By Alexis Brudnicki
As games finish throughout the day, check this post for final scores, wrap-ups and postgame quotes.
American Heritage High (Plantation, Fla.) 6, Oxford (Ala.) High 2
American Heritage took advantage of timely hits, free bases and strong pitching to take down Oxford 6-2 in the first game of the National High School Invitational on Wednesday.
Oxford starter Tucker Simpson struck out seven and allowed only three hits on the day. The righthander gave up five walks however, and seemed distracted on the mound when Heritage put in a pinch-running Kevin Williams in the fifth.
"It did," Oxford head coach Wes Brooks said of the pinch runner affecting Simpson. "He was slowing the game down because (Simpson) picked several times but I thought he did a good job. I thought the guy was going to steal early but I thought he did a good job of picking two or three times in a row and then quick-pitching."
American Heritage head coach Bruce Aven acknowledged the change in pace of the game when Williams entered.
"Kevin has a lot of speed," Aven said. "Both teams knew what we were doing. We were going to steal and they knew it. You play a little cat-and-mouse with it and see where it falls."
Simpson walked three batters following Williams' appearance on the basepaths and was taken out of the game. He gave up five earned runs total.
Alex Seibold started for Heritage, and went five innings, allowing two earned runs, walking one and striking out a pair.
"Seibold was our guy today," Aven said. "When you're in a tournament like this you can't afford for your first guy to go out and get rocked in the first couple innings or you're done. So for him to go five innings strong it gives us a chance to keep our pitching for the next game and the next game."
Jackson Stephens highlighted the offense, leading all batters with three hits in the game for Oxford.
"He's been hitting balls hard lately and just finding holes, not hitting them right at them," Brooks said of Stephens. "He's our three-hole hitter and he's one of our better hitters. You want big-time players to make big-time plays in big-time games. He came and he showed up today and played well." [...] Continue Reading »
The inaugural USA Baseball National High School Invitational is right around the corner and the Bracket Selection Show is now live, announcing the first-round matchups and ensuing schedule. The event is presented by Baseball America and the Town of Cary and will be played March 28-31 at the National Training Complex.
The selection show, hosted by USA Baseball's Jake Fehling, has analysis from Baseball America's Nathan Rode and Conor Glassey as well as interviews with representatives from USA Baseball and the Town of Cary and participating players and coaches.
Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6:02 p.m. ET.
USA Baseball's 18U Team defeated Canada Sunday afternoon in Cartagena, Colombia, to finish 9-0 and win the COPABE Pan Am Championship. The gold medal gives Team USA the amateur trifecta for 2011. The 14U team won its Pan Am tournament while the 16U squad captured the IBAF World Championship.
The clincher was a 12-2, mercy-rule shortened game that saw the U.S. trail for only a half inning. Down 1-0 before it's first at-bat, Team USA sent 12 batters to the plate, collected five hits and scored seven runs in the bottom of the first. The big blow came off the bat of shortstop Addison Russell, who hit a grand slam. [...] Continue Reading »
With wins over Mexico and Argentina, USA Baseball's 18U team improved to 3-0 in the Pan Am Championships in Cartagena, Colombia. Team USA beat Mexico 3-1 Friday afternoon and followed with a 16-2 win over Argentina on Saturday.
In Friday's game, the U.S. scored two in the first inning when outfielders David Dahl and Albert Almora drew walks. First baseman Joey Gallo singled to drive in Dahl and catcher Jeremy Martinez knocked in Almora with a single of his own. Third baseman Carson Kelly reached on a dropped third strike in the fifth, advance to second on an Addison Russell sacrifice bunt and put the U.S. up 3-0 when Dahl singled. Mexico's lone run came in the sixth inning.
Righthander Walker Weickel earned the victory, tossing 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out two. Righthander Clate Schmidt pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief before righty Carson Fulmer pitched a perfect ninth to get the save.
On Saturday, the U.S. was in a tight game against Argentina early, but pulled away with four runs in the fourth and eight runs in the sixth on the way to a 16-2 win. The game ended after seven innings under the mercy rule.
Righthander Chase DeJong allowed just one run over five innings to earn the win. Center fielder Albert Almora led the offense with a double, triple, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Team USA's next game is Sunday evening against Puerto Rico.
Originally scheduled to have Thursday off, Team USA instead played their opening game of the Pan Am Championships against Aruba. The change didn't have any effect as the 18U squad pounded out 19 hits on the way to a 15-0, mercy rule win over Aruba. Gavin Cecchini started at second base and led the offense with a 4-for-5 night. Jesse Winker, known for having one of the better bats in the 2012 draft class, got the start on the mound and needed just 66 pitches to complete the shutout.
"I Felt good, my arm felt strong, the changeup was there for me," Winker said. "I tried to throw as many strikes as I could and let the good defense behind me make plays. The double plays turned kept my pitch count down."
Right fielder David Dahl had three hits of his own while left fielder Mikey White, center fielder Albert Almora, first baseman Joey Gallo, catcher Jeremy Martinez and third baseman Carson Kelly each had two hits. Martinez led the team with three RBIs.
"Great start to the event, we swung the bats well," head coach Scott Brosius said. "That was a huge performance from Jesse Winker with his complete game shutout. Very positive start for tournament."
Team USA will play Mexico today after the conclusion of the 9:30 a.m. EST game between Venezuela and Antilles.
The USA Baseball 18U team was scheduled to have 28 players at trials, but when the dates for the 2011 COPABE Pan Am Championships moved to Nov. 17-27, several players—mostly pitchers—decided not to return.
Just 21 players returned for trials, meaning the USA staff had to cut only one player to get down to the 20-man roster. The player cut was outfielder Nick Williams from Ball High in Galveston, Texas.
The final 18U roster can be found here.
USA Baseball also recently announced its 2011 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) trials selections. The players selected from the NTIS event receive an automatic invitation to the National Team Trials next summer.
2011 17U NTIS / 2012 18U Trials
Name, Position, School, Class
Cole Billingsley, OF/LHP, Pell City (Ala.) HS, 2012
Ben Eckels, RHP, Davis (Calif.) HS, 2012
Chris Flexen, RHP, Newark (Calif.) Memorial HS, 2012
John Kilichowski, LHP, Jesuit HS, Tampa, 2013
Kieran Lovegrove, RHP, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS, 2012
Russell Reynolds, RHP, Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge, La., 2012
Drew Ward, IF/OF, Leedey (Okla.) HS, 2014
Connor Williams, OF/RHP, Bingham HS, South Jordan, Utah, 2012
The Confederation of Pan American Baseball (COPABE) has announced that the Junior 18U Pan American Championships have been rescheduled for Nov. 18-27 in Cartagena, Colombia.
The dates of the event were moved after a natural disaster occurred in a nearby town known as San Francisco. Thousands of residents have been displaced due to structural damage to houses and buildings in the neighborhood. The mayor of Cartagena felt a postponement of the event was necessary as the government focused on a response to the disaster.
USA Baseball will still have players return to the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. on Sept. 12 for workouts and exhibition games. The final 20-man roster will be announced at the end of that week and all players and coaches will return to their respective homes. The team will then reconvene in Miami on Nov. 11 for a training period before flying to Colombia on Nov. 16.
UPDATED: 8:07 p.m. ET
With a 9-0 victory over Cuba in the 2011 IBAF World 'AA'/16U Youth Championships, Team USA claimed its sixth straight gold medal in international competition. Righthander Keegan Thompson (Cullman, Ala., HS) continued a dominating tournament performance by throwing a complete-game shutout against Cuba, striking out 12 while allowing just four hits and one walk. He went 2-0, 1.29 with 18 strikeouts in 14 innings at the tournament in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.
"Keegan Thompson is legit," head coach Ernie Padron said. "He didn't let up. He was pounding the strike zone. He had three innings with single-digit pitch counts. He had command, mound presence and he went 4-for-5 at the plate—his out was a one-hop shot at the second baseman."
Thompson has an athletic frame a 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and works with a low-90s fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. Padron said his command and demeanor stood out against Cuba.
"He could throw wherever he wanted to throw, everything," said. "The composure he exhibited for a 16-year-old was mind boggling."
Infielder Zach Collins (American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.) was named MVP after hitting .536/.618/.964 with 16 RBIs in 28 at-bats. Outfielder Austin Meadows (Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.) set a 16U record with 26 RBIs and was named to the all-tournament team.
A member of the 2013 class, Meadows is arguably the best draft prospect on the 16U team. He has a physical frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and showed an ability to hit for average and power, and run for Team USA. [...] Continue Reading »
The USA Baseball 16U team begins play in Mexico Aug. 19 in the IBAF World 'AA' 16U Youth Championships.
This year marks the 14th edition of the tournament and the US enters as defending champions. They will face off against 10 other teams, since the Phillipines recently withdrew from the competition.
The US will begin pool play in Group A against Mexico, Brazil, Chinese Taipei and Australia. Group B features Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Japan, Indonesia and the Netherlands. The top four teams from each group go on to a second round-robin format, with the final two teams playing for the championship.
"For such a short time, they like each other—they pull for each other," 16U head coach Ernie Padron said about his squad. "They're very disciplined, on time and doing all the little things that help you get together as a team. It's a good group."
The 20-man team gives a sneak peek at some of the top players for the 2013 and 2014 classes. . . and even a pitcher from the 2015 class.
[...] Continue Reading »
The USA Baseball 18U team made a second round of cuts, going from 40 players down to 28. The following 28 players will come back to Cary, NC in September, where the roster will be cut down again to the final 20 before the team heads off to Cartagena, Columbia for the COPABE PanAm AAA Championships. Here is the official release on the second round of cuts. . .
DURHAM, N.C. — Following a two-week evaluation period that concluded with the inaugural Prospect Classic, USA Baseball announced the names of 28 players who have received invitations to join the 18U National Team at a second round trial, to be held Sept. 12-21, in Cary.
From there, 20 athletes will be selected to compete in the 2011 COPABE Pan American AAA/18U Championships in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 23-Oct. 2. Team USA is the defending champion of the tournament, having defeated Cuba, 6-1, in the 2009 title game.
Highlighting the 28-man trial roster is five-time USA Baseball Alum Albert Almora (Hialeah, Fla.) and 2010 USA Baseball Player-of-the-Year Alex Bregman (Albuquerque, N.M.). In all, 11 of the 28 invitees are alums of USA Baseball.
The USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials roster is as follows:
Rio Ruiz is a name we have heard for a while and been longing to see in person. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound third baseman strolled into USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars this week, fresh off hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium in California's Southern Section Division IV championship game. Ruiz led Bishop Amat High (La Puente, Calif.) to the title win and a No. 7 finish in the High School Top 25.
For the Lancers, Ruiz hit .455 in 101 at-bats with three home runs and 35 RBIs. He described hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium as one of the best feelings in his life and was excited to finally win a championship.
"It was amazing," he said. "That's been my goal since freshman year, to win a championship. Third year is a charm. We worked really hard, every day. Whether it's ground balls, hitting, throwing. We did the little things perfectly. Everything. Hats off to my coach. Coach (Andy) Nieto, he did a heck of a job." [...] Continue Reading »
On the second day of USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars, the game to see was PONY vs. NABF as PONY rolled out three good arms. Righthander Lucas Giolito got the start and did not disappoint.
A physical monster at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, Giolito attends Harvard-Westlake High in Los Angeles. As a sophomore he was teammates with Austin Wilson, now an outfielder at Stanford. Giolito burst onto the scene before his junior season at the Area Code Games in August of 2010. He was the hardest thrower at the event, touching 96, though he didn't think it was his best outing.
"At Area Codes, I wouldn't say I pitched well," he said. "I threw hard. I guess that's what got a lot of attention. I've grown a lot since then. Now I've become a lot more of a pitcher as opposed to a thrower, mixing up pitches. I got strikeouts with different pitches today—changeup, fastball, curve. As of right now, I have a lot of confidence and I'm feeling pretty good." [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars gets underway Wednesday morning at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The event serves as a tryout of sorts for the 18U National Team. This year's team will travel to Cartagena, Colombia in September for the COPABE Pan Am 'AAA' Championships. There are eight teams in the tournament, represented by seven of the National Member Organizations and an at-large team, put together by USA Baseball. The organizations represented are AABC, American Legion, Babe Ruth, Dixie, NABF, PONY and RBI. Seven first-round picks in the 2011 draft participated in the 2010 Tournament of Stars: Bubba Starling, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Tyler Beede, Joe Ross, Blake Swihart and Robert Stephenson.
Baseball America will be on-site covering the event. Here are a couple quick notes about each team's roster:
AABC: Vahn Bozoian is a long-limbed outfielder from Ayala High in Chino Hills, Calif. He has power from the right side, but his long levers lend to questions about his ability to hit. He has one of the strongest throwing arms in this draft class. . . Joey Gallo hit 25 home runs this spring, leading Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High to a sixth-straight state title. He's no stranger to the showcase circuit, but hasn't quite lived up to expectations yet. However, he has recently taken to pitching where he shows easy velocity in the low 90s. . . David Thompson broke Prince Fielder's career home run record in Florida—during his junior year. He is a corner infielder with big power and also excels as a quarterback. . . The best arms on this team appear to be righthander Jamie Callahan from Dillon (S.C.) High and lefthander Hunter Virant from Camarillo (Calif.) High. Callahan sits 88-90 mph with a good changeup and curveball and Virant sits in the low 90s and already throws four pitches despite this being his first year on the mound.
Every year USA Baseball puts together events and teams that attract the best baseball players from around the country. Team USA also prides itself on bringing the best coaches and evaluators to help put teams together and lead them in various international tournaments.
It's easy to notice the relationships the players develop as they climb the ranks in baseball, but the coaches share the same experiences. Last month, while on spring break, Ernie Padron brought his varsity and junior varsity teams up from Miami's Florida Christian School to the Raleigh-Durham area to play three games against North Carolina schools. Normally, schools head to South Florida for spring break, but this was a special circumstance. Padron brought his team north so they could play against his friend, Charlie Spivey—the head coach at Lee County High in Sanford, N.C. [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball's 2010 season for high school-aged teams came to a close in October with the 16U National Team capturing a gold medal by beating Mexico 11-4 in the COPABE Pan Am 'AA' 16U Youth Championships. The 16U program is now unbeaten in the last five years, running the streak to 40 games.
"I was really proud of everyone involved with the program this year, from the staff down to all of the players who participated in our trials," said Jeff Singer, director of the 16U program. "It was a particularly challenging year in regards to how late in the calendar the event fell and the fact that two weeks before trials started we didn’t officially know if we’d be able to compete due to safety concerns in Mexico. In the end everyone put all of that aside, we came together as an incredibly close team and we kept our focus day after day and proved that we were the best team in the tournament. We really hit the ball incredibly well."
Infielders Alex Bregman and Corey Seager led the squad on offense. Bregman, a junior at Albuquerque Academy, hit .564/.596/.846 in 39 at-bats with two home runs, 17 runs and 17 RBIs. He also stole five bases. Seager hit .514/.622/.829 in 35 at-bats with 16 runs scored and 12 RBIs. He proved to be the team's most patient hitter, drawing 10 walks in nine games. While Bregman and Seager did plenty of damage on their own, Team USA destroyed opposing pitching as a whole. In nine games the squad hit .437/.500/.749 with 15 home runs and outscored opponents 127-23. [...] Continue Reading »
This past weekend, USA Baseball put on the second annual National Team Identificatiton Series at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The NTIS consists of three age groups (13U, 15U, 17U) and more than 600 players. They are split into regionalized teams and play three or four games over the weekend. The staff of USA Baseball selects players from each age group to attend their team trials for the 18U, 16U and 14U squads for the ensuing year. On Wednesday night, USA Baseball announced the selections. Below is some information on the 17U selections, as well as the list of players selected from the younger divisions. [...] Continue Reading »
The medal round is underway for the World Junior Championship in Thunder Bay, Ont. You can follow live scoring here. The U.S. will face Cuba Friday at 2 p.m. EDT. ESPN3.com will broadcast the bronze and gold medal games live. Here is the remaining schedule (Updated 9 p.m. EDT):
Friday July 30th
Game 31: France vs. Panama, 9 a.m.
Game 32: Czech Republic vs. Venezuela, 9:30 a.m.
Game 33: Netherlands vs. Chinese Taipei, 12:30 p.m.
Game 34: Cuba vs. U.S.A., 2 p.m.
Game 35: Australia vs. South Korea, 4:30 p.m.
Game 36: Italy vs. Canada, 7 p.m. [...] Continue Reading »
The Team USA 18U squad wrapped up pool play Wednesday morning with a dominating win over France, 16-0. The U.S. scored 16 runs on 15 hits, five of which were home runs. Tony Wolters, Bubba Starling, Brian Ragira, Michael Lorenzen and Lance McCullers Jr. all went deep. McCullers' shot was a grand slam in the fifth and final inning. Lefthander Daniel Camarena got the start and allowed just two hits while striking out four in five innings of work.
On Tuesday, the U.S. beat Venezuela in a slugfest, 14-7. First baseman Blake Swihart led the charge, going 3-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
Team USA is the only 5-0 team in the tournament and won Pool A. The U.S. will play the fourth-place team from Pool B, but it remains to be seen which team that will be. Games are to be completed Wednesday night.
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 »
USA Baseball calls it athlete development. That's the process of identifying players at age 14, 16 or 18, getting those players into USA Baseball's system, and showing them what it means, at an early age, to wear USA on their chests.
In a perfect world, USA Baseball executive director Paul Seiler likes to say, a player can don that uniform throughout high school and college, and now right up through the minor leagues and the majors with the advent of the World Baseball Classic.
If you had to pick one player who was Mr. USA Baseball, it would have to be Huston Street. He wore the uniform in high school during the 2001 18U qualifying tournament in Cuba. That team was loaded with future big leaguers; Street played third base (and didn't pitch), next to shortstop Sergio Santos (who also didn't pitch). Outfielders Denard Span and Jeff Francoeur and shortstop B.J. Upton carried the offense. Scott Kazmir took the loss in the gold-medal game despite striking out 15 in 6 1/3 innings, when Kendry Morales took him deep and got the win on the mound. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog