THUNDER BAY, Canada - A 13-strikeout performance by Ethan Hankins (Cumming, Ga.) and a walk-off home run by Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha, Wis.) were among the highlights on Friday as the USA Baseball 18U National Team claimed an 11-1 run-rule victory (eight innings) over the Netherlands in the opening game of the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.
The three-time defending World Cup champions, Team USA looked the part in its opening game, getting stellar efforts from three pitchers and scoring runs in six of the eight innings in which it stepped to the plate, including a five-run fifth.
After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach base, one of which came around to score, Hankins settled in and was dominant the rest of the game. The 6-6 right-hander would go on to retire 18 of the final 19 batters he faced, yielding only a fourth-inning walk.
Joseph Menefee (Richmond, Texas) and Cole Wilcox (Chickamauga, Ga.) added one scoreless frame each out of the bullpen to close out the contest.
Mike Siani (Glenside, Pa.) and Kelenick led a 13-hit offensive outburst with matching 3-for-5 efforts at the plate. In addition to his walk-off solo home run in the eighth, Kelenick also had a single and a double.
Siani, meanwhile, drove in three runs and scored another while also notching a pair of extra-base hits with a double in the first and a two-run triple in the seventh.
Also helping the cause for the red, white, and blue on Friday were Sunshine State natives Triston Casas (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Raynel Delgado (Miami Lakes, Fla.) who had a pair of RBIs each in the win.
Team USA is the three-time defending World Cup champion and is looking to become the second country to win four-straight gold medals in the tournament. The U.S. will take on Japan at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday at Port Arthur Stadium.
Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.
USA Baseball 18U National Team Manager Andy Stankiewicz
(On Friday's game)
"I think we had a little bit of first-game jitters. You have USA across your chest and guys are maybe trying to do a little too much. I think what we saw here today, though, is that the wind is going to be carrying in. We have to commit to our line-drive game and hard-contact on the ground. Obviously Kelenic hit that home run to end it but it was right down the line. If we stay within ourselves and play our line-drive game we should be fine."
(On giving up a run in the top of the first inning)
"I liked that the first inning didn't go quite to plan and we got punched a little bit. We need that. Obviously how we respond when that happens is going to be crucial the rest of this tournament."
(On Ethan Hankins performance on the mound)
"(Ethan) Hankins did a fantastic job of setting the tone for us. He didn't get rattled when things didn't go his way in the first inning, settled down, and just did what he does. He took the emotion out of it and did a job. He pounded the zone with his fastball and his breaking ball was sharp. We saw a lot of chases in the dirt with it.
(On playing Japan tomorrow)
"Japan is going to be well couched. Typically, they don't beat themselves, they make you work, and they don't give you any freebies. They are going to make you put the ball in play and play good defense. We expect a great ballgame from both teams and, hopefully, we will come out on top."
Starting pitcher Ethan Hankins
(On pitching against the Netherlands)
"We knew coming in that the Netherlands is a really good team. I didn't expect to go out there and dominate. I was just trying to put my team in a good situation and a place to win. I didn't know they would come out firing like that. It definitely made me settle in and make some adjustments."
A summary of some of the new changes that came to USA Baseball in the 2018-2019 offseason.
April 21, 2019
Athlete Development Program
In February of 2019, USA Baseball launched the all-new Athlete Development Program, or ADP. A four-day, invitation-only development opportunity for athletes, the inaugural ADP will consist of top-notch athletes age 13-and-under and will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex from June 19-22.
USA Baseball will provide an off-field component for the athletes that will focus on education regarding the NCAA and the recruiting process, umpire interaction, nutrition and wellness guidance, strength and conditioning education, media training, and character and leadership development. Athletes will also suit up into "Stars" and "Stripes" squads to square off against each-other in a three-game series.
Two-time national team coach Butch Chaffin will serve as the Field Coordinator for the 13U ADP in 2019, along with eight coaches who will serve on the instructional staff as well as direct the Stars and Stripes teams.
With plans of expanding toward more age groups in the future, the ADP is structured to grow athletes' skillsets both on and off the field, with a focus on off-field instruction just as much as on-field training.
Read the full, in detail press release about the ADP here.
Prospect Development Pipeline League
Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced the new "Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League" in November of 2018. A premier development and showcase experience for dozens of high school baseball prospects based in the United States, the PDP League will be held from mid-June through early-July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and is an invitation-based development opportunity for approximately 80 of the top high school baseball players ahead of the 2020 MLB Draft.
The participants will be split into four separate teams to play games against one another as well as be provided with unique on- and off-field instruction from some of the greatest to ever play the game, including Team USA alums Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, and Barry Larkin.
The PDP League will provide participating athletes with an unprecedented experience, including weekly practices and competitive gameplay, evaluations using modern technologies, as well as off-field leadership, skill-building, and educational seminars.
USA Baseball will also utilize the PDP League as an identification event for the 18U National Team Trials, which will be conducted in late August in Los Angeles.
Read the full press release about the PDP League here.
Over the course of 2019, USA Baseball will host various 10U, 11U and 13U youth championship events throughout various parts of the country. The newly introduced "Futures Series" will take place over the course of four days each and will allow teams to compete with programs from all over the nation to showcase their ability.
Winners of each 10U Futures Series tournament will receive a bid to the next year's 11U Futures Invitational, while the programs that claim gold in each 11U Futures Series event will get a bid to the following year's 10U Futures Invitational. In addition, the winners of each Futures Series at the 13U age level will receive a bid to the next summer's National Team Championships.
To apply for a Futures Series near you, or to learn more, check out the official Futures Series page here.
National Team Identification Series Revamped
In December of 2018, USA Baseball announced several changes coming to the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) for 2019, including implementing a new region structure and adding a new 12U age group.
As the primary identification event for USA Baseball, the NTIS process begins at the local level. Beginning in 2019, the NTIS will now operate under a six-region structure, including the Midwest, South, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest regions. Players will continue to tryout at the local level with the hopes of being identified and selected to an all-region team. From there, they will head to Cary, North Carolina to compete with their region at the NTIS Champions Cup.
Additionally, the 17U age group has been removed from the NTIS and USA Baseball introduced an all-new 12U age division. With the change, the NTIS now features six consecutive age divisions, from 11U through 16U.
Tryouts for the 2019 NTIS are currently underway. To view all tryout dates and locations for each region, sign up for USA Baseball E-News here, or follow @USABaseballNTIS on Twitter.
Read the full press release detailing all of the offseason changes to the NTIS here.
New USA Baseball Personnel
USA Baseball made two significant additions to personnel in the offseason, including the additions of Senior Director of Player Development Scott Brosius and 18U National Team Director Frank Jagoda.
As Senior Director of Player Development, Brosius occupies an entirely new role to USA Baseball, serving as the organizational lead in the development of on-field programming for its six national teams and three National Team Development Programs, as well as producing curriculum related to player development that will be available as part of USA Baseball's educational resources.
Brosius was twice named the manager of the USA Baseball 18U National Team, where he managed Team USA to gold medals in 2011 and 2012, a world championship title and a combined 16-2 overall record. He was recognized as the 2011 and 2012 USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year.
Frank Jagoda, who is serving as the new 18U National Team Director, will primarily oversee the day-to-day operations of the 18U National Team program, as well as the 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs. He will also work closely with the Prospect Development Pipeline League.
Jagoda returns to USA Baseball after serving as an assistant coach for the 2017 15U National Team that won a gold medal at the COPABE Pan-Am "AA" Championships, and as a task force member for numerous national teams and national team identification events over the last five years.
Read the full press release about Scott Brosius's hiring here and the full press release about Frank Jagoda's hiring here.
Everyone in the baseball industry-hopefully-knows the name Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville Heritage HS, TX). The son of former major leaguer Bobby Witt, the Oklahoma recruit has been a fixture on the summer showcase circuit the last few years, won a gold medal with Team USA in December and is the No. 1 high school prospect in the country. It's the kind of profile that, when it steps up to the plate during the high school season, you do what you can to avoid damage-pitch around him, intentionally walk him. Anything but give him a pitch to hit. With a .554 average, 12 home runs, 42 RBIs, 17 walks and just seven strikeouts through 27 games, it seems he is seeing pitches to hit, and he's not missing.
Don't be mistaken, Witt Jr. is immensely talented, but it's hard for any prospect to hit for such a high average, especially in a state with the depth of talent like Texas. That, in part, may be a reason he is having such a huge year. If opposing pitchers avoid Witt Jr., another big bat just steps in the box. The Panthers have seven other Division I prospects on the roster, providing protection for, well, everybody.
"The team is coming together, everyone is buying in," Witt Jr. said. "We all have the same goal of winning the state championship this year. Our lineup one through nine is pretty amazing. And just having our pitchers go out there, throwing strikes and doing their thing, it's good too."
A state championship in Texas is a gauntlet run, with many teams having loaded lineups and Division I rotations, but Colleyville Heritage is proving itself, with a 26-1 record. Keep this up and Witt Jr. likes their chances.
"I think it's really just keep hitting," he said. "If we keep hitting, and I don't think any team in Texas or in the country, can beat us with our lineup. Our pitchers are throwing strikes and our defense is solid too, having seven D-I commits out there. It's pretty special to have that. Just going out there, having fun, staying focused, playing hard and taking it pitch by pitch, at-bat by at-bat, game by game-not focusing on the state tournament right now. We're focusing on tomorrow and then the next week, and then the week after that."
This is not a new experience for Witt Jr., playing for a deep team and tearing through the competition. With the 18U National Team at the Pan Am Championships, he was named MVP after hitting .576 with three home runs and 18 RBIs, contributing to the team's .407/.517/.683 line. As usual, that roster was loaded with future first-round picks and major league talent.
"Being able to play with those guys and going out to Panama and do what we did," Witt Jr. said. "The coaching staff was incredible. All the teammates I had were incredible. We created a brotherhood down there and I still keep in touch with those guys. There is no other experience-I'll remember that for the rest of my life. Knowing that I got to represent our country, it was an honor and really taking that to the field at Colleyville, whether it's during the National Anthem, knowing just wow, I really got to represent USA and respecting the game more."
They had the talent to do it, but the environment is never easy, teenagers traveling to a foreign country-some for the first time in their lives-and playing in conditions they're not typically used to. Experiencing that was invaluable for Witt Jr. and his teammates.
"The teammates, the bond we had," he said. "We were staying in places, some of the hotels had no air conditioning, bugs in our beds. We had to sleep in our sweat suits. We really came together and it didn't faze us."
Few get the Team USA experience, but even fewer have a major league resource under the same roof and others in the family. Bobby Witt Sr. played 16 seasons in the big leagues.
"It's a really good resource to have because he's done what I want to do and he did it successfully," Witt Jr. said. "Whether it's me having questions or going through a tough time, picking his mind to see what he did when he played-even though he was a pitcher and I'm a position player-he still had to go through that mental side."
And because of the opposite positions, it makes for some fun duels in family batting practice.
"I think everytime nowawadays, he's leaving out everything out there," Witt Jr. said. "Every once in a while, he'll try to mix in a slider or something. I think I've got him now. He probably had me back then, but I think I'm getting to him now."
And it's not just a father-son thing. Witt Jr. has three older sisters, all of whom were athletes, as well as his mother. And those sisters have significant others in the game-two of them played in the big leagues and one is currently in the Dodgers organization.
All that support is big for Witt Jr., but he knows nothing-not a state championship, getting drafted or making the big leagues-will just be handed out.
"I know there are guys working, trying to get better and there's a target on everyone out there," he said. "There's always another guy working. I feel like I just need to keep working to maintain what I have and just get better-whether it's at the five tools, the mental side or getting stronger, eating better, sleeping better. Just doing all those things to try to gain things for on-the-field play."
The Prep Baseball Report is the No. 1 resource for amateur baseball in each state it covers through its variety of events, boots-on-the-ground scouting staff, daily coverage, and multimedia platforms.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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).
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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.