GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD NEWS

NHSI

2019 NHSI Preview: Pod 1

March 5, 2019


ORANGE LUTHERAN

Orange, Calif.


SOUTH FORSYTH

Cumming, Ga.
2019 Preseason Ranks:
  • Baseball America Preseason No. 43
  • MaxPreps Preseason No. 2
  • Perfect Game Preseason No. 4
2019 Preseason Ranks:
  • Unranked
USA Baseball National Team Alums:
  • Karson Bowen (2016 12U, 2018 15U)
  • Jasiah Dixon (2016 15U)
  • Max Racjic (2018 18U)
  • Christian Rodriguez (2014 12U)
USA Baseball National Team Alums:
  • Landon Sims (2016 15U)
Players to Watch:
  • Jasiah Dixon
  • Garrett Frechette (No. 108, Baseball America)
  • Max Racjic
  • Christian Rodriguez
Players to Watch:
  • Landon Sims (No. 60, Baseball America)

 

Matchup: Two-time defending National High School Invitational (NSHI) champion, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), returns to Cary, North Carolina, searching to become the first team in tournament history to three-peat. After falling in the CIF State Semifinals in 2018, the Lancers were tabbed with a No. 2 ranking in the country by MaxPreps and No. 4 from Perfect Game.

The Lancers feature four players (Karson Bowen, Gabe Briones, Jasiah Dixon and Max Rajcic) that have played on a USA Baseball National Team, with two, Bowen and Rajcic, wearing the stars and stripes in 2018. Orange Lutheran is also led on the diamond by two-time USA Baseball manager alum Eric Borba.

Orange Lutheran will have a tough road to the finals if they hope to win a third straight title as it faces South Forsyth (Cumming, Ga.) in the first round of the tournament. The War Eagles are coming off of a dominating season in 2018 that culminated in a loss in the GHSA 7A Second Round. SFHS will be led by the No. 60-ranked draft prospect, according to Baseball America, and 2016 15U National Team member Landon Sims.

 

 
DESERT OASIS

Las Vegas, Nev.

 
DELBARTON

Morristown, N.J.
2019 Preseason Ranks:
  • Baseball America Preseason No. 11
  • MaxPreps Preseason No. 55
  • Perfect Game Preseason No. 18
2019 Preseason Ranks:
  • Baseball America Preseason No. 18
  • MaxPreps Preseason No. 19
  • Perfect Game Preseason No. 10
USA Baseball National Team Alums:
  • None
USA Baseball National Team Alums:
  • Jack Leiter (2018 18U)
  • Anthony Volpe (2013 12U, 2016 15U, 2018 18U)
Players to Watch:
  • D.J. Jefferson
  • Aaron Roberts
  • Josh Sharman
Players to Watch:
  • Jack Leiter (No. 20, MLB Pipeline; No. 35, Baseball America)
  • Shawn Rapp
  • Anthony Volpe (No. 64, Baseball America)

 

Matchup: In what is sure to be one of the best matchups in the first round of the tournament, Desert Oasis High School (Las Vegas, Nevada) will face off against Delbarton High School (Morristown, N.J.).

Desert Oasis will be motivated for greatness in 2019 after falling in Nevada's Class 4A State Championship game after a 30-5 season. The Diamondbacks boast No. 18 and No. 55 rankings by Perfect Game and MaxPreps, respectively, and will be led by seniors D.J. Jefferson, Aaron Roberts and Josh Sharman.

On the other side of the ranked first-round matchup, is No. 10 and No.19-ranked Delbarton High School. The Green Wave are coming off an 18-6 season in 2018, where they fell in the NJSIAA Second Round. Delbarton will be led by seniors and 2018 18U National Team teammates Anthony Volpe and Jack Leiter. Leiter enters the year as one of the top-rated pitchers in the draft class, ranking No. 20 overall and the ninth overall pitcher in MLB Pipeline rankings. The pair and the rest of the Green Wave squad will try to use their experience to advance to the second round for a matchup against Orange Lutheran or South Forsyth.

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GSA

GSA Spotlight: Patrick McColl

April 18, 2019

More than halfway through the college baseball season, we have seen a number of impressive performances across the nation. But few have been more impressive than senior Patrick McColl, who ranks fifth in the nation in batting (.443) and sixth in OPS (1.353), and has helped Harvard stay near the top of a competitive Ivy League.

McColl has been a key player since arriving in Cambridge his freshman season, playing in at least 38 games each of his last three seasons for the Crimson. In his second season McColl finished second on the team in batting .355, but dropped to .263 last season. With one season left at Harvard, McColl decided to change his approach at the plate during the offseason. 

"Every offseason I try to increase strength and get bigger so I can hit the ball farther, and it has worked," McColl said. "But this offseason I focused on getting the ball in the air, and I listened to big league hitters and what they do at the plate. A lot of it is trying to hit line drives and fly balls more than ground balls."

The first baseman's new approach has paid off, as he is hitting .443/.504/.849 with a career-high nine home runs and 33 RBIs this season. Up until the last few days, he was leading Division I in batting at .459. Coach Bill Decker has been able to watch McColl progress in his four years at Harvard, and believes the senior's big season is a testament to his hard work. 

"For me, 30 plus years into this profession it's just watching him day in and day out. The way he handles himself, and stays on this even keel is impressive," Decker said. "He is able to slow the game down, and it has been fun to watch. His teammates have not only embraced what he has done, but they know they can do it too."

McColl says his phone has been blowing up every weekend with messages from friends and family congratulating him on his impressive start to the season. While he has tried to avoid looking at the stats, McColl has been inspired by seeing his name atop a list of the best batters in the nation. 

"It's pretty cool, you try not to let it get to your head too much," McColl said. "It does inspire confidence, and that is definitely what you want when walking up to the plate expecting to get a hit every time, and that's what I'm doing right now." 

Despite the attention on him every game, McColl still wants to give credit to his teammate and their hard work. 

"We're putting Harvard back on the map this season," McColl said. "I've been doing well myself, we have a number of other strong hitters in the lineup. Jake Suddleson hits behind me and he's hitting around .380 and has [nine] home runs, and Chad Minato is on a 16-game hitting streak. So we are stroking the ball well as a team and it's been working so far."

At 8-4, Harvard is just one game behind first-place Columbia in the Ivy, and its 18-8 overall mark is the best of any Ivy League team. Harvard has its sights set on its first Ivy championship since 2006. McColl credits a lot of the team's early success to a trip the Crimson took over winter break. Decker took a group of 24 players to the Dominican Republic to help serve the community and play against a number of local baseball teams. 

"It was a way for our guys to invest in one another, and go to a different culture," Decker said. "We tried to give back with the time we spent in the orphanage, and in the village painting houses. Certainly the time we spent with the Dominican players on the field, and learning the way they play the game was great. It was really valuable for a team bonding event. It was one of the most influential things in my life that I've been through with these guys, and I would recommend it to anybody."

McColl said this senior season has been a great experience from the fall through Week Nine of this season, and he hopes to continue to help Harvard reach its goals for the season. 

"It's been awesome so far, and it's the dream to have a season like this at Harvard, and I hope to continue it," McColl said. "But to be able to do it as a senior is awesome, and it has made the experience surreal."

While his team continues to fight for the top spot in the Ivy league and its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005, McColl says the Crimson enters every game with a "Little League" mindset. 

"We have been playing this season with that Little League mindset, which is having fun while we are out there on the field," McColl said. "Coach asked us to reflect on what we learned from the Dominican players, and the biggest thing was their love for the game. At the end of the day we are playing a game, and I think that has shown this season. Every game we play I think we are having more fun than the other team, and that shows on the field because we are playing with a loose and aggressive mindset."

Decker has coached a number of good teams in his 34 years and has seen plenty of impressive performances, but watching McColl's season has been a highlight in his coaching career.

"Individually it's one of the best things I've ever seen," Decker said. "Watching Pat has been awesome, but really watching the way Pat approaches not only baseball, but his studies and the way he carries himself. Let's just say this young man was brought up the right way, and he's infectious in our locker room, he's a really great person. It's really special to watch what he's doing, and you don't think you can keep it up, but if he goes about his business you never know what could happen."

D1Baseball.com is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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GSA

GSA Spotlight: Andrew Vaughn

April 11, 2019

BERKELEY, Calif. - A Twitter user posed an interesting question last week: Is Andrew Vaughn the best college hitter ever? Considering all the great bats that have passed through college baseball over the decades, it's impossible to put that label on any single player, past or present. But the fact that Vaughn is right there in the discussion with any of the all-time greats is telling.

Few college hitters have ever shown the combination of elite power and elite hitting ability that Vaughn has demonstrated during his three-year college career at California. He hit .349/.414/.555 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs to earn freshman All-America honors in 2017. He hit .402/.531/.819 with 23 homers, 14 doubles, 63 RBIs to become just the Division I underclassman this century to win the Golden Spikes Award in 2018. That season, he had more than twice as many extra-base hits and walks (44) as strikeouts (18).

And Vaughn has kept on terrorizing opposing pitchers at a remarkable level as a junior this spring, hitting .344/.519/.708 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs, along with 31 walks and 20 strikeouts. Despite returning to campus as the reigning Golden Spikes Award winner and a slam-dunk top-10 (probably top-five) pick in the upcoming draft, Vaughn hasn't been fazed one iota by any external expectations or pressures.

"It's just a game, man. That's all I've got to play it as," Vaughn said. "I just go out there every day, try to do my best, help my teammates win, and everything else takes care of itself. I mean, it is a great stage to be on, winning that Golden Spikes last year was unbelievable, but just gotta go out there and play the game. Can't think about trying to win it again, or try to go out and do better than I did last year - can't think that way, or you're not gonna do well."

Vaughn is as even-keeled as athletes get. He said he hasn't gotten any extra attention walking around campus as the reigning national player of the year, but he likes it just fine that way. "I just like to stay to myself and be a quiet guy," he said.

He's focused on playing for his teammates, on a mission to get Cal to the postseason for the first time since 2015.

"We talk about it all the time with all of our draft guys - 'Hey, just put the team first, do what you're supposed to do for the team and it'll all work out for the draft,' but it's a lot easier said than done," said second-year Cal coach Mike Neu. "A lot of guys, it's tough, there's distractions, there's a lot of scouts, there's so many things that happen. But he just truly has lived that. He's just, 'Hey, I'm gonna do whatever I can to help the team win.' I think that's why it's working out for him. He has some distractions but it doesn't affect him. He just goes out and plays the same way every day."

And the way he plays every day is nothing short of dazzling. If he comes to the plate with first base occupied, and you know he might actually get something to hit, you can't help but inch forward in your seat in anticipation of seeing something special. In Saturday's win against Washington State, Vaughn walked in his first at-bat - something he's used to doing, like most elite sluggers. In his second at-bat, he drove a screaming double the other way into the right-center gap and went on to score.

In his third at-bat, he hit one of the most jaw-dropping moon shots you'll ever see. Wazzu lefty A.J. Block left an 87 mph fastball over the heart of the plate, and Vaughn deposited it on the roof of the second building beyond the left-field wall for a monstrous two-run homer.

"Either that one or the one I hit at Cal Poly this year - they were very close, some of the farthest balls I've ever hit," Vaughn said.

An ultra-physical 6-foot, 214-pound righthanded hitter, Vaughn seems in complete control of the strike zone at all times, and there's no obvious way to get him out - he can crush the ball to the opposite field, as I saw him do for a solo homer to right in Week One in Arizona and again for that double to right-center on Saturday. Or he can turn on the ball with authority as well as any hitter in the country. Even though pitchers work him very carefully every time he comes to the plate, he seldom chases out of the zone, and his career walk-strikeout mark is now 94-62, which is particularly insane for an elite power hitter.

"Just being a hitter first, that's the biggest thing," Vaughn said. "Knowing my strike zone, the strike zone may change game to game, but it's still the same box. Just get my pitches in that zone and hit 'em. I think I've grown into it a little more. Throughout high school I had a good eye, but then coming in here and learning it even better, better umpires so the zone gets better. I just came into my own and learned it good."

And that's what makes Vaughn so special: not only does he have prodigious power, but he also might be the best pure hitter in college baseball.

"The combination of him just, he's a hitter, he can get a hit, he can use the whole field, he can take a walk, and then he can launch a ball as far as anybody in the country," Neu said. "It's just such a rare combination. You just really don't see that this level, almost ever. So it's pretty fun to watch. I'm glad I'm getting to see him for these two years, it's just impressive."

Vaughn is also an ideal teammate. When freshman Grant Holman decided to dye his hair pink to support his mother's fight against cancer, Vaughn was right there with him.

"Beginning of the year he was like, 'Hey man, I'm gonna dye my hair pink.' He was telling a couple guys, 'Hey, come over to my house, let's do it.' We cut up some mohawks and put pink dye in it," Vaughn said with a chuckle. "It said it was gonna come out in 30 washes, but it's been two months, so I think it's in there for a while."

"It's just him being a great teammate again," Neu said. "Just one of those things like, 'Yep, hey. You've got a battle, I'm in it with you.' Pretty cool.

"Not only is he an unbelievable hitter and an unbelievable player, but he puts the team first all the time. And he just wants to win. It's just fun to see him take batting practice every day, and to see how far he hit that ball today, that was impressive. I think this is my sixth year at Cal, and I don't think I've seen one hit that far in a game before. That was unbelievable. I just enjoy watching him play every day."

Anyone who's gotten the chance to watch Vaughn do his thing over the last three years surely feels the same way - watching him play feels like one of those rare privileges that should never be taken for granted.

D1Baseball.com is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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GSA

USA Baseball Unveils Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List

The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 14
April 10, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball unveiled the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list on Wednesday, moving closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be announced on June 14.

The midseason watch list features 40 of the nation's top amateur players from the high school and college ranks, and includes 21 athletes whom have played their way onto the watch list since the preseason list was announced on February 5. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on May 15.

"We are happy to honor forty amateur athletes on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list who have performed at an elite level through the midway part of their season," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "Each one of these athletes are deserving of this recognition and we look forward to joining the rest of the amateur baseball world in watching the rest of their seasons unfold before announcing the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists in May." 

The watch list is headlined by Adley Rutschman (Oregon State), Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and Andrew Vaughn (California), who are being recognized on the midseason watch list for the second straight year. Torkelson and Vaughn were also named semifinalists for the award in 2018 before Vaughn was ultimately named the Golden Spikes Award winner after a stellar sophomore campaign in Berkeley. 

Arizona State University leads all schools with three athletes on the 2019 midseason watch list while Mississippi State, NC State, Oregon State, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Washington each placed two athletes on the list.

In total, 13 different NCAA conferences have at least one athlete on the list. The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences represented on the midseason watch list with 10 athletes, while eight players represent the Pac-12 Conference and five hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

One National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and two high school athletes are on the midseason watch list in 2019 and will look to join Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010) as a Golden Spikes Award winner who claimed their respective trophies as a non-NCAA Division I athlete. Austin Sojka (Oklahoma Wesleyan) represents the NAIA on the list while Brett Baty (Lake Travis High School) and Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville High School) are the only high school baseball players recognized by the advisory board on the watch list. 

Last year, Cal's Vaughn took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

On Wednesday, May 15, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2019 Golden Spikes Award. The list of semifinalists will then be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and 40 of the previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. On May 29, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting for the winner will begin that same day.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2019. Beginning with the semifinalist announcement and continuing through the finalist round voting deadline, fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com.

The winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 14.

USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary University of Southern California and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.

The 2019 Golden Spikes Award timeline:

  • May 15: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
  • May 26: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • May 29: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
  • June 10: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • June 14: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation


A complete list of the 40-player Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list is as follows:

Name, Class, Position, School, Conference
Jake Agnos, Jr., ECU, American Athletic Conference 
Logan Allen, So., FIU, Conference USA
Patrick Bailey, So., NC State, Atlantic Coast Conference
Brett Baty, Sr., Lake Travis High School
Hunter Bishop, Jr., Arizona State, Pac-12 Conference
J.J. Bleday, Jr., Vanderbilt, Southeastern Conference 
Josh Burgmann, RS So., Washington, Pac-12 Conference 
Tanner Burns, So., Auburn, Southeastern Conference
Isaiah Campbell, RS Jr., Arkansas, Southeastern Conference
Matt Canterino, Jr., Rice, Conference USA
Logan Davidson, Jr., Clemson, Atlantic Coast Conference
Reid Detmers, So., Louisville, Atlantic Coast Conference
Brandon Eisert, Jr., Oregon State, Pac-12 Conference
Nick Gonzales, So., New Mexico State, Western Athletic Conference
Emerson Hancock, So., Georgia, Southeastern Conference
Tommy Henry, Jr., Michigan, Big Ten Conference
Connor Hinchliffe, Sr., La Salle, Atlantic 10 Conference
Kody Hoese, Jr., Tulane, American Athletic Conference
Nick Kahle, Jr., Washington, Pac-12 Conference
George Kirby, Jr., Elon, Colonial Athletic Association 
Asa Lacy, So., Texas A&M, Southeastern Conference 
Brandon Lewis, Jr., UC Irvine, Big West Conference
Nick Lodolo, Jr., TCU, Big 12 Conference
Jake Mangum, Sr., Mississippi State, Southeastern Conference
Alek Manoah, Jr., West Virginia, Big 12 Conference
Alec Marsh, Jr., Arizona State, Pac-12 Conference
Austin Martin, So., Vanderbilt, Southeastern Conference
Kyle McCann, Jr., Georgia Tech, Atlantic Coast Conference 
Max Meyer, So., Minnesota, Big 10 Conference
Adley Rutschman, Jr., Oregon State, Pac-12 Conference 
Jake Sanford, Jr., Western Kentucky, Conference USA
Braden Shewmake, Jr., Texas A&M, Southeastern Conference
Ethan Small, RS Jr., Mississippi State, Southeastern Conference 
Austin Sojka, Sr., Oklahoma Wesleyan (NAIA), Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Noah Song, Sr., Navy, Patriot League
Bryson Stott, Jr., UNLV, Mountain West Conference
Zack Thompson, Jr., Kentucky, Southeastern Conference
Spencer Torkelson, So., Arizona State, Pac-12 Conference
Andrew Vaughn, Jr., California, Pac-12 Conference
Will Wilson, Jr., NC State, Atlantic Coast Conference
Bobby Witt Jr., Sr., Colleyville Heritage High School, District 8-5A

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18U

USA Baseball Names 2019 18U National Team Staff

ABCA Hall of Famer Jack Leggett will return as manager of the 18U National Team in 2019
April 8, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the 18U National Team coaching staff on Monday, highlighted by the return of American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer Jack Leggett as manager. The 2019 18U National Team will travel to South Korea looking for a record fifth consecutive world title at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Scott Bankhead (North Carolina Baseball Academy) and Gregg Ritchie (George Washington) will also return to the staff as the team's pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively, and Gerald Laird (St. Louis Cardinals) will round out the staff as an assistant coach.

"USA Baseball is thrilled to welcome Jack Leggett back as the manager of the 18U National Team this summer after leading the 2018 18U team to a record-setting performance in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "His baseball knowledge and ability to motivate and mentor athletes are remarkable qualities that has led to a career of successes unmatched by many. As this year's team looks to make a run at a feat never before achieved at the youth level in international baseball history, we are confident that we have assembled a strong coaching staff that can lead a group of tremendous young athletes to new heights."

2019 will mark Leggett's second consecutive year as the 18U National Team manager after he led the 2018 18U National Team to a gold medal at the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships in Panama. This year also marks the third straight year for Leggett as a USA Baseball coach after working as a coach for the 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2017 and 2018.

Leggett was the head baseball coach at Clemson University from 1994-2015, where he led the Tigers to 955 victories, 21 NCAA Tournament appearances and six College World Series berths. Every single one of his teams compiled winning overall records in his 22 seasons at Clemson and 34 of his players were All-Americans, 31 were First-Team All-ACC players and 11 were selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Leggett guided the Tigers to their second and third No. 1 rankings in school history and Clemson was the seventh-winningest program in the nation during his time as head coach. He was a three-time ACC Coach of the Year recipient and was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2014. Leggett also served as a head coach for 14 years at Vermont and Western Carolina before moving to Clemson. In total, he has 1,332 career wins and following the conclusion of the 2015 season, he was the fifth-winningest active Division 1 head coach in the country.

Scott Bankhead will once again join Leggett on staff in 2019 as the pitching coach after leading the 2018 18U team pitching staff to a team ERA of 3.13 and 91 strikeouts at the 2018 U-18 Pan-American Championships. Currently the owner of the North Carolina Baseball Academy, Bankhead has previously served as an 18U National Team Trials coach in 2016 and 2017, and was a member of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Team. He was the 16th overall pick in the 1984 MLB Draft out of the University of North Carolina and he spent ten seasons in the Major Leagues, pitching for the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. He finished his professional career with a 4.18 ERA over 901 innings.

Ritchie will enter his third consecutive year as the 18U National Team hitting coach in 2019 and his second under Leggett. Ritchie's offense shined at the U-18 Pan-American Championships in 2018 as the team recorded a .407 batting average with 31 doubles, 5 triples and 15 home runs, and set the USA Baseball record for most runs scored in an international tournament with 131. Additionally, he helped lead the 18U team to an undefeated record and a fourth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup title in 2017. Under his direction, the 2017 squad hit .273 and had a .418 slugging percentage, with 16 doubles, five triples and six home runs over nine games. He has also served as a coach at the 2016 and 2018 17U NTDPs and 18U National Team Trials.

He is currently in his seventh season at the helm for George Washington University, where he was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2013. That year, Ritchie led the Colonials to their first postseason berth since 2006 and then followed that with back-to-back postseason appearances in 2015 and 2016. He began his coaching career in the Chicago White Sox organization, where he worked at various levels for 10 years, before serving as the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 and 2012.

Laird will make his national team coaching debut in 2019 as an assistant coach for the 18U team; however, it is not his first experience with USA Baseball after he served as an assistant coach for Team Stars at the 2017 17U NTDP. An MLB veteran who played parts of 13 seasons for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks, Laird brings a wealth of baseball experience to the 2019 18U National Team. Laird played collegiately at Cypress College and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 1998 MLB Draft. He also competed for Team USA on the 18U National Team in 1997 and was a part of the 2003 COPABE Olympic Qualifier team.

"Coach Leggett's resume speaks for itself and having the opportunity to work with a coach of his caliber is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said newly-appointed 18U National Team Director Frank Jagoda. "With their experience in international baseball-as well as professional baseball-we have assembled a truly outstanding coaching staff and it is a great opportunity for USA Baseball and the 18U National Team to continue moving this program forward and work towards a fifth-straight world title."

The inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League, the 2018 17U National Team Identification Series and 2019 17U NTDP, will serve as the identification events for the 2019 18U National Team. The PDP League is an invitation-based development opportunity for approximately 80 of the top high school baseball players ahead of the 2020 MLB Draft and will run from mid-June through early-July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, to begin the 18U National Team schedule for 2019.

More information about the 2019 18U National Team Trials, Training and the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup will be announced at a later date.

Leading into 2019, the 18U team has won eight straight international tournament titles dating back to 2011, including winning the last four WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cups in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Currently, the U.S. and Cuba are the only two countries to win four-consecutive world championship titles at the U-18 level.

For the most up-to-date information on the 18U National Team, follow @USABaseball18U and @USABaseball on Twitter.

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NHSI

2019 NHSI Ends with a Historic Championship Saturday

IMG Academy, Harvard-Westlake, Huntington Beach and Monsignor Pace finish the tournament 3-1
April 7, 2019

See the full 2019 NHSI schedule and results on Gamechanger.

 

Huntington Beach 5, Corona del Sol 4

Box Score

Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.) used three runs in the fourth inning to propel them to a comeback win over Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 5-4, on the final day of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

Corona del Sol took an early lead in the first, after Matteo Baker (0-for-3) drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Aztecs the 1-0 advantage. The Aztecs extended their lead to 3-0 in the third inning, before Huntington Beach plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to one. Corona del Sol kept the scoring streak alive in the top of the fourth with a single by Hunter Haas (2-for-5) to stretch the lead to two. Huntington Beach rallied in the bottom half of the fourth, bringing home three runs to take a lead that they would hold until the end of the game.

Huntington Beach was led at the plate by Joshua Hahn (2-for-3) and Jag Burden (2-for-4). Five players recorded an RBI for the Oilers. Kaiden Frees (2-for-4) and Haas led Corona del Sol with two hits, while all four of the Aztecs runs were scored by different runners.

Jordan Vance (1-0) earned the win on the mound for his performance, while Wyatt Berry (0-1) was given the loss for the Aztecs.

With the win, Huntington Beach finished the tournament with a 3-1 in the tournament, while Corona del Sol finished 1-3.


Monsignor Pace 5, Blessed Trinity 3

Box Score

Monsignor Pace High School (Miami Gardens, Fla.) used a strong first inning to defeat Blessed Trinity High School (Roswell, Ga.), 5-3, on the final day of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

Monsignor Pace started the game fast, scoring three runs in the top of the first to hold the early advantage. Blessed Trinity fought back, plating runs in the bottom of the first and third innings to cut the lead to 3-2. The Titans tied the game at three-all in the home half of the sixth. The Spartans responded in the top of the seventh with two runs of their own and shut the Blessed Trinity offense down in the home half to win the game, 5-3.

Albert Hernandez led Monsignor Pace at the plate, earning two hits while scoring a run. Victor Mederos (0-for-1) and Robert Moya (1-for-3) recorded two RBIs apiece for the Spartans. The Blessed Trinity offense was led by C.J. Abrams (2-for-3), who registered two hits, and drove in a run while also scoring a run of his own.

Nick Fraginals (1-0) starred on the mound for the Spartans, pitching 5.1 innings, with four strikeouts to earn the win. Blessed Trinity's Connor Green (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing one run in 0.2 innings.

Monsignor Pace finished the tournament with a 3-1 overall record, including a trip to the semifinals. Blessed Trinity wrapped up the NHSI with a 2-2 overall record while also making the semifinal game.


Delbarton 11, Hendersonville 0

Box Score

Delbarton showed out on both sides of the ball on the last day of the National High School Invitational Saturday morning to overcome Hendersonville High School, shutting them out to finish with a final score of 11-0.

Anthony Volpe led the Delbarton charge, going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. The rest of the Delbarton offense combined to go

Meanwhile, on the mound, Delbarton utilized three pitchers, including Chris Sanzone, Ethan Fifer, and Raj Sharma. The trio combined to keep Hendersonville off the board, striking out 13 and allowing just four hits to secure the complete game shutout victory.

Chris Sanzone earned the victory (1-0) while Hendersonville's Jayden Stratton was credited with the loss (0-1).

With the win, Delbarton finishes the 2019 National High School Invitational 2-1 while Hendersonville finishes 0-4.


IMG Academy 3, Desert Oasis 1

Box Score

IMG Academy finished its time at the 2019 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary with a 3-1 comeback victory over Desert Oasis on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Desert Oasis got things started in the contest, scoring a run in the top of the first then held that lead until the fifth inning behind a solid outing from starter DJ Jefferson (0-1) - during which he gave up just six hits in five innings of work.

In the bottom of the fifth though, IMG Academy broke through. They tied the game on a wild pitch before Will Bartlett (2-for-2) smoked a two-RBI double to give IMG Academy a 3-1 lead. Brandon Llewellyn then collected the save when he came in on the bump and shut down the Diamondbacks to close out the win.

Bartlett, who recorded both of IMG Academy's RBIs that gave the team the win, led the Ascendants' offense. Rece Hinds (1-for-3), Pat Romeri (1-for-3), Tucker Mitchell (1-for-2) and Kaito Hara (1-for-2) also collected hits for the squad. Heston Tole (1-0) got the win after tossing 5.2 strong innings, giving up just six hits and one run.

Desert Oasis was paced by Parker Schmidt (2-for-3) and Jacob Walsh (2-for-3) at the place with their multi-hit game, while Campbell Holt tallied the team's lone RBI. Desert Oasis finishes the tournament with a 1-3 record and IMG Academy went 3-1.


Christian Brothers 3, South Forsyth 1

Box Score

Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis, Mo.) used a strong showing from Eric Loomis on the mound to top South Forsyth (Cumming, Ga..), 3-1, to conclude the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

Loomis shut down the War Eagle offense, allowing just five hits in his 6.1 innings pitched, while striking out eight. South Forsyth scored its lone run of the game in the first inning. Christian Brothers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead before closing the game out in the top of the seventh.

Three members of South Forsyth recorded two hits on the day, while Kurtis Byrne (2-for-3) led Christian Brothers with two hits.

Loomis (1-0) earned the win on the mound for his performance, while Peyton Rawlins (0-1) was given the loss for South Forsyth.

Christian Brothers improved its record 1-3 in the tournament, while South Forsyth fell to 0-3 in the tournament.


Marist 4, Hagerty 3

Box Score

Marist collected its second win of the 2019 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary with a 4-3 defeat of Hagerty on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

In a back and forth game, Marist had the first and last word. The team got on the board when Jason Hodges blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Hagerty would not go down without a fight though. The Huskies tied it up in the top of the second with two runs before tying things up once more with a run in the fifth after Marist took its second lead of the game in the third.

With the two teams knotted up at 3-3, Marist struck its final blow, pushing one across on an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead that Hagerty couldn't overcome.

Hodges was an offensive force for Marist, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while five pitchers combined to seal the win from the mound. Justin Janas (2-0) closed out the game, pitching the final two innings and securing the win without giving up a hit.

Hagerty's Jackson Grabsky (0-1) suffered the loss on the bump. Hector Mangual led the charge at the plate, going 1-for-1 with a run scored, an RBI and two walks. The victory gave Marist a 2-1 record for the 2019 tournament, while Hagerty finished 1-3 this year.


Northwest Guilford 2, La Mirada 1

Box Score

Northwest Guilford rallied back late to overcome La Mirada on the last day of the 2019 National High School Invitational, coming out the victors by a score of 2-1.

Northwest Guilford starting pitcher Gavin Mortenson was tagged for a run in the first inning after surrendering a double and an RBI single, but would quickly settle down, allowing just three more hits and no runs for the remainder of the ballgame, while striking out five.

The Northwest Guildford offense was silent for much of the night, tallying just two hits through the first six innings. In the seventh, they managed to scratch across back-to-back-to-back singles and a walk, cashing in for two runs to take the late lead over La Mirada.

With the lead, Mortenson would record the final three outs without issue, closing the game out and securing the 2-1 victory for Northwest Guilford.

After the victory, Northwest Guildford has moved to 2-1 at the 2019 National High School Invitational while La Mirada falls to 2-2.

The losing pitcher was La Mirada's Tony Lendvai (0-1) while Gavin Mortenson earned the win (1-0).

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NHSI

Three-peat Complete: Orange Lutheran Defeats Harvard-Westlake 6-2 for Third Straight NHSI Title

Tournament MVP Caden Connor finishes tournament hitting .700 with nine runs scored.
April 7, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Evan Adolphus retired the first 13 batters he faced and Caden Connor crossed the plate four times as Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.) defeated Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), 6-2, to become the first team ever to achieve a three-peat at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

Orange Lutheran's offense supplied insurance for its starting pitcher Adolphus quickly, plating two runs in the opening frame. With runners on second and third with one out in the top of the first, Garrett Frechette hit a ball just past the outstretched glove of a diving Drew Bowser for an RBI-single to score Chad Born from third, and Connor came around to score on an error by Harvard-Westlake first baseman Tyler Ganus.

The Lancers added a pair of runs in the third inning on another Wolverine error and Jasiah Dixon delivered a two-out RBI-single to left field to make it 5-0 through four complete. Frechette picked-up another RBI-single in the sixth to score Connor for Orange Lutheran's final run of the game.

Harvard-Westlake broke up the perfect game in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a Drew Bowser single and the Wolverines picked up two runs in the bottom of the sixth. George Cooper singled with one out before Pete Crow-Armstrong got on base thanks to a walk. An Adolphus balk moved both runners into scoring position and back-to-back RBIs from Tyler Cox and Michael Snyder cut the deficit to four; but the Lancers defense was too strong on the night, holding on for the 6-2 victory.

Adolphus finished his night with four strikeouts and gave up two earned runs for the victory before being lifted with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Karson Bowen came on and forced a grounder to second base to secure Orange Lutheran's third consecutive NHSI title.

Jordan Kang suffered the loss for Harvard-Westlake, giving up three earned runs in 2.2 innings.

The Lancers unprecedented run of success includes 13 consecutive victories at the NHSI dating back to 2014. Orange Lutheran has not lost in the tournament since a 4-1 setback to Venice High School (Venice, Fla.) on March 27, 2014.

Caden Connor was named the 2019 NHSI MVP after hitting .700 with 9 runs scored and an .800 on-base percentage through four games. Orange Lutheran's Max Rajcic also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

The 2019 NHSI All-Tournament Team:

  • MVP: Caden Connor (Orange Lutheran)
  • Jag Burden (Huntington Beach)
  • Sam Hilboki (Harvard-Westlake)
  • Campbell Holt (Desert Oasis)
  • Jack Leiter (Delbarton)
  • Brennan Malone (IMG Academy)
  • Dominic Martinez (La Mirada)
  • Gavin Mortenson (Northwest Guilford)
  • Robby Post (Hagerty)
  • Max Rajcic (Orange Lutheran)
  • Anthony Volpe (Delbarton)
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NHSI

Championship Matchup Set After Day Two of NHSI

April 5, 2019

View all stats and scores from Day two here
Harvard-Westlake Returns to NHSI Championship Game
Orange Lutheran Secures Third Consecutive Berth in NHSI Championship Game 

Orange Lutheran 2, Desert Oasis 1 (Quarterfinal)

Box Score

Orange Lutheran used a complete-game performance from starting pitcher Christian Rodriguez to defeat Desert Oasis, 2-1, in quarterfinal action at the 2019 USA Baseball National High School Invitational presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. 

Orange Lutheran got on the board in the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by Garrett Frechette and picked up an important insurance run in the fifth thanks to Caden Connor to lead 2-0 through five. It was all the offense Rodriguez needed to advance the Lancers to the semifinals for the third consecutive year.

Chad Born (2-for-2), Connor (2-for-3), and Jasiah Dixon (1-for-3) provided all of the offense for the Lancers, combining for all five hits on the day. Colby Smith (3-for-4) and Campbell Holt (3-for-3) led all hitters for Desert Oasis, who tallied eight hits on the day and a late run in the sixth, but it was not enough against Rodriguez. 

Finishing with seven strikeouts, Rodriguez (1-0) picked up the win on the mound. Holt (0-1) suffered the loss for the Diamondbacks, striking out four and walking six in five innings.

Orange Lutheran advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive year at the NHSI and will face Monsignor Pace with a spot in the finals on the line.


Monsignor Pace 9, Huntington Beach 2 (Quarterfinal)

Box Score

Back-to-back big offensive innings allowed Monsignor Pace to topple Huntington Beach 9-2 on Thursday in its second game of the 2019 National High School Invitational.

Both teams threatened to score in the first three innings, with runners getting into scoring position twice for both sides, but each team was ultimately silenced to keep the game tied heading into the fourth.

Monsignor Pace broke through in a big way in the top of the fourth, posting five runs on two hits, two hit-by-pitches, and a walk, chasing Huntington Beach starting pitcher Eddie Pelc out of the game in the process.

Monsignor Pace added another four runs to their lead in the very next inning, and after only allowing Huntington Beach to scratch back for two runs all game, came out the victors by a score of 9-2.

Albert Hernandez was credited with the win for Monsignor Pace (1-0), while Huntington Beach starting pitcher Eddie Pelc was tagged with the loss (0-1).

The win marked Monsignor Pace's first at the 2019 National High School Invitational.


Harvard-Westlake 4, Hagerty 0 (Quarterfinal)

Box Score

Harvard-Westlake School (Oviedo, Fla.) clinched the final spot in the semifinals of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary after a shutout win over Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Fla.), in the quarterfinals on Thursday, April 4.  

Harvard-Westlake scored three runs in the second inning and never looked back, as they relied on a strong performance from starting pitcher Jack Sandifer. Sandifer threw 4.1 shutout innings, striking out four and allowing four hits. Relief pitcher continued the strong performance on the mound closing the game with 2.2 scoreless innings. The Wolverines added one more in the top of the ninth, before closing the game out in the home half. Hagerty got men on base, but was unable to piece hits together, leaving seven men on base.

Drew Bowser (3-for-4) led Harvard-Westlake with three hits, while Pete Crow-Armstrong paced the team with two RBIs. All four of Harvard-Westlake's runs came from different runners. Riley Greene (2-for-4) and Ryan Carroll (2-for-3) each recorded two hits.

Sandifer (1-0) earned the win for his efforts on the mound, while Luke Babineau (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing three runs in two innings.

Harvard-Westlake improved to 2-0 and advanced to face Blessed Trinity in the semifinals, while Hagerty fell to 1-1 in the tournament.


Blessed Trinity 3, IMG Academy 2 (Quarterfinal)

Box Score

With the game knotted at two in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jake Smith came up clutch for Blessed Trinity, delivering a walk-off single to centerfield to defeat IMG Academy 3-2 and advance to the semifinals of the 2019 National High School Invitational presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

IMG Academy jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning thanks to an RBI-double by Josh Rivera but Blessed Trinity took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth after a Jake Smith double and an error. Down to its last two outs, IMG scratched the tying run across the plate thanks to another Rivera fielder's RBI, scoring Rece Hinds on a fielder's choice.

Smith (1-0) picked up the victory for Blessed Trinity, striking out four in his 2.1 innings of relief. Brandon Llewellyn (0-1) was tagged with the loss in relief. IMG starter Kendall Williams had a great day on the mound, striking out 10 batters in six innings.

Blessed Trinity advanced to the semifinals in its first-ever appearance in the NHSI and will face Harvard-Westlake with a spot in the finals on the line.


Marist 1, Christian Brothers College 0

Box Score

Down to their last out in the bottom of the seventh, Marist High School (Chicago, Ill.) walked off against Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis, Mo.) to win 1-0 at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary, on Thursday, April 4.  

Pitching was stout for both teams, as both starting pitchers went five full innings, allowing just one hit apiece. With the game scoreless and runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Doubek (1-for-1) stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter. Doubek was the hero for the RedHawks, as he hit a single to center to give Marist its first win of the tournament. 

Marist's starting pitcher Matthew Mirabella (1-0) starred on the mound, hurling five full innings, allowing just one hit and punching out five, to earn the win. Christian Brothers College relief pitcher, Patrick Westfall (0-1), struck out two in the seventh but gave up the winning hit to suffer the loss. 

Three batters recorded a hit for Marist, while Jack Brannigan (1-for-3) scored the game's lone run. Justin Janas (1-for-3) led the RedHawks on the base paths with two stolen bases. 

Marist improved to 1-1 in the tournament, while Christian Brothers College fell to 0-2.


Corona del Sol 2, Hendersonville 0

Box Score

Jack Schobinger was masterful on the bump for Corona del Sol, pitching seven innings of shutout baseball to lead Corona del Sol to their first victory of the 2019 National High School Invitational by a score of 2-0 on Thursday.

Shobinger was efficient, needing only 77 pitches to earn the complete game shutout, and striking out four in the process. He was opposed by Hendersonville starting pitcher Brandon Tucker, who also had a nice day on the mound, striking out five and allowing just two runs on five hits, but was outdone nonetheless. 

Corona del Sol took the lead in the bottom of the second inning after Kaiden Frees singled to begin the inning and came around to score on an error two batters later. Shobinger held the lead to secure the victory for Corona del Sol, moving them to a 1-2 record at the 2019 National High School Invitational. 

Schobinger's shutout performance earned him the win (1-0), while Brandon Tucker was credited with the loss (0-1).

After the win today, Corona del Sol is 1-2 at the 2019 National High School Invitational. 


Huntington Beach 4, Desert Oasis 3

Box Score

Extra innings were needed to determine a winner between Huntington Beach and Desert Oasis on Thursday afternoon, but Huntington Beach ultimately prevailed after nine innings by a score of 4-3.

Both starting pitchers were in top form on the mound, with Huntington Beach's Dylan Ramirez allowing two earned runs and striking out six batters over 6.2 innings of work, while Desert Oasis pitcher Aaron Roberts was equally effective, allowing one earned run and striking out five over six frames.

The two opponents traded punches for the first seven innings and were tied at two a piece at the end of regulation to force extra innings. Neither team could muster any offense in the eighth, and Huntington Beach tagged Desert Oasis reliever Jacob Walsh for two runs in the ninth to jump out to a 4-2.

Desert Oasis made a close game of it, getting the tying run on third base with two away, but would fall short of the comeback attempt, falling to Huntington Beach by a score of 4-3.

Shane Stafford was the winning pitcher in the contest (1-0) and Jacob Walsh received the loss (0-1).

With the victory, Huntington Beach moves to 2-1 at the 2019 National High School Invitational.


La Mirada 3, Corona del Sol 2

Box Score

La Mirada High School (La Mirada, Calif.) used a strong showing from Memo Pacheco on the mound to propel them to a comeback win over Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 3-2, in the consolation round of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary.

Corona del Sol took an early lead in the first, after Bryan Webb (0-for-2) scored on a line-drive to left-field from Kaiden Frees (1-for-3). The Aztecs extended their lead to 2-0 in the third inning, before La Mirada plated its first run of the day in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to one. Pacheco held steady after the third inning, not allowing another run in the game while striking out five in his six innings of work.

La Mirada took advantage of a Corona del Sol error in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at two-all. With two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, Dominic Martinez hit a line drive to left field to bring home Aiden Orozco and give the Matadores their first win of the tournament. 

Dominic Martinez (3-for-4) led La Mirada with three hits on the day, while also recording an RBI. Corona del Sol was led at the plate by Brian Kalmer (2-for-2), who recorded two hits including an RBI. 

Pacheco (1-0) earned the win on the mound for his performance, while David Utagawa (0-1) was given the loss for the Aztecs.

With the win, La Mirada moved to 1-1 in the tournament, while Corona del Sol fell to 0-2.


La Mirada 11, Christian Brothers College 5

Box Score

La Mirada High School (La Mirada, Calif.) finished a doubleheader in style by powering past Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis, Mo.), 11-5, on the second day of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary, on Thursday, April 4.  

The Matadores struck first, scoring three runs in the third to jump out to an early lead. The hot bats continued in the fourth as La Mirada added three more runs to stretch the lead to 6-0. Christian Brothers College responded in the home half of the fourth, scoring four runs of their own to cut the score to within two. The Matadores extended in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs hold a 11-4 advantage. Christian Brothers College added a run in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn't overcome the deficit, falling 11-5. 

Jared Jones (2-for-3) led the way at the plate for La Mirada, recording two hits and scoring three runs. Sharp (2-for-4) paced La Mirada with four RBIs. Six different batters scored a run and recorded an RBI for La Mirada in the game. Cole Schroeder (2-for-2) registered a team-high two hits for Christian Brothers.

Michael Deharo (1-0) earned the win for La Mirada after punching out eight batters in 4.1 innings, while Alex Esker (0-1) suffered the loss.

La Mirada improved to 2-1 in the tournament after winning the first consolation match of the day, while Christian Brothers College fell to 0-3 at the NHSI.


IMG 11, Hagerty 1

Box Score

IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) used six runs in the first inning to power past Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Fla.), 11-1, in the final consolation game of day two at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary on Thursday, April 4.

IMG Academy wasted no time getting on the board, plating six runs in the top of the first inning before scoring a run in the second to take an early 7-0 lead. Hagerty scored its lone run in the bottom of the third, before IMG added three runs in the fourth to widen the lead to 10-1. The Ascenders scored their final run in the sixth inning to make the final score 11-1. 

Tucker Mitchell (4-for-4) led the way for IMG at the plate, recording three RBIs. Four Ascenders scored at least two runs in the contest, while three more added one run. Trey Bradley (1-for-2) paced Hagerty with a hit and an RBI on the day. 

Kieren Collins (1-0) earned the win for IMG Academy on the mound, hurling six innings while striking out six. Griffen George (0-1) was given the loss for the Huskies.

IMG Academy improved to 2-1 in the tournament, while Hagerty lost the final two games of the day to give them a record of 1-2 at the NHSI.


Northwest Guilford 15, Hendersonville 9

Box Score

Northwest Guilford and Hendersonville High School combined to score 24 runs on 31 hits Thursday afternoon at the 2019 National High School Invitational, with Northwest Guilford ultimately coming out the victors by a score of 15-9.

Offense was not scarce in the contest, with Hendersonville posting four runs in the first inning and Northwest Guilford quickly answering back with four runs of their own in the second. 

Hendersonville retook the lead in the bottom of the third after a five-run inning, putting them out to a 9-4 advantage, but Northwest Guilford slowly began to claw back, scoring in four of their next five innings, and totaling 15 runs on 18 hits to secure the victory.

Northwest Guilford's Matthew Brumley was the winning pitcher of record (1-0). Kobe Carter was tagged with the loss (0-1).

With the win, Northwest Guilford moves to 1-1 at the 2019 National High School Invitational.


Delbarton 17, South Forsyth 0

Box Score

Jack Leiter tossed a one-hit, complete game shutout to help Delbarton topple South Forsyth 17-0 at the 2019 National High School Invitational on Thursday. 

Leiter was brilliant on the bump for Delbarton, needing only 69 pitches to finish the complete game shutout while racking up eight strikeouts. Leiter also helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 and recording 3 RBI, with his biggest hit of the night coming in the form of a double off the wall in the third inning to break the game open and give Delbarton the 5-0 advantage.

Delbarton would continue to pull away as the night continued, finishing with 16 hits, five walks, and 17 runs in total, solidifying the victory and moving them to 1-1 at the 2019 National High School Invitational.

Jack Leiter's performance earned him the win (1-0) while the losing pitcher of record was Peyton Presely (0-1).

With the victory, Delbarton has moved to 1-1 at the 2019 National High School Invitational.

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NHSI

Harvard-Westlake Returns to NHSI Championship Game

Starting pitcher Christian Becerra allowed just three hits and Pete Crow-Armstrong went 3-for-4 in the win
April 5, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Christian Becerra gave up just three hits on the mound and Pete Crow-Armstrong went 3-for-4 to lead Harvard-Westlake to a 6-1 victory over Blessed Trinity and a spot in the championship game of the 2019 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. This will be the Wolverines' third NHSI championship game appearance after falling just short of the title in 2012 and 2013.

In this year's semifinal, Harvard-Westlake came out swinging to grab the first run of the game and an early lead. Pete Crow-Armstrong set the tone for the frame with a leadoff single and was followed by a fielder's choice and a Michael Snyder single that put runners on the corners with no outs. The Wolverines then took advantage of a Blessed Trinity error to take a 1-0 lead into the bottom half.

That lead would last until the fourth inning when Harvard-Westlake broke through once again for two more runs. The Wolverines loaded the bases, courtesy of three walks, to bring JP Corrigan (1-for-4) to the plate with just one out. The senior designated hitter came through, roping a single to left field to drive in two and extend the lead to 3-0.

Just one inning later, back-to-back RBI triples from George Cooper (2-for-3) and Crow-Armstrong added another two runs to the lead, giving Harvard-Westlake a 5-0 advantage. Two batters later, Michael Snyder's RBI single put one more on the board to make it 6-0.

Harvard-Westlake's shutout lasted until the bottom of the sixth inning when Blessed Trinity broke through for its first run of the game. An error allowed leadoff hitter CJ Abrams to reach base before a two-out single from Jake Smith drove him in to make it a 6-1 game.

That was all the Titans would be able to do against Harvard-Westlake's Christian Becerra though as the Wolverines held onto the victory. Becerra did not allow an earned run in his complete game effort, while giving up just three hits and striking out three en route to earning the win.

On the offensive side, Harvard-Westlake was led by stellar efforts from Crow-Armstrong and Cooper who both collected multi-hit games and recorded two runs scored and an RBI. Snyder also tallied multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.

Jake Smith paced Blessed Trinity at the plate in the contest as he went 1-for-3 with his team's lone RBI. Ben Hamacher (1-for-3) and Nick Tarantino (1-for-2) were responsible for the rest of the Titans' hits. Trey Baker went three innings on the bump for the squad and was charged with the loss.

For the first time in 2019, the NHSI championship game will be played under the lights at 6 p.m. ET on Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, following the first-ever NHSI Championship Festival. Harvard-Westlake will take on two-time defending champion Orange Lutheran for the 2019 title.

Saturday's championship game will be steamed live on MLB.com, USABaseball.com and Facebook Live at Facebook.com/USABaseball.

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NHSI

Orange Lutheran Secures Third Consecutive Berth in NHSI Championship Game

Starting pitcher Jonathan Guzman tosses gem to lead Lancers to victory
April 4, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Behind a dominant performance by starting pitcher Jonathan Guzman, Orange Lutheran secured its spot in the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary championship game for the third consecutive year with a 12-0 defeat of Monsignor Pace on Thursday.

For the third time in as many games at the 2019 NHSI, Orange Lutheran struck first when they pushed two runners across in the top of the first inning. A leadoff double by Chad Born (1-for-3) got the game started before a Garrett Frechette (0-for-2) sacrifice fly brought in the first run of and the Lancers took advantage of a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Monsignor Pace battled back immediately to load the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the frame but the Spartans couldn't break through. Guzman allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base before settling in and getting a pop up and two punch outs to escape the jam with no damage.

Aside from those first three batters, Guzman was dominant on the mound to earn the win. In his six innings of work, the senior allowed just two hits - sitting down the side in order in the second, third and fourth innings - without giving up a run, while striking out four and walking just one.

The Lancers would add to their lead with one run each in the second, fourth and sixth innings to make it 4-0 but struck the biggest blow in the fifth inning, scoring four runs to break the game wide open. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch started the inning and loaded the bases with just one out for Max Rajcic who took full advantage. He laced a two-RBI double down the left field line for the first two runs of the frame and Tank Espalin added a two-RBI knock of his own to give Orange Lutheran an 8-0 advantage two batters later.

Three more runs in the seventh inning got the Lancers to the final 12-0 score and secured their place in the NHSI championship game for the third year in a row.

Espalin (3-for-3) and Carl Lawson (2-for-2) collected half of the team's ten hits in the game, as well as three and two RBIs, respectively. Rajcic (1-for-2) also tallied a multi-RBI game with two of his own.

For Monsignor Pace, Yordani Carmona (1-for-3), Michael Machin (1-for-3) and Sammy Infante (1-for-3) were responsible for the Spartans' three hits on the day. Starting pitcher Luis Gonzalez was charged with the loss.

For the first time in 2019, the NHSI championship game will be played under the lights at 6 p.m. ET on Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, following the first-ever NHSI Championship Festival. Orange Lutheran will match up against the winner of Thursday's second semifinal game that will be played at 7 p.m. ET.

The second semifinal game, as well as Saturday's championship game, will be streamed live on MLB.com, USABaseball.com and Facebook Live at Facebook.com/USABaseball.

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Sport Dev
18U

Howard, Jeter, Jones and Larkin Named Captains of the MLB-USA Baseball PDP League

April 4, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - Ryan Howard. Derek Jeter. Chipper Jones. Barry Larkin - all names synonymous with greatness, legendary performances and World Series Championships. In the summer of 2019, they will serve as team captains of the 2019 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League taking place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Eighty of the top 2020 MLB Draft eligible high school prospects from around the United States who were invited to participate in the inaugural season of the PDP League will compete on teams named after Howard, Jeter, Jones and Larkin, all of whom are also USA Baseball alumni.

PDP League team captains will be on-site at different points throughout the duration of the League to share their career stories with the players in attendance. The PDP League, scheduled for June 13th-July 4th, will provide the participating athletes with an unprecedented experience, including weekly practices and competitive gameplay, individualized instruction from MLB Club representatives serving as on-field coaches, evaluations using modern technologies tailoring individualized development curriculums for each player, as well as off-field leadership, skill-building, and educational seminars. Athletes will also have access to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, located on the campus of IMG Academy and one of only three such facilities in the world. 

The PDP League will serve as a primary identification opportunity for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, slated to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea in early September. Additionally, the League will serve as a feeder for a new MLB All-Star High School Prospect Game for the best high school baseball players, taking place in Cleveland as part of MLB's All-Star Week festivities in July.

The daily itinerary, skill-building, and gameplay responsibilities of the PDP League will fall on its Coordinators and Coaching Staffs, which includes former and current players as well as coaches on various levels of the game (Major League, Minor League & Collegiate). The PDP League staff will include:

PDP League Captains
Ryan Howard
-
2005 N.L. Rookie of the Year, 2006 N.L. MVP, 2008 World Series Champion, 3x MLB All-Star; 2000 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member

Derek Jeter
- CEO & Owner, Miami Marlins
- 5x World Series Champion, 1996 A.L. Rookie of the Year, 2000 World Series MVP, 14x MLB All-Star; 2006 and 2009 Team USA WBC member

Chipper Jones
- Baseball Hall of Famer, 1995 World Series Champion, 1999 N.L. MVP, 8x MLB All-Star; 2006 and 2009 Team USA WBC member

Barry Larkin
- Baseball Hall of Famer, 1990 World Series Champion, 1995 N.L. MVP, 12x MLB All-Star; 1984 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member and 2009 Team USA WBC Auxiliary Coach

Coordinators
Scott Brosius (Field Coordinator)

- USA Baseball Senior Director, Sport Development
- 3x World Series Champion, 1998 World Series MVP, 1998 MLB All-Star, 11-year MLB veteran, 2013 Division III National Championship Coach; 2-time USA Baseball 18U National Team Manager

Marcel Lachemann (Pitching Coordinator)
- Special Assistant to the GM, Los Angeles Angels
- 3-year MLB veteran, 3-year manager of the California Angels, 11-year MLB assistant coach; 8-time USA Baseball Pitching Coach

Gerald Laird (Catching Coordinator)
- Connecticut Tigers (Single-A, Detroit), Manager
- 2011 World Series Champion, 13-year MLB veteran; 2019 USA Baseball Assistant Coach

Greg Ritchie (Hitting Coordinator)
- George Washington University, Manager
- Selected in the 8th round of the 1986 MLB Draft, 16-year professional coach, 2013 A-10 Coach of the Year; 2-time USA Baseball 18U National Team Assistant Coach

Andy Stankiewicz (Fielding Coordinator)
- Grand Canyon University, Head Coach
- 7-year MLB veteran, 6-year professional manager and assistant coach; 3-time USA Baseball Manager and Assistant Coach

Managers
Joe Brown (SUNY Cortland - Head Baseball Coach)
- 2nd fastest NCAA Division III coach to reach 700 wins (714-185-3, .793 win percentage), the best winning percentage of any active NCAA coach with at least 10 years' experience
- 2015 ABCA and Division III National Coach of the Year, 10x ABCA New York Region Coach of the Year, 6x SUNYAC Coach of the Year, 1988 NCAA Division III Champion as a student-athlete

Geoff Loomis (University of Portland - Head Baseball Coach)
-
University of Portland Hall of Famer, 2x NCAA Baseball Championship appearances managing Pacific Lutheran University, selected in the 31st round of the 1992 MLB Draft (OAK)

Casey Powell (Former Head and Assistant Collegiate Baseball Coach)
-
Former head coach of Whitman College and assistant at Seattle University and Linfield College, 1996 Northwest Conference Player of the Year

Willie Romay (Former USA Baseball Coach; Amateur Scout - Boston Red Sox)
-
7-year MLB amateur scout, 14-year scout with MLB Scouting Bureau, drafted in the 5th round of the 1988 MLB Draft (SEA); 2x USA Baseball Assistant Coach

Pitching Coaches

Garvin Alston (Former MLB Pitching Coach)
-
Former pitching coach in OAK, AZ, and MIN organizations, made MLB debut in 1996 with Colorado Rockies, drafted in the 10th round of the 1992 MLB Draft (COL)

Alan Embree (16-year MLB veteran pitcher)
-
2004 World Series Champion, 16-year MLB career with 10 organizations, amassing 39 wins and 25 saves across almost 900 appearances

Andy Pettitte (18-year MLB veteran pitcher)
-
5x World Series Champion, 3x MLB All-Star, 2001 ALCS MVP, amassed 256 wins over 18 year career, including 19 postseason and 5 World Series wins

Scott Radinski (11-year MLB veteran pitcher)
-
11-year MLB career with 4 organizations, amassing 42 wins and 52 saves across over 550 appearances; 2005 USA Baseball Professional National Team Pitching Coach

Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
Perry Castellano (18-year Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach) 
-
2010 MLB Strength Coach of the Year, 2014 American League All-Star Strength Coach, 12-year MLB Strength Coach and Director for the Minnesota Twins from 2006-2018

The PDP League also will be supported by NCAA and high school baseball coaches as well as current/former MLB alumni and personnel, including the following: Harold Reynolds, analyst for MLB Network (12-year MLB veteran, 3x Gold Glove winner, 2x MLB All Star); Lance Berkman (15-year MLB veteran, 2011 World Series champion, 6x MLB All-Star, 366 career home runs); and LaTroy Hawkins (21-year MLB veteran, over 1,000 MLB appearances including 75 wins and 127 saves). Additional names supporting the event will be announced at a later date. 

In addition to the League Captains/Managers/Coaches/Coordinators, there also will be a number of guest speakers brought in to enhance the personal growth and development of participating athletes, along with providing unparalleled perspective and experience in areas of character, leadership, team-building, and managing success. Two groups of note that will have an opportunity to bring their curriculums to the athletes include Echelon Front and Game On Nation. 

Echelon Front offers unmatched solutions in leadership, strategy, innovation, and team building developed and proven in combat. Founded by former Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, Echelon Front offers unique, personalized services designed to get teams executing at the highest level possible.

One of the most respected firms in communication, leadership, resiliency, and teambuilding training, Game On Nation uses groundbreaking, game-based training techniques to harnesses the power of Mystery, Incentive, Laughter, and Empowerment to create immediate improvement that teams can see, feel, and measure. Game On's innovative curriculum inspires participants to not only CARE about their training goals, but to remember and apply these interactive techniques to continuously improve.

"The experience that the PDP League will offer athletes is unparalleled within our industry," said Morgan Sword, MLB's Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. "This coaching staff will help these athletes to prepare themselves for careers in professional baseball. We look forward to seeing them in the big leagues soon." 

"I could not be more excited about this year's inaugural PDP League," said Scott Brosius, USA Baseball's Senior Director of Player Development. "We've taken significant strides toward our goal of creating a program that puts athlete development at the forefront of the amateur baseball landscape. Our players will have the opportunity to learn from some of the finest athletes to have played the game and then apply those lessons alongside the best players in the country on a daily basis. Ultimately, those who graduate this program will be prepared to be leaders in the clubhouse and in life." 

"The creation and implementation of the PDP League is a tremendous step forward for USA Baseball and Major League Baseball in the overall athlete development experience," said Frank Jagoda, USA Baseball's 18U National Team Program Director. "Not only will this league aide in the growth and development of the athletes who will take part in it, but also for game of baseball as well. Each athlete is given a truly invaluable opportunity to learn and compete against the best baseball players in the country while also competing for a spot to represent the United States as a member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team on the international stage."

As a part of the player experience, all athletes will receive a tablet for the duration of the league as the dedicated vehicle for athlete communication, scheduling, daily pushing of data, and personal video review, amongst other functionalities. This platform will create another opportunity to improve player development throughout the league, while reinforcing player accountability and offering opportunities to maximize not only the League experience, but also the athlete's continued growth both on and off of the field. 

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