on top. Quinton Brehm carried the night for the Sharks offensively with five RBIs including a towering seventh inning grand slam to left field on a 3-0 count that put the Sharks up 7-0. Jacob Young, the Sharks’ do-it-all leadoff hitter, got the party started with a run scored in the first inning on an RBI by Zach Chappell. On the mound, Kevin Faulkner was stellar (four innings, four Ks, zero runs) followed by Duncan VanKouteren and Jack Hahnemann. The Sharks limited the Bulldogs to three hits. Hahnemann closed out the seventh inning in the 7-2 win.

On Friday, under the lights at Baker County, none shone brighter than Eric Aleman. The senior righty started the game on the mound by holding the Wildcats hitless for the first four and two-thirds innings before finally allowing a two- out single in the fifth. His night was complete after five innings (five Ks, zero runs allowed) before giving way to Dom Berardi. Quinton Brehm came in to throw a perfect seventh inning to close out the 3-1 Sharks victory. Offensively, Aleman also contributed with a double and a run scored. Sophomore Carter Page (two hits), Junior Jacob Young and Sophomore Tony Roca each had an RBI in the win.

On Friday, March 10, the Sharks host long-time rival Nease at the Ponte Vedra Shark Tank.

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