TAMPA — After Jesuit defeated Dunedin in last year’s Class 6A state baseball championship, junior first baseman Henry Politz had a warning to opponents about the team’s future.
“This is just the beginning,” he said. “We’re going to be really good for a long time.”
The senior is not the only one who believes that.
As the 2020 season begins, the Tigers are ranked as the top team in the nation by both Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. They were 27-5 last season and return just about the entire team.
Eight of nine players from last year’s starting lineup are back. Of the 207 ⅓ innings pitched last year, all but one was thrown by a returning pitcher. Fourteen players, including 12 seniors, are committed to Division I colleges.
Jesuit has won five state championships in its history, but the Tigers have never won consecutive titles. If it was ever going to happen, this would seem to be the year.
“We hadn’t even gotten to the interview room last year after winning it and our guys were talking about how we were going to win it again next year,” Jesuit coach Miguel Menendez said. “And then the…