It's going to be a big week for high school baseball with several big tournaments happening around the country, including the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, but before we look forward, let's take a look at a few highlights from the past week…
• It may have not created the same energy as the Clint Frazier vs. Austin Meadows showdown, but lefthanders Ian Clarkin and Stephen Gonsalves attracted about the same number of scouts in a head-to-head matchup last week. Both were good, but Gonsalves and Cathedral Catholic High (San Diego) came out on top.
• Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High have become one of the better rivalries on the West Coast. Their first tilt of 2013 came last Wednesday. This one was all Mater Dei as the Monarchs pulled away with five runs in the seventh inning to win 7-0. Righthander Davis Tominaga pitched six innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. He also walked five. Outfielder Brian Soper was 2-for-4 with two RBIs while third baseman Ryan McMahon was 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI. [...] Continue Reading »
A little more than a week after the top position players squared off, two of the top lefthanders in the country went head to head. San Diego's Cathedral Catholic High and Madison High matched up yesterday in a game that attracted more than 50 scouts.
“Both those kids were pretty pumped to pitch against one another,” said one scout in attendance. “There was a gazillion scouts there and pretty good set of fans, so it was pretty good . . . They’re two of the best high school lefties in the country, so it was good to see them on the same field in good weather.”
The Dons—currently ranked No. 1 in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25—won 4-1, improving to 7-1. Gonsalves pitched six innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out six. Clarkin exited in the fifth because of a pitch count and finished with a line of 4 1/3 innings, four runs on eight hits, and seven strikeouts. Gonsalves sat 88-90 mph while Clarkin was 90-93, according to John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“They both showed things they hadn’t shown before and overall, I thought they both threw well,” the scout said. “Clarkin’s changeup was better and I didn’t know Gonsalves was as athletic as he was. He’s a pretty athletic kid.”
Clarkin’s curveball is a weapon—one of the best breaking balls in the country.
“That’s the separator between the two,” the scout said. “One’s got a larger, projectable body, the other one’s got a breaking ball now.”
Also top hitters on their teams, Gonsalves went 2-for-4 with a double and Clarkin went 1-for-3. Their hits came off of each other.
This was Cathedral Catholic's last game before heading east for the National High School Invitational. Their lone loss came against Granite Hills High (El Cajon, Calif.). That, coupled with The Woodlands (Texas) High's hot streak, might make them slip out of the top spot, but their pitching depth makes them a strong favorite to win the NHSI, where they could potentially match up with The Woodlands.
The Dons' runs were the first earned run given up by Clarkin this season, who was making his third start. He now has 33 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. Gonsalves has now tossed 16 innings in three starts with 17 strikeouts and six walks.
If Ryder Jones needs a walk-up song to fit his young baseball career, Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" might be fitting. With roots in the Northwest, Jones has lived in Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma and now North Carolina. But his family isn't affiliated with the military. His father is Billy Jones, the first-year head coach at Appalachian State who spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant at Oregon State, Arizona State and Oklahoma State. With each change in jobs, the Jones family has packed up and moved to a new home, adjusting to the area and people on the fly.
"It was easier when I was little because I didn't get attached to people, but recently it's been a little bit harder," Ryder Jones said. "It's definitely an advantage because my dad is a coach. I'll always have a facility or field to go to, train, and be around players."
Jones, an infielder and righthander, had his most challenging adjustment this year when his father left Oklahoma State to become the head coach for the Mountaineers. After being in Stillwater, Okla., for eight years, the family packed up and moved over the summer, right before Jones was to begin his senior year at Stillwater High. While Ryder Jones was participating in USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars, Billy Jones and his wife, Tiffani, traveled to North Carolina to watch their son play and visit Boone, the small mountain town in which App State is located.
"I had never even been up in the mountains," Ryder said. "I had no clue where it was." [...] Continue Reading »
Here's a look at some highlights from the last week of high school baseball…
• If you went completely off the grid last week, it was bad timing. Outfield prospects Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows matched up in a regular season game, which pitted the top two position players and Nos. 13 and 15 teams from the Top 25 against each other. With both schools—Loganville and Grayson—being in the town of Loganville, Ga., fans came out in droves and the energy was electric. About 1,300 people were at the game, including around 70 scouts—making it arguably the most heavily scouted non-tournament game of the spring. No. 15 Loganville beat No. 13 Grayson 14-4 in a game shortened by the mercy rule. Frazier blasted a monster three-run home run that broke a 3-3 tie and added a two-run shot later. If you missed it, go back and relive it through our coverage. We'll be talking about that one for years.
• After the Grayson-Loganville game, Conor Glassey broke down Frazier and Meadows' tools ($) in an excellent piece that subscribers can read here.
• The same night Frazier and Meadows faced off, two of the Tampa area's top pitchers went head-to-head. Righthanders Brett Morales (King HS, Tampa) and Tyler Danish (Durant HS, Plant City, Fla.) didn't have their best stuff, but still attracted a large number of scouts. [...] Continue Reading »
In a draft class short on hitters, it shouldn't take much for players to move up boards with good springs. Outfielder Billy McKinney topped off a strong summer by ranking 38th on the High School Top 100 in November. When the Draft Top 50 came out a few weeks ago, McKinney had squeezed his way onto the list—at No. 49. There are still several weeks to go until the 2013 draft, but McKinney may not be done climbing.
"In scrimmages I came out and the first guy I saw, I think he was throwing 93 (mph), and I hit a triple down the right field line," McKinney said. "So I just started out hot. I felt like I was flicking my hands better and getting them out front and swinging it well."
McKinney is in a groove right now as his Plano (Texas) West High squad is 7-5 after three weeks of tournaments and one district game. Scouts won't read into stats too much, but in 12 games McKinney is hitting .484 (15-for-31) with nine RBIs and 10 runs scored. [...] Continue Reading »
When two highly rated prospects match up, everyone shows up. General managers, scouting directors, crosscheckers, fans and even opponents that don't have their own game. Often times the hype gets to be too much and the results disappoint, but with one swing of the bat Clint Frazier sent Loganville (Ga.) High's Red Devil Field into a frenzy and the game lived up to expectations.
One well-respected person in the baseball industry put it succinctly: "I've never seen anything like that. And I've seen a lot of (stuff)."
Not only did tonight's matchup between Loganville High and neighboring Grayson High—also of Loganville—pit the top two high school position players against each other, but it also was a contest between the No. 13 and No. 15 teams in the country. Austin Meadows, an outfielder for No. 13 Grayson High, is rated as the top prep prospect for the 2013 draft and at a not-so-distant No. 2 is No. 15 Loganville's Frazier, also an outfielder.
It's tough to say Meadows was disappointing because he didn't see much to hit tonight, finishing 0-for-1 with a walk, hit by pitch and strikeout, but Frazier stole the show in front of around 70 scouts—mostly crosscheckers and above—and hundreds of boisterous fans as the atmosphere rivaled a college basketball game.
Grayson took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Jeril Dawson and solo home run by outfielder Taylor Allum. The Rams then added a run in the fourth when Korey Anderson launched a home run over the road beyond the left field fence. [...] Continue Reading »
We have an extra hour of daylight now and the weather is getting warmer, which means seasons are getting underway further and further north. Here's a couple quick tidbits from the last week of action:
• Cullman (Ala.) High and Russell County High (Seale, Ala.) first matched up on Feb. 23 with Russell County winning 7-5. They didn't catch each other in the LaGrange Invitational, but were back at it on March 9. Cullman prevailed this time by the score of 9-2. Righthander Keegan Thompson pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight. His only blemish came off the bat of outfielder Anfernee Grier, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Thompson would get redemption though, striking Grier out in his next two at-bats.
• The International Paper Classic was held in Georgetown, S.C. this past weekend and featured the Palmetto State's top team in Lexington High. Unfortunately, we didn't get a showdown between Lexington catcher Nick Ciuffo and Mauldin (S.C.) High righthander Cory Thompson. Lexington won its first two games before falling to Conway (S.C.) High. Senior shortstop/righthander Jordan Gore went seven innings for Conway, striking out nine while allowing one run on seven hits and a walk. A South Carolina recruit, he was reportedly 90-93 mph and showed command of two secondary pitches. Conway's Grant Holmes, a top righthander for 2014, was reportedly 92-95 the day before.
Lexington rebounded after the loss and now stands at 4-1. They will travel north for the National High School Invitational at the end of the month. Conway eventually fell in the IP Classic championship to A.C. Flora High (Columbia, S.C.).
When lefthander Chris Kohler takes the mound, he doesn't light up the radar guns. He comfortably sits in the high 80s, but when you combine his projection, easy delivery and relative freshness, it's easy to dream on his future.
Kohler was mostly a position player until taking the mound as the ace of his freshman team, but during his sophomore year at Damien High (La Verne, Calif.) he didn't pitch in hopes of keeping his arm fresh.
"My dad always wanted to save my arm for high school so I never really pitched in travel ball and middle school," Kohler said. "After sophomore year, going into my junior year, that's when I really started feeling like I was more of a pitcher than a hitter. My arm was getting stronger."
Damien High is a private, all boy Catholic school and Kohler was supposed to have a scholarship to attend. However, he says things didn't work out and his parents couldn't afford for him to go there so he switched to Los Osos High (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.). But the proper paperwork for his transfer didn't get filed so the California Interscholastic Federation denied him from playing his junior season. [...] Continue Reading »
Oscar Mercado is a shortstop from Gaither High in Tampa. He is best known for his defense right now as he has excellent range, soft hands and a plus arm. He has a line drive swing and doesn't project to hit for much power, but he has good bat speed and the foot speed to make a difference on the bases. Mercado has a thin frame at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, but there's room to add more strength.
Subscribers can read a feature on Oscar Mercado, which includes him talking about moving to the United States from Colombia as an 8-year-old and stepping in as the starting shortstop on his varsity team as a freshman. Below is video of Mercado at the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla., as a rising junior and at the Under Armour All-America Game, powered by Baseball Factory, as a rising senior. Under Armour footage was provided by Alycat Photo & Video Services. [...] Continue Reading »
The high school season isn't quite in full swing, but several states are underway and there's been no shortage of noteworthy games and performances. Here's a quick roundup of what's happened over the last week or so:
• The Woodlands (Texas) High got two no-hitters in its first five games and then followed it up with five more wins. Now 10-0, the Highlanders, who started at No. 10 in the Preseason Top 25, have been led on offense by sophomore sensation Chris Andritsos. A corner infielder and righthander, Andritsos has started the season 13-for-28 (.464) with 13 runs scored, 18 RBIs and four home runs in nine games while going 2-0, 0.57 with 18 strikeouts and two walks in two starts. I talked to one scout over the weekend who saw Andritsos last summer at a tryout for the Area Code Games.
"He had the most raw power of anybody there," he said. "He looks like a 21-year-old."
• The LaGrange Invitational took place in Georgia this past weekend and had plenty to offer as we pointed out last week. The highlight going into the event was a matchup between Cullman (Ala.) High righthander Keegan Thompson and Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.) outfielder Austin Meadows. Thompson is the No. 43 high school prospect in the 2013 class and Meadows is No. 1. Meadows went 3-for-3 with a double and a walk, but reports from the event said he didn't really center any of the hits. Meadows is 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles in his first five games. Thompson got roughed up against Grayson, the No. 9 team in the Preseason Top 25, to the tune of five runs on 10 hits in five innings pitched. He is 1-1, 2.47 in 17 innings with 28 strikeouts and just two walks. An excellent athlete, Thompson is also 10-for-24 (.417) with six doubles, one triple and three home runs. [...] Continue Reading »
Seasons are slowly, but surely, getting underway for varsity teams around the country. Florida schools are several games in, while Texas kicked things off last week and Georgia and California are up next. As we pointed out a couple weeks ago, there are plenty of big tournaments and games to keep an eye on throughout the spring. Two of those matchups happen this weekend at the 2013 LaGrange Invitational Tournament in Georgia. Hosted by LaGrange High, this event attracts schools from the immediate region, but has been known to get a few to travel a little further.
At this year's event, it's worth watching how Crisp County High (Cordele, Ga.), Cullman (Ala.) High, Russell County High (Seale, Ala.) and Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.) make out. Grayson begins the season as the No. 9 team in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25, and the Rams have the country's top draft prospect in Austin Meadows, a sweet-swinging outfielder with at least plus speed and power.
Crisp County features righthander Robert Tyler, the No. 98 high school player. Tyler has a skinny, projectable frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, and he can run his fastball into his low 90s, though his arm action and lack of secondary stuff gives scouts pause right now. Cullman High features one of the state's best athletes in righthander Keegan Thompson (No. 43), who can pitch with an average to plus fastball and flash a good curveball. Cullman is scheduled to play Grayson on March 1 so keep your fingers crossed for a Meadows-Thompson duel. Crisp County will face Russell County on March 2, which could see Tyler face outfielder Anfernee Grier (No. 88). Grier has excellent bat speed and a plus arm. [...] Continue Reading »
The Woodlands (Texas) High started the season as the No. 10 in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25 and the Highlanders are proving themselves worthy so far. They're off to a 5-0 start and two of their pitchers have already thrown no-hitters this season. Righthander Carter Hope, who is committed to Oklahoma State, took the hill for the first time in his high school career last week and no-hit Klein Collins High (Spring, Texas), a perennial power in the Houston area. Hope pitched a complete game, striking out nine and walking just one.
Against Houston's Clear Lake High on Feb. 26, lefty Ryan Burnett, a Texas Christian recruit, fired a no-hitter of his own.
"Burnett threw a great first game last week," head coach Ron Eastman said. "Then he came back tonight and was pretty lights out. He was so dominant, he was just throwing fastballs the last three innings. He had good command of his curveball. He's a great young man. He's watched (Bryan) Brickhouse and Kevin (McCanna) and he's just really dialed in and focused right now. Those three guys feed off of each other. They want to try to one-up each other." [...] Continue Reading »
Catcher Iolana Akau (St. Louis School, Honolulu) chipped a bone at the bottom of his right thumb diving into second base, his coach confirmed. The injury happened Feb. 16 toward the end of a preseason game while Akau was stealing second.
"He's been in a soft cast," St. Louis head coach George Gusman said. "He's going to see the orthopedic guy today and is expected to be put in a hard cast."
Gusman said Akau went to the emergency room after the game and X-rays revealed the chip. The doctor there gave a timetable of four to six weeks for it to heal. St. Louis only plays a schedule of 12 games so Akau isn't expected to be back for the regular season. St. Louis was in its sixth preseason game when the injury occurred.
"It's going to hurt us significantly," Gusman said. "Nobody will run when he's back there. He's been throwing guys out that are too far off first base. That's all going to change for us. He's been hitting the ball very well."
One of two Hawaii preps in the High School Top 100, Akau was ranked 97th and is committed to Hawaii. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, and stands out for his defense. He is quick and agile with good blocking and receiving skills. His arm is above average. He has a compact swing from the right side and scouts also like his leadership skills. Akau's Waipio Little League team (Waipahu, Hawaii) beat Mexico in the 2008 Little League World Series.
See Also: 2013 College Games To Watch
By most accounts, the 2013 draft class is down in talent overall, but that doesn't mean there aren't top players and matchups to closely watch. It's become an annual tradition to sift through the high school schedules we have and point out the top games to watch, whether they feature two draft prospects going head to head or two teams ranked in the Preseason Top 25. We've also included some notable tournaments that feature top teams or players.
As a disclaimer, please remember that we're talking about high school baseball, which is more easily altered by the elements and pitching rotations aren't exactly set in stone. Nothing mentioned below is guaranteed, but if we had a Baseball America G5, these are some likely spots we would take it. Numbers in the parenthesis indicate a player's rank in the High School Top 100.
Boras Baseball Classic, March 25-28 (North); April 2-5 (South); April 13 (Championship)
In its first year, the Boras Baseball Classic is a unique event in that it pays schools to participate—rather than the other way around—and it could serve as a mythical championship for a state without a state tournament. California breaks its postseasons up into sections that are based on regions and each region has handful of levels, with Division I being the highest. The Boras Classic will consist of two 16-team tournaments—a Northern California bracket and Southern California bracket. Each champion will then face off in one game on April 13 at Pacifica University.
The NorCal bracket includes Elk Grove High, Yuba City High and Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove). Elk Grove has two Top 100 Prospects in first baseman Rowdy Tellez (No. 16) and infielder/catcher Dom Nunez (No. 54). The Thundering Herd didn't make the Preseason Top 25, but are strong candidates to make an appearance during the season. Yuba City has righthander Chandler Eden, the No. 99 high school prospect, while Pleasant Grove has outfielder Josh Adams, the No. 63 prospect.
In the SoCal bracket, JSerra High (San Juan Capistrano), Lakewood High and Mater Dei High (Santa Ana) will have the most attention. Lakewood and JSerra each have a Top 100 Prospect in shortstop J.P. Crawford (No. 5) and outfielder Dane McFarland (No. 73) respectively. Mater Dei checked in at No. 8 in the preseason rankings and have catcher Jeremy Martinez (No. 31) and third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 66). [...] Continue Reading »
If you follow our high school coverage closely, you may have noticed that our rankings stopped at 25 this year. Rather than simply presenting teams next to a number in the 26-50 range, we will make note of teams outside the rankings that are worth keeping an eye on. To kick off the season, we have eight teams to highlight—one from each district the ranking committee represents.
The Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25 is voted on by a ranking committee that is made up of eight district representatives, two at-large members and two committee co-chairs. The eight districts are New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Upper Midwest, Midwest, Southern, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast.
These eight teams aren't necessarily the next eight in order. They are simply an unranked team from their region worth watching.
New England: Grand Street Campus HS, New York
The Wolves won New York City's Public School Athletic League Division A championship in 2012, beating Washington High, and have six key players back for this season. Ralphy McDonald is a plus runner that has stolen 93 bases over the last two seasons. He plays center field and is committed to Louisiana State-Eunice JC. Middle infielder Elijah Rodriguez's father, Frank, was a second-round pick of the Red Sox in 1990 and spent seven seasons in the big leagues. The younger Rodriguez is committed to Howard (Texas) JC. Junior righthander Alex Cuas will be the staff ace and throws in the upper 80s. Grand Street Campus has produced a few prospects recently. Righthander Dellin Betances signed with the Yankees in the eighth round in 2006 for $1 million and outfielder Williams Jerez was Boston's second-round pick in 2011 and he signed for six figures. Shortstop Jose Cuas, Alex's older brother, was a 40th-round pick of the Blue Jays last year, but he didn't sign and now plays for Maryland. [...] Continue Reading »
Under Armour has announced the date and initial player selections for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game, powered by Baseball Factory. The game will be played Saturday, Aug. 24, at Chicago's Wrigley Field and it will air live on MLB Network at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Many top prospects have played in the game, including Jameson Taillon, Bubba Starling and Byron Buxton, who were all selected in the top five picks of the draft. Seven players from the 2011 contest were drafted in the first round in the 2012 draft. Brady Aiken, Alex Jackson and Gareth Morgan will become the first players in the game's history to be two-time participants when they take the field this summer.
In addition to playing in the All-America Game, players will participate in other activities as part of a four-day weekend. A formal workout will take place for amateur scouts to watch and the players will receive instruction from major league players while also giving back to the community by helping with a youth clinic for Chicago-area kids. As in previous years, there will be a home run derby with the preliminary rounds taking place after the workout and the finals coming before first pitch at Wrigley.
The Under Armour All-America Game showcases 36 of the best high school players in the country, who are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts. The players will be split into two teams for an American vs. National matchup.
“Every year we scout worldwide to find the best high school players to represent Under Armour and Baseball Factory in the Under Armour All-America Game,” said Steve Bernhardt, Executive Vice President of Baseball Factory and Chairman of the Under Armour All-America Game Selection Committee. “We are thrilled to choose these nine initial players as we begin the process of filling the 2013 roster. An extremely talented group, we expect this class to meet or surpass the success that Under Armour All-Americans have found in previous years.” [...] Continue Reading »
As I mentioned on Twitter late last night, my flight out of Tucson prevented me from talking to the players I wanted yesterday, but here are some final highlights from the Under Armour All-America Preseason Tournament, powered by Baseball Factory:
• While most of the players to watch in this event were underclassmen, there were a few seniors that should be worth watching as we approach the 2013 draft. Righthander Kacy Clemens (Memorial High, Houston) stood out on the first day and a couple lesser-known names had intriguing outings on the second. Nicholas Green, a righthander from Fountain-Fort Carson High (Fountain, Colo.), has a skinny frame at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds. He has a quick, loose arm, a short stride and upright delivery. He sat 86-88 mph early and settled into the mid 80s toward the end of his outing. He has a curveball in the low 70s that has potential, but he needs to command it better. His fastball also gets some good armside sink. [...] Continue Reading »
TUCSON — Many in baseball will argue that there is no offseason, but there certainly are high and low tides. Nearly 400 players from across the country have descended on the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., for the Under Armour All-America Preseason Tournament, powered by Baseball Factory. However, it's January so if you're looking for big velocities on the radar guns or majestic batting practice sessions, you're being unrealistic. Everyone is either coming off another sport's season or simply in the early stages of getting in shape for the spring. This event gives evaluators a glimpse of players that should be followed as the year progresses and a select few will get the opportunity to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
One of the players that is clearly on the radar is Ryan Castellani, a junior righthander from Brophy Prep College Prep in Phoenix, about 120 miles northwest of Tucson. He stands at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, with long legs and room to add strength. Innings at this event consist of five batters, no matter the outcome, and Castellani pitched two innings for the American team. He threw about 40 pitches and sat 87-88 early before settling into the mid 80s. [...] Continue Reading »
By John Sandberg
With two state titles already under their belts, it would have been easy for Georgia signee Kyle Carter and his Columbus (Ga.) High teammates to relax in their senior season. Considering that a handful of them were already signed on to play at Division I schools next year, one might expect this team to lack a sense of urgency. As head coach Bobby Howard explained though, that was never really an option.
“The expectations were high,” Howard said. “We were trying to just keep them grounded and challenge them with a really tough schedule and they responded.”
That they did. The Blue Devils finished the season 33-4 en route to a third consecutive Georgia 3-A state championship and No. 2 ranking in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association poll.
Carter added that staying motivated and maintaining that hunger was never an issue for the Blue Devils.
“It was just kind of natural for that team,” Carter said. [...] Continue Reading »
While others were catching an NCAA Regional in the Triangle or working on more draft stuff, I decided to venture over to the home of the Carolina Mudcats to take in Game 1 of the North Carolina 3-A State Championship Series. Pikeville's Aycock High was taking on Weddington High of Matthews and 2013 lefthander Alex Bostic (Weddington) was the starter. Weddington has four players committed to play college baseball that will return next season, including Bostic (Clemson), so this was a chance to see one of the state's top teams and players.
Weddington won 5-3, leaving the Warriors just one game shy of a state title. They scored two in the third inning on a pair of doubles and three more in the fourth with a triple, single and sacrifice fly.
The main attraction was Bostic. He's tall and lean with broad shoulders. He pitches from a high three-quarter arm slot and sat 87-89 mph with his fastball and touched 90. He threw a breaking ball that seemed to shift between a curveball and hard slurve. He didn't always spin either enough, but when he did the curve had some depth to it while the slurve was sharper with a little more tilt. He pitches with a fast tempo and tends to spin off toward third base, which may have been factors in his poor command.
Bostic left the game in the seventh inning with no outs and the bases loaded. The runners ended up scoring and he finished with a line of six innings pitched, two hits, three runs, eight walks and eight strikeouts. In fairness, a double surrendered by reliever David Pope, should have been a sacrifice fly at worst as the left fielder seemed to have lost the ball and then took a very poor route.
In the first inning, Bostic looked amped up as he was rushing his delivery and missing the zone. He surrendered a leadoff walk, sacrifice bunt and stolen base, but escaped the inning unscathed when first baseman Jeremy Schellhorn turned a nifty double play by snaring a hard grounder, stepping on first and throwing home to cut down the runner trying to score.
After that, Bostic went into cruise control for two innings and struck out five consecutive batters, but stumbled in the fourth. He walked the bases loaded, but still escaped with no hits or runs by striking a batter out on a 3-2 breaking ball. He struck out two more in the fifth before experiencing more trouble in the sixth.
"He's got a real good fastball," Weddington head coach Travis Poole said. "I just think he lost his command today and that got him in some trouble. I looked up at one point and they had the bases loaded and hadn't had a hit yet. When he commands the zone, which he normally does, he's pretty good. He's a special kid to have on your team."
Bostic didn't give up hit until the first batter of the sixth inning. Aycock junior outfielder Adam Pate, who is verbally committed to North Carolina, smacked a single to right and advanced to third when the ball got past right fielder Sean Collins. Bostic got two infield outs before walking the bases loaded again, but induced a fly ball to escape once again.
"Some of the pitches I just didn't have a feel for toward the end," Bostic said. "I started leaving everything up and the front side was getting down. I got behind on too many batters and walked way too many people. I just have to slow down and think about what I'm doing wrong, fix my mechanics, work on it when I'm warming up."
After allowing a single and two walks in the top of the seventh, Weddington went to the bullpen. Bostic's runners scored, but the Warriors held on to take Game 1 of the series.
Weddington will be interesting to watch in 2013 with the returning starters and Bostic as the ace, but Collins should garner some attention as well. He is a sophomore committed to Virginia with a very projectable frame. He stands about 6-foot-4 now with lanky limbs, but he has big feet so he figures to fill out with more strength as he matures. He didn't do anything specific in this game that jumped, but just seeing him physically and factoring in his age, makes him worth following.
CONTRIBUTING: Clint Longenecker
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog