Two huge high school playoff matchups with draft implications happened Thursday night. In Nevada, the state’s top two prep pitchers, righthanders Joe Weiland of Reno’s Bishop Manogue and Donn Roach of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman, faced off as Gorman continued its run for a third straight state title. To the southwest in Los Angeles, Cutter Dykstra, Shane Kroker and Westlake High faced lefthander Mike Montgomery of Hart High. A few highlights:
• Gorman rallied after being no-hit by Weiland for four innings, but neither Roach nor Weiland was at his best. Roach only lasted four innings, wasn’t able to reach his peak velocity (up to 94-95) and sat in the 90-91 mph range. He also wasn’t as effective with his curveball, which at times is above-average, and his split-finger fastball. Weiland had a two-run lead and pitched into the seventh inning before Gorman rallied for the victory. According to one source, Weiland sat in the 87-90 mph range (he usually is a bit higher) and threw plenty of curveballs and changeups. Both pitchers are third-to-fifth-round targets, with Weiland signed to San Diego State and Roach committed to Arizona.
• Hart High lefty Montgomery pitched five innings and regularly pushed past 90 mph, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, as Hart defeated Westlake High 5-1. Hart struck out seven and gave up five singles in five innings. Dykstra, son of Lenny and a UCLA signee, and Kroker, a Wake Forest recruit, had four of the five hits.
• The hotspot in the West on Thursday night, according to one scout, was in Salt Lake City, where approximately 20 scouting directors and even more area scouts were on hand to see Utah righthander Stephen Fife pick up his seventh victory. Fife pitched well, according to this source, touching 93 mph several times and sitting in the 90-92 mph range while showing his plus curveball. Utah beat rival Brigham Young 5-3.
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