High School Baseball Poll - Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
For Immediate Release: Monday (June 7, 1999)
LASSITER H.S. NO. 1 IN EASTON SPORTS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER (www.baseballnews.com) POLL
TUCSON, Ariz. After a rash of upsets around the country, Lassiter High School (Marietta, Ga.) was ranked No. 1 in the Easton Sports National High School poll compiled by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
Lassiter (35-2), by a slight margin, outpointed Westminster Academy for the No. 1 ranking by virtue of a 33-game win streak at seasons end, highlighted by 10-0 and 6-0 shutout gems over Brookwood H.S. in the state championship finals, one a one-hitter, the other a two-hitter. Lassiter scored 408 runs in 37 GP, has 12 shutouts, six in a row and seven during the playoffs, plus 18 mercy wins and 88 HRs, breaking the old school mark of 46.
The most inspirational season, however, came from Coach Rich Hofman of Westminster Academy. Taking over duties as head coach at a new school this season with untried, unknown players, he put together his ninth overall state title (and fourth straight) and first in history for his new school. His team played without a doubt one of the strongest schedules in the land, dodging no one as his team disposed of national powerhouse clubs such as Wellington, Bishop Kenny, Tampa Jesuit, John Carroll and Miami Gulliver. His teams started with 18 straight wins, then finished with 15 consecutive as Hofman earned Coach of the Year honors in one of the most surprising achievements in modern high school history.
Bellaire, coached by another prep legend Rocky Manual, dipped from No. 1 to No. 3 because it stubbed its toe in a playoff game. Bellaire lost one playoff game but rebounded to win the other two, 10-0 and 11-0 to continue on in the Texas playoffs. The loss ended a 25-game win streak and a long stretch where Bellaire was ranked among the top teams in the nation for most of the season. One of Bellaires playoff wins included a six-inning no-hitter by Jonathan Gonzalez.
Poll Notes: Among teams that finished the season, Rose of Greenville, N.C., ended a 28-0. Eldorado of Albuquerque, N.M. finished at 25-0 with Coach Jim Johns winning the state title over powerful Carlsbad, a long-time state rival. Playoffs were still continuing in California, where traditionally several of the top-rated teams fell by the wayside as the white-hot competition led to another unpredictable finale down the home stretch.
(Top 30 Agate Follows)