Pitching dominates in first day of tournament
October 27, 2000
By Allan Simpson
JUPITER, Fla.With a majority of the players at the Baseball America/Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championship using wood bats in a competitive situation for the first time, pitching not surprisingly dominated the first day of competition.
There were several impressive performances on the mound in the 33 games played, including three no-hitters and three 0-0 ties. There also wasn't a single home run hit, despite the appearance of several top hitting prospects in the High School Draft Class of 2001.
More than 1,000 high school players from all over the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are gathered at the four-day event, with several hundred scouts and college recruiters also in attendance.
The 50-team competition is being played at Roger Dean Stadium, the 13-field spring training complex of the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals. Pool play will continue Saturday with another 39 games scheduled.
Among the top pitching performances on Friday were:
Pre-tournament favorite Team California went with ace righthanders Moses Kopmar (Berkeley, Calif., High) and Steve Papazian (Wilson High, Long Beach) but could fare no better than a 1-1 tie with Team Ontario.
Surprisingly, the Baseball America team, with several of the nation's top prospects, went only 1-1 and was fortunate to even win at all.
Righthander Jason Weintraub (Jefferson High, Tampa) of the Tampa Yankees struck out 12 and allowed only five hits but was done in by two unearned runs as Baseball America pulled out a narrow 2-1 win. Three Baseball America pitchers worked out of several jams.
The BAteam, which features catcher Landon Powell (Apex, N.C., High), outfielder Billy Paganetti (Galena High, Reno, Nev.) and sophomore outfielder Delmon Young (Camarillo, Calif., High), wasn't as fortunate in its second game as it lost 7-1 to the Treasure Coast, Fla., Cardinals. With the loss, it is in danger of not advancing to bracket play on Sunday.
The 10 pool winners advance to bracket play, along with six wild-card teams.
Teams that went 2-0 on the opening day were Batters Box Bandits of Florida, North Carolina Warhawks, Team Florida Blue, West Palm Beach (Fla.) and West Side All-Stars of Puerto Rico.
The Dallas Tigers won their only game, as did another pre-tournament favorite, the Bayside (N.Y.) Yankees.
The East Coast Prospects, another of the favorites, was one of four teams to go 1-0-1.
Look for daily coverage of the event on baseballamerica.com and perfectgame.org.
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