The boys were on the same 9U FishHawk All-Star team together. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wainman.)

Former FishHawk Little League baseball teammates and friends Drake Harman, Evan Wainman and Kris Sosnowski are all making an impact at the high school level for different teams. Harman and Sosnowski were named to the Saladino 2021 All-Tournament Team and Wainman earned the Frank Permuy Best Hitter Award.

Former Wolves travel coach Kevin Suba coached them for three years, from 9U-11U. He remembers going to Cherry’s on the weekends or after a game to celebrate and eat dinner. He recalls the boys being inseparable, always hanging out and playing together in the arcade room.

“I’m extremely proud of these kids and what they have accomplished,” said Suba. “It’s awesome that these guys are grown up and having success, and I had a small part in that.”

The trio grew up playing together at the FishHawk baseball fields, attending Bevis Elementary School together. A fork in the road formed when it was time for them to attend high school, leading them to separate paths.

Harman, now a junior at Bloomingdale, is an outfielder for the Bulls and is currently hitting .421 with 24 hits and 10 RBIs at the top of the lineup. He went 8-for-14 in the Saladino Tournament with five RBIs and a home run, earning him All-Tournament honors.

“Honestly, it’s a big thing to me,” said Harman. “I’ve been working really hard every day to become the best player I can be and the best teammate I can be, on and off the field. When I saw I made the team, I felt like all my hard work was beginning to pay off. Being that I am uncommitted, I have a regimen of working out every morning and going up to the field to get early work in.”

Junior Newsome Wolves player Wainman has been a standout at the plate, hitting .455 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. The 2021 Frank Permuy Best Hitter Award recipient went 10-for-14 with two home runs and eight RBIs in the tournament.

“I was very honored to find out that I was awarded the Frank Permuy Best Hitter Award,” said Wainman. “I have been working hard and really focusing on hitting this last year. I’m happy the work is paying off.”

Jesuit Tiger and UCF commit Sosnowski played a key role in his team winning the Saladino Tournament this spring break. The reliever threw eight innings, giving up zero earned runs while striking out seven, earning him All-Tournament honors.

“It means a lot to make the All-Saladino Tournament team,” said Sosnowski. “There are plenty of great pitchers around the area, and I am glad that I was considered one of them in the tournament. Winning the tournament was a huge accomplishment for our team. At the beginning of the fall, our goal this year was to win three rings. First the Steinbrenner Tournament, then the Saladino Tournament, and, most importantly, a state championship ring. Now the goal is to win the third one.”

Ed Diaz, who coached all three players on and off from 8U through 10U and all-stars, said that he still follows his former players’ baseball careers and is not surprised by their collective success.

“All three of the players are extremely coachable and continue to play with the same excitement they had when they were 10,” said Diaz. “It’s great to see all three of these FishHawk players playing at the high level representing their schools in a very big tournament like the Tony Saladino Tournament. I am very proud of them.”

Diaz’s fondest memory of coaching the boys was when they were In the final game of districts and the opposing team hit a walk-off home run and the hitter missed touching second and third base. The field umpire noticed, giving them a second chance. Wainman took advantage, hitting a three-run home run to win the game.

“When I read who made the team and saw some familiar names on there, it brought back memories from when we were playing on the same recreation and all-star teams,” said Harman. “I don’t talk to either of them regularly, but I like playing against them when our teams meet.”

Even though the former teammates don’t speak regularly, they will always remember their time together when they were kids.

“I have so many fond memories of playing with Drake and Kris, including 8U All-Stars, 9U All-Stars and 10U Wolves,” said Wainman. “We always played hard but had a good time. Both Drake and Kris are great all-around players. Chris dominates on the mound and Drake can do everything. It has been a great season for all of us, and to think it all started at the FishHawk Little League fields is pretty amazing.”

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.