Our favorite Rivals writer Kendall Rogers checks in with a mailbag column talking about some of the challenges Vanderbilt is facing with the loss of David Price, a preview of Arizona State, the future of Memphis baseball, and finally Texas AM utility player Blake Stouffer chances of winning National Player of the Year. The article is available here.
Baseball America has released their annual top 30 prospects from the Cape Cod League. Aaron Crow of Missouri leads the rankings after having an impressive summer with a 0.67 ERA and picking up the Top prospect award from MLB scouts. The top position player is Yonder Alonso of Miami after hitting .338 with an on-base percentage of .468. The full list is available here.
1. Texas OF Kyle Russell
2. Texas A&M Utility Guy Blake Stouffer
3. Vanderbilt OF Dominic De la Osa
4. Rice Closer Cole St. Clair
5. Creighton switch-pitcher Pat Venditte
6. UGA Closer Josh Fields
7. ASU Starter Josh Satow
8. USC Catcher Phil Disher
9. OKState 3B Matt Hague
10. Auburn OF Mike Bianucci
This writer would probably have flipped a couple of these guys around. It’s hard to argue with Russell Stouffer and De la Osa; however, a healthy Cole St. Clair could be the difference between Rice swapping a C-USA ring for a College World Series ring.
And I’m happy to see Venditte return. I’ve not seen him pitch yet, but he’s the guy who will throw lefty to one batter and righty to the next.
Read Kendall’s breakdown here.
Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in with an article about the top power hitters for the 2008 season. He discusses Pedro Alvarez, Justin Smoak, Kyle Russell to just name a few. It is an excellent read and can be found here.
The Chatham A’s are led by Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest) who hit .308 this summer with five homers and 31 RBI in 40 games. Tom Milone (Southern Cal) leads the team with a 6-1 record on the mound with a 2.92 ERA. Milone is also tied with Terry Doyle of YD for the league lead in wins. Bryan Shaw (Long Beach State) has seven saves which leads the team.
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox enter the playoffs with the best regular season record after winning the 2006 title. They went 31-12-1 in 2007 and according to Perfect Game are one of the top Summer League teams in the nation. are led by one of the top prospects in the CCBL in Gordon Beckham (Georgia). He hit .284 on the year with nine homers and 35 RBI in 42 games. Jason Castro (Stanford) finished second in the league in hitting with a .341 average. Terry Doyle (Boston College) is tied for the league lead with six victories and a 2.35 ERA. Eddie Burns (Georgia Tech) has also had a strong summer with a 5-1 mark with a 2.86 ERA. Nick Cassavechia (Baylor) has 11 saves which is top in the league.
Friday: Chatham at Yarmouth Dennis at 3 pm
Saturday: Yarmouth-Dennis at Chatham at 7 pm
Sunday (if necessary): Chatham at Yarmouth-Dennis at 3 pm
The College Baseball Blog predicts that Yarmouth-Dennis wins the series in two games.
The entire playoffs will be webcasted for free through Leaguestream. The games can be accessed by clicking here.
Team USA was one-hit by Japanese pitcher Yuske Iwamato but picked up a 1-0 victory on the first day of the World Port Tournament. As the game entered the ninth inning, Team USA had no hits off of Iwamato but Jordan Danks (Texas) got a lead-off walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tommy Medica (Santa Clara). He then advanced to third on a flyball from Brett Wallace (Arizona State). Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) then hit a single to drive home Danks with the eventual winning run. Ryan Berry (Rice) started for Team USA and went 7.1 strong innings while only giving up three hits and three walks but got the no-decision. Brett Hunter pitched the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit while striking out three batters to up his record to 3-0. Yuske Iwamato was the tough luck loser pitching a complete game while allowing the only hit and four walks. Team USA is off on Friday before playing The Netherlands on Saturday.
Team USA Recap
World Port Tournament Schedule
DURHAM, NC— Tyson Ross (3-0, California) took a no-hitter into the sixth, striking out eight over seven innings in leading Team USA (19-7) to a 14-0 victory over the Netherlands in the first of a three-game, two-day series. Ross allowed just two hits while walking none, in his first appearance since the Gold Medal Game eight days ago.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) drove in five with a three-run home run and a two-run double, while Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt) went 3-for-5 with four RBIs a day after turning 21 years old. Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) went 3-for-4, as the trio all hit home runs.
Flaherty, Kieschnick and Jordan Danks (Texas) all hit home runs as part of an eight-run eighth inning.
Ross was perfect through the first 14 batters, before an error by second baseman Ryan Flaherty allowed the first Dutch base runner to reach base in the fifth. Ross finished off the inning by striking out the side. Ross’ no-hit bid was broken up an inning later, by Danny Rombley, with a one-out base hit to center field.
Five of the Americans first six runs came with two outs to give them a 6-0 lead after three.
The Americans tallied back-to-back, two-out RBI singles from Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) and Kieschnick to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Wallace’s two-out, two-run single in the second then made it 4-0.
A Kieshnick homer in the third gave the Americans a 5-0 lead in the third, before a two-out, RBI double from Josh Romanski (San Diego) made it 6-0. Dutch righthander Rob Cordemans gave up six runs on seven hits over the first two and two-third innings.
Wallace’s homer in the eighth made it 9-0, after reliever Diegomar Markwell pitched four and one-third scoreless innings. Wallace’s blast was one of three homers and eight runs in the inning, as Flaherty added a three-run shot and Danks followed with a solo shot.
It was second baseman Ryan Flaherty’s 21st birthday last night… shortstop Danny Espinosa made a nice play off the glove of Ross in the first inning to rob Dirk van’t Klooster of a base hit… these same two teams will play in Holland in Rotterdam starting next week at the World Port Tournament… the four home runs was a summer-high… high school senior Tyler Stovall, a Team USA junior team invitee, pitched the ninth inning.
The nine-game American trip will continue with the Netherlands on Sunday in Cary (morning game at 11 a.m.), and Durham (afternoon game at 5 p.m.), before closing out with and Russia on Monday (one night game) in Cary, NC at 7 p.m… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2.
BIRMINGHAM, AL— China’s Kun Chen, Youhua Guo and Quansheng Zhao out dueled Team USA’s Lance Lynn (2-1) and Jordy Mercer as the Chinese (1-2) won the third game of the five-game series over the Americans (17-7), 2-1, on Wednesday evening. Team USA had won the first two games of the series.
Chen went the first six and two-thirds, giving up one run on seven hits, before yielding to Guo. Guo went an inning and one-third before yielding to Zhao in the ninth, who posted the save, despite putting the tying run on second base.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) and Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) each had three of the Americans nine hits, who rested starting outfielders Jordan Danks (Texas) and Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) to begin the night.
Espinosa’s bunt base hit in the ninth sent the winning run to the plate against Zhao with one out. Espinosa was then balked to second. Zhao though got a flyout and strikeout to end the game.
An RBI single followed by a groundout gave China a 2-1 lead in the second, the second time in two nights the Chinese led early.
Lynn went the first four innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Mercer went the final six innings, not allowing a hit the rest of the way. He struck out eight on the night and did not walk a batter.
Wallace gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single.
The game was delayed by over an hour due to a rain storm which started around 90 minutes prior to first pitch… Manager Mike Weathers played in the Oakland A’s minor league system in Birmingham, AL in the mid-1970’s for three years… RHPs Jacob Thompson (Virginia) and Brian Matusz (San Diego), neither of which are injured, left the team for precautionary reasons due to a high number of innings pitched over the previous eight months… Thompson finished the summer 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA, Matusz was 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA… junior national team invitee, Tyler Stovall, a lefthander/outfielder from Hokes Bluff (AL) High School joined the team on Wednesday and will be with the team through the end of the week… Team USA is now 2-2 against Communist-led governments over the last four games (China and Cuba).
The five-game series with China continues in Rome, GA on Thursday and Ft. Mill, SC on Friday, finishing off the nine-game (two-day) American trip with the Netherlands and Russia in North Carolina… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL— The top of the American order reached base safely a combined 11 times as Team USA (13-5, 2-0 Pan Am Games) remained perfect at the Pan American Games following an 8-4 victory over Nicaragua (0-2 Pan Am).Number-three hitter Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) drove in five runs, going 3-for-4, while No. 2 hitter Logan Forsythe walked three times and added two hits. Leadoff hitter Jordan Danks (Texas) added a hit and two walks, as the trio were a combined 6-for-10 with five walks, five runs and three steals.
Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State), Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) and Brett Wallace (Arizona State) added two hit days as well, part of the 14-hit attack.
Lance Lynn (1-0, Ole Miss) fought through seven innings, after giving up two runs in the first. Lynn gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits, walking two and striking out one for the win. Lynn had entered the Pan American Games as the team’s strikeout leader.
The Americans scored three runs in the first to chase Nicaraguan starter and loser Luz Portobanco from the game. An RBI single by Alvarez, followed by a double steal gave the Americans a 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Brett Wallace then made it 3-0.
After the Nicaraguans scored two in the bottom of the first, Alvarez came right back with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2. A two-run double by Alvarez in the fourth then made it 6-2. Alvarez’s final RBI came in the eighth, thanks to a two-out RBI single.
A chance of rain threatened the game as a heavy fog blanketed the tops of the mountains… rain began sprinkling in the third inning and was off and on the rest of the game… Pedro Alvarez drove in a summer-best five and has seven RBIs over the last three games… the seventh inning stretch was actually provided by Dodgers Stadium’s organist via computer… the Dominican Republic beat Brazil 14-2 in eight innings in the first game, as both the Dominicans and the Brazilians enter the final day of pool play with a record of 1-1… DR will play Nicaragua at 10 a.m. on the other field…. Panama finished their pool play on the B side 3-0 with a 9-0 win over Mexico.
The Americans continue pool play with host Brazil on Tuesday at 10 a.m. on field one. The games were pushed back a day for the Americans, due to lighting safety concerns for night games during the Pan American Games… Two more medal-round games follow on July 18 and 19.