By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
THE FIELDS FILE
Parents: Douglas and Susan Fields
Siblings: Halle Fields
Intended major: Pre-athletic training and physical therapy
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite subject: Science or history
Least favorite subject: Math
Favorite music: Rap and R&B
Favorite sports besides baseball: Basketball
ENGLEWOOD — Long before Trey Fields was leading Lemon Bay to its first state semifinal as a senior, he was simply known as “Chrome Dome.”
Right before the start of his freshman year, Fields and his father Douglas were walking through Dick Sporting Goods when a shiny colored helmet immediately caught Fields’ eye.
Fields grabbed a chrome helmet off the shelf and convinced his father to buy it. Douglas wasn’t too sure, but Fields promised he’d wear it.
After all, he thought it was “cool.”
“They’d always make fun of me for it but I felt like it made me kind of stand out,” Fields said.
Fields would be known as “Chrome Dome” for his entire freshman year before retiring the helmet as a sophomore, only because Lemon Bay outlawed it. But even without it, standing out was the norm for Fields throughout his Lemon Bay career, especially in his senior season.
Highlighted by a no-hitter against Lake Placid in the District 5A-12 championship, Fields’ arm led the Manta Rays to a regional title, ultimately falling to Bishop Moore 8-0. The FGCU commit posted a 9-3 record as Lemon Bay’s ace with a 2.50 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings.
Oh, and he swung a lethal bat, hitting .402 with five doubles, four triples, a home run, 25 runs scored and 13 RBI.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Fields is The Sun’s baseball player of the year.
It’s also no surprise he’s left a legacy behind at Lemon Bay.
“He’s certainly raised the bar a little higher for our baseball program,” Lemon Bay coach Casey Hanrahan said. “The last two years he’s put up some pretty impressive numbers and I think it’s going to be hard and some time until somebody puts up the numbers like he did, offensively and defensively. It gives the guys behind him something to aim or shoot for.”
Fields’ senior season was a follow-up to great junior campaign where he went 5-3 with a 1.18 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. He says the credit goes to his father, whose persistence in the offseason paid off for Fields, with an arsenal of pitches including a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball, changeup and a split-finger.
Douglas urged Fields to start training with weighted balls in the summer following his sophomore year and Fields said it benefitted him immensely. His velocity steadily increased, going from the low-to-mid 80s his junior season to as high as 90 miles per hour in his senior year.
“There were times where I just didn’t feel like (working out) just because it was always baseball, 24/7, even in the offseason with weightlifting,” Fields said. “There would be times where I’d just be tired and not want to do it and my dad would always be telling me that if I wanted to do what I said I wanted to do, these are the things I need to do. Just him being so persistent really helped me. He just helped me grow and progress through the years.”
Unlike some pitchers who solely focus on pitching, Fields managed to find time for both throwing and hitting. When he was younger, Fields would watch Paul Reddick baseball videos at night to learn the art of pitching before perfecting his swing during the afternoons.
“I know when I was younger I always wanted to pitch and hit and I kept that mentality my whole life,” Fields said. “I used to watch all those videos when I was younger. It really helped me understand pitching. With just watching those videos I could do it at night so during the day when I could actually see, I could go hit so my dad would always take the time out of his day to go to the field and hit with me and helped me work on my form.”
That form is what helped the Manta Rays make baseball history. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound right-hander was a mainstay in the upper part of the lineup and he started all four of Lemon Bay’s postseason games after not even being the team’s No. 1 pitcher as a junior.
Hanrahan says Fields’ maturity separated his senior season from his junior year.
“During the postseason you could tell he had more composure at the end of the season and was ready for the challenge of leading the team through the tough games in postseason,” Hanrahan said. “Composure and maturity wise, that was his biggest improvement. He was a good pitcher and a good hitter last year — he put up comparable numbers — but his leadership through the tough games, pitching on the mound is just what we needed when we needed it.”
Just like the chrome helmet Fields needed on his dome three years ago.
After all, it made him cool. And it made him stand out.
His arm and bat now do both.
C: Aaron Martins
Charlotte • Sophomore
The FGCU commit led the area with 21 RBI and two home runs while batting .319, all while controlling Charlotte’s pitching staff. Also had six extra base hits, scored six times and drew six walks.
1B/P: Tyler Kreissler
Lemon Bay • Sophomore
Led the area with a scorching .438 batting average, hitting three doubles and driving in 17 runs. Also scored 11 times and drew eight walks. Lent a solid hand out of the bullpen as well, posting a 1.70 ERA in 24 2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts.
2B: Garrett Dunson
Charlotte • Junior
The top second baseman in the area, hitting .351 with seven extra base hits and 19 runs scored, tied for most on the Tarpons.
SS: Warnner Rincones
Lemon Bay • Junior
Scored by far the most runs in the area, crossing the plate 30 times. Hit .369 with 17 RBI, seven extra base hits and 16 walks.
3B/P: Matt Intihar
Port Charlotte • Senior
The top hitter for the Pirates, hitting .432 with 13 RBI, five extra base hits and 18 runs scored. Also pitched in four games and recorded three saves without surrendering a run in eight innings.
OF: Lavell Cudjo
Charlotte • Senior
Hit .351 and scored 16 runs with seven RBI, three extra base hits, six walks and a .442 on base percentage.
OF/P: Charlie Davidson
North Port • Junior
Was North Port’s ace on the mound, posting a 2.68 ERA and striking out 34 hitters in 52 2/3 innings. Led the Bobcats with a .372 batting average, two home runs and 19 runs scored. Also had 11 RBI, nine extra base hits and committed just two errors.
OF/P: Jacob Treece
Lemon Bay • Senior
Was second in the area with a .417 batting average, third in runs scored with 21 and tied for third with 17 RBI. Also pitched 27 1/3 innings for the Manta Rays, striking out 31 hitters with a 3.84 ERA.
DH: Chace Shork
Lemon Bay • Junior
One of the best hitter all-around hitters in the area, batting .350 with nine extra base hits, 17 RBI and 16 runs scored.
P: Matt LePoint
Port Charlotte • Senior
The Army signee led the area with 87 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA in 52 2/3 innings while going 5-2 in nine starts.
P: Kyle Machado
Charlotte • Sophomore
The FGCU commit was Charlotte’s top pitcher, striking out 57 hitters and posting a 2.97 ERA with a 6-4 record in 13 appearances and 11 starts. He was also a solid hitter, batting .333 with 14 RBI, three doubles, 10 walks and 11 runs scored.
Charlotte: Robert Oettinger (1B), Shane LeMaster (SS), Kevin Conway (3B/P)
Lemon Bay: Brandon Gielow (OF/P), Matt Molinari (C)
North Port: Dominic LeFever (OF), Logan Polston (IF/P), Charlie Topp (P), Tyler O’Boyle (P)
Port Charlotte: Romain Reynolds (C), Jordan Delcolle (SS), Jason James (OF)