SAN DIEGO—As memorable as the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic should be for those who take the field Sunday at the Padres' Petco Park, event organizers hope the players remember it for experiences that go beyond baseball.
Participants for the East and West teams went through a workout and scrimmage Friday morning at the University of San Diego. Following lunch on the campus, the players and their coaches boarded a bus bound for the nearby Rady Children's Hospital, which has been a beneficiary of the game since 2006. In connection with the event through the years, Aflac has donated $805,000 toward the research and treatment of pediatric cancer.
For the third consecutive year, the Under Armour All-America Game powered by Baseball Factory will be held at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The 2010 edition will be held Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. EDT and be broadcast live on MLB Network. The 2009 game featured four first-round picks in righthanders Jameson Taillon and Karsten Whitson, outfielder Chevez Clarke and catcher Kellin Deglan.
This year's event will feature mostly rising seniors, but has two 2012 graduates—shorstop Addison Russell and righthander/infielder Lance McCullers Jr.—as well as two Dominican players that will be eligible to sign in July 2011. They are shortstop Ronniel Demorizi and outfielder Ronald Guzman.
Four days are complete at the World Junior Championship in Thunder Bay, Ont., and the usual teams sit atop their respective pools in Cuba and Team USA. Both are undefeated in three games. Cuba has outscored its opponents 29-1 while Team USA has a 24-2 edge.
Team USA opened tournament play with a 4-2 win over Australia. Righthander A.J. Vanegas, the Padres' 2010 seventh-round pick, started the game and went six innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks while striking out eight. Lefthander John Hochstatter finished the game and picked up the save. He allowed one run on two hits in three innings while striking out four. Outfielder Michael Lorenzen, the Rays' seventh-round pick, went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and a run scored. He also added an outfield assist. [...] Continue Reading »
In 2009, Team USA swept gold medals in international competitions at all three high school-aged divisions—14U, 16U and 18U. The quest to repeat that feat in 2010 begins Friday in Thunder Bay, Ont. with the IBAF 'AAA' 18U Junior World Championship. After the Tournament of Stars, USA Baseball selected an 18U trials roster and whittled down to 20 before the team hit the road for some tune-ups.
Team USA went 5-0 against the Greater N.Y. Alliance All-Stars, a collection of New York-area high school seniors and college freshmen. After the New York swing, the team headed to Minnesota to play some summer teams as well as three friendlies against Canada. Team USA went 6-1 there with the one loss coming in a 4-3 decision against the Canadians. [...] Continue Reading »
A little more than a year after the NCAA proposed a ban on composite-barreled bats, the National Federation of State High School Associations has announced a moratorium of its own. The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee now forbids the use of the composite bats. The new rule will take effect for the 2010-2011 school year and remain in effect until the bats can meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (or BBCOR) standard of performance. [...] Continue Reading »
Rich Hofman, one of the most successful high school coaches of the last 35 years, is returning to the role of head coach. In a press release earlier this week, the University School of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced that Hofman would be taking over as the varsity head coach.
Hofman holds a 965-246-16 career record, 10 state titles, two national championships—with Westminster Christian High (Miami) in 1992 and 1996—and was named Coach of the Decade by Baseball America for the 1990s. Hofman also coached future major leaguers in Alex Rodriguez and Doug Mientkiewicz.
Hofman began coaching in 1969 and is the all-time winningest coach in the state of Florida. His most recent stint as a head coach came at Piper High in Lauderhill, Fla. where he left after the 2008 season. Since then he's stayed involved with Miami-area baseball, organizing and hosting tournaments for local teams as well as some with national significance.
The rosters for the eighth annual Aflac All-American Baseball Classic were released last night and have plenty of prospects for the 2011 draft prospects. The game will be played Sunday, August 15 at the San Diego Padres' Petco Park. Game time is 8 p.m. EDT and it will air on FOX Sports Net. Last year's game featured first-round picks Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon, Karsten Whitson, Dylan Covey, Josh Sale, Kaleb Cowart, Cam Bedrosian, Chevez Clarke and Justin O'Conner. [...] Continue Reading »
Two teams in the latest Top 25 poll came into the weekend with high hopes. Klein High of Spring, Texas was the No. 1 team in the country and a favorite among the Texas 5-A final four. In Virginia, No. 24 Woodbridge High was staring a perfect season and 3-A state title in the face. But their opponents had different ideas.
Carroll High of Corpus Christi, Texas, sealed the 5-A title on a spectacular diving catch by senior center fielder Mark Blackmar. Carroll started eight underlcassmen, six of which were sophomores, so it's safe to say the Tigers will be a factor in the rankings beyond this season. Sophomore righthander/outfielder Courtney Hawkins got the win, giving up two runs (none earned) on 10 hits in the complete game. He also struck out six and walked one. [...] Continue Reading »
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nominations must come from a coach.
It's time for Baseball America to begin collecting candidates for the postseason All-America teams and we need help from coaches. We name three teams of players and include their statistics. Please send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "All-America Nomination" in the subject line and include your name, school, contact info, the player's name, position, class and stats.
Here are a few things that will help us and hopefully answer any questions you have: [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball has announced that the third annual Breakthrough Series will move to the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., this summer. The first two installments of the event were held at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.
"Major League Baseball is excited to showcase the Breakthrough Series at USA Baseball’s state-of-the art National Training Complex and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park as an important part of our continuing efforts to strengthen amateur baseball," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball. "Expanding the academic and athletic opportunities available to our game's promising young players through the exposure of the Breakthrough Series remains a priority of Major League Baseball." [...] Continue Reading »
Sumrall (Miss.) High's bid for a national record ended over the weekend as the Bobcats lost to Oak Grove High of Hattiesburg, Miss. in a tournament, putting a stop their winning streak at 67 games.
Oak Grove's starting pitcher, sophomore Tyler Odom, pitched a gem. After pitching just 6 2/3 innings this season, Odom went six innings and didn't give up a hit until the seventh—a solo home run to Connor Barron. Senior Hunter Curtis then entered the game and retired three out of the next four hitters to earn the save.
Sumrall was ranked No. 7 in the latest Top 25 and finished at No. 7 in 2009. The record for consecutive wins is 75, set by Homer (Mich.) High from 2004-2005.
Sam Bragg, a junior righthander for Wheeler High, Marietta, Ga., was untouchable in the first 4 2/3 innings of his latest start. Against Campbell High of Smyrna, Ga. on Wednesday night, Bragg retired the first 14 batters he faced via the strikeout.
"In my 29 years as a head coach at Wheeler, this was the most dominant performance I have witnessed," Dave McDonald said. "Location was perfect on all pitches, with a fastball at 89-90 mph, breaking pitches and a straight changeup kept hitters off balance the entire seven innings."
He finished the game with 17 strikeouts while allowing just four hits and one walk. On Monday he threw two innings of relief against Milton (Ga.) High, striking out five and allowing two hits, giving him 22 strikeouts in nine innings this week.
The record for consecutive strikeouts in a game is 22, set by Jim Peterson of Sonora, Calif. in 1973.
Emotions have been running high in Suffern, N.Y. the past couple of weeks. The Suffern High baseball team recently suffered a tragic loss when two players, Vincent Crotty and Christopher Konkowski, were killed in a car accident. They were honored before a recent game in a touching ceremony that included the players' fathers throwing out the first pitch and former Yankee Bernie Williams escorting the families onto the field. Righthander Robbie Aviles started that game and pitched well, leading his team to victory. Just a few days later, he rose to the occasion again and twirled a perfect game.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Aviles said. "My curveball was feeling pretty good tonight. This whole season is dedicated to those two kids. Every game we play is 100 percent for them. It's really brought our team together as a family."
Aviles is a big righthander with three pitches that he can command. He struck out 11 over the seven innings, looking as sharp as ever as he threw just 68 pitches, 47 for strikes. [...] Continue Reading »
A few more powerful tournaments have wrapped up in the last week. Crespi High (Encino, Calif.) won its second National Classic title in three years in Southern California. Chaminade High (West Hills, Calif.) won the Anaheim Lions Tournament and the No. 1 Farragut Admirals flexed their muscles in Orlando's National Classic. Here's a few notes and links from around the country:
• The Diamond Sports National Classic had an exciting finish as Crespi needed a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to seal the victory. Our friends at OC Varsity provided a wrap-up with video as well. [...] Continue Reading »
With many schools on spring break this week and next, there are plenty of big tournaments going on around the country. Horizon High in Scottsdale, Ariz. hosted its annual National Tournament this week. Hamilton High (Chandler, Ariz.), ranked No. 12 in the country, faced No. 10 Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.) in the finals and won 7-6.
The Huskies went 3-0 in pool play, beating Libertyville (Ill.) High (8-7), Taylorsville High (Salt Lake City) and Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) High. Then they took down Austin Wilson's Harvard-Westlake High (Los Angeles) to advance to the finals. [...] Continue Reading »
In response to Gunnar Sandberg’s recent injury, the tournament organizers of the National Classic have decided to switch to wood bats for this year’s event. The athletic director of Marin Catholic High (Kentsfield, Calif.), a participant in the tournament, sent a proposal to tournament director Steve Gullotti last week. Gullotti forwarded the proposal to participating coaches and received a unanimous response in favor of the switch.
“I had been thinking about it ahead of time,” Gullotti said. “Their athletic director called me and there was no pressure whatsoever. A big part of this was a tribute to their player. We felt the obligation to at least open up the dialogue for further research. Hopefully, down the road, we can make this a wood bat tournament.” [...] Continue Reading »
With shortstop Garin Cecchini out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Hommy Rosado might not have it easy from here on out, but he's certainly made it look that way so far. The Barbe High (Lake Charles, La.) catcher is absolutely killing the ball through 15 games.
In 51 at-bats he has 22 hits, 15 of which are home runs. That gives him a .431/.516/1.353 line to go with 26 runs scored, two doubles and 36 RBIs.
"Hommy bats second and Garin was leading off," head coach Glenn Cecchini said. "It was like pick your poison. They would pitch to Hommy and he'd make them pay.
"He's a real neat kid. He's real humble and never brags. You can't say enough good about him." [...] Continue Reading »
Yesterday, NBC Bay Area reported that a high school pitcher was in a medically-induced coma after being struck in the head by a line drive. Gunnar Sandberg, a junior at Marin Catholic High (Kentfield, Calif.), was able to walk around and converse after the incident. Emergency authorities were still called and Sandberg’s status was monitored closely.
He was then put into a medically-induced coma so doctors could perform surgery to reduce pressure on his brain. He is expected to emerge from the coma in a couple of days.
Last night, Marin Catholic faced Drake High (San Anselmo, Calif.). To honor Sandberg, the teams decided to use wood bats instead of metal.
The place to be for Southeastern scouts on Friday night was Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic High, where the Crusaders matched up against the Chipley (Fla.) Tigers.
About 30 scouts showed up to the game because it featured a stellar matchup on the mound: Righthander Karsten Whitson took the hill for Chipley and was opposed by another righthander, Wes Mugarian.
The main event lived up to the billing. Whitson threw six innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out 15. But Mugarian outshined him by throwing the first seven-inning no-hitter of his career. Over seven innings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Alabama commit also struck out 15 and extended his high school record to a perfect 18-0. [...] Continue Reading »
Scott Frazier, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound righthander from Upland (Calif.) High pitched a gem in a 17-0 rout against Silverado High (Victorville, Calif.) last night. Frazier allowed no hits in his first start of the season. Only two Silverado hitters reached base—one on a walk and another on an error. He struck out 18. Reports were that he was 91-94 mph with his fastball and a good curveball that he threw for strikes. He will be featured in today's Draft Tracker. [...] Continue Reading »
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