Prep Roundup: No-Hitters And Hot Starts

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.

Crisp County High (Cordele, Ga.) won the LaGrange Invitational with a 9-2 win over Grayson. Crisp County threw righthander Robert Tyler, the No. 98 high school prospect, against the Rams. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four. He was named tournament MVP. Grayson dropped to 3-2 on the season and has one game before the highly anticipated matchup against Loganville (Ga.) High on March 12.

• Speaking of Loganville, outfielder Clint Frazier—the No. 2 prep prospect in the country—is off to a blistering start. In four games he is 10-for-15 with two doubles, a triple and four home runs, helping the No. 14 Red Devils to a 4-0 start.

• Jack Flaherty of Harvard-Westlake High (Studio City, Calif.) joined The Woodlands arms in high-profile no-hitters by blanking Valencia High (Santa Clarita, Calif.). He struck out seven, walked one and needed just 73 pitches to finish the game. No. 16 Harvard-Westlake improved to 4-0.

• Two coaches recently reached milestones in their careers. Glenn Cecchini, the head coach at Barbe High in Lake Charles, La., logged his 700th win, while Tom Meusborn of Chatsworth (Calif.) High won his 600th game. I featured Meusborn in a column before the 2011 season, highlighting his influence on players both on and off the field. Meusborn won back-to-back national titles with Chatsworth in 2003-2004 and coached Mike Moustakas and Matt Dominguez. Cecchini is the father of Garin (Red Sox) and Gavin (Mets), two infield prospects in the minor leagues. Cecchini has helped build Barbe into one of the country’s top programs and has won six Louisiana state titles.

• Whether it’s for a state or national title, repeating is hard for any team, but things just got more challenging for No. 1 Parkview High (Lilburn, Ga.). The Panthers stumbled out of the gate with a 4-1 loss to Collins Hill High (Suwanee, Ga.), but now have to go the rest of the season without Jarrett Freeland, a righthander and utility player. Freeland tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery. Freeland was expected to be the No. 2 man behind ace lefthander Mac Marshall. He was inexperienced on the mound, but was creating some buzz among scouts with his 6-foot-6 frame and arm strength.

• Righthander J.P. France from Archbishop Shaw High in Marrero, La., allowed one run on two hits over seven innings and struck out 17 as the Eagles beat Jesuit (New Orleans), 2-1 on March 1. France is committed to Tulane.