Game Notes (CA): Aptos at Santa Cruz


Ryan Ozella
N. California Area Scout

Santa Cruz, CA - When two long-time league rivals meet up you know the game will be an exciting one and this matchup between Aptos and Santa Cruz on 3/29/19 was no different as both teams battled it out for 9 innings. The best two teams in the SCCAL meet the final week of the regular season and both games should follow the model set forth on Friday. Let’s get right into notes on the game including players who stood out.

As always, you can click the highlighted name for bio information, previous notes, stats, video etc.

GAME NOTES:

Santa Cruz got on the board in the first when 2019 1B Javier Felix walked and stole 2nd before advancing on a wild pitch. Felix got caught in no-mans land half-way down the 3rd baseline and when the catcher threw to 3rd, Felix broke for home sliding in head first and putting the Cardinals up 1-0. Aptos’s offense had a chance in the 2nd but broke through against 2019 LHP Clayton Ray in the 4th as they scored 2 on 3 hard hits adding the 3rd run off him in the 5th and taking a 3-1 lead. Aptos 2021 RHP Nathan Brouse settled in after the 1st keeping the Cardinals offense at bay striking out 5 over the first 4IP. In the 5th, Santa Cruz tied it getting 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks with a back pick from the catcher to 2nd base ending a chance for more Cardinal runs. Both teams went to the bullpen after the 5th with each reliever slowing down the opposing offense. Aptos had a chance to break it open in the 8th with the bases loaded and 1 out but couldn’t get the hit they needed. In the 9th, Aptos had runners on 1st and 2nd when Santa Cruz 2021 RHP Scotty Pramuk back picked to 1st throwing the ball away and giving Aptos a 4-3 lead. In the bottom half of the 9th Santa Cruz got runners on with a walk, single and error at 3rd tied the game up. 2019 1B Javier Felix came up and got a hanging breaking ball that he drove into LF to score the winning run for a 5-4 victory.

PLAYERS OF NOTE:

2020 3B/RHP Jacob Mendoza (Aptos) - Uncommitted. Started the game at 3rd and the medium frame showed good lateral range there with enough arm strength for the position. Turned a FB into LCF scoring their 2nd run before coming in to pitch the final 4 innings. FB 78-81 MPH with the ability to use on both sides of the plate. Mixed in three off-speed pitches including a deep CB with 12/6 actions and short loop using it to the arm-side regularly (60-61 MPH), a short and flat SLD (64-67 MPH) and a running CHG (65-66 MPH) keeping hitters off balance. Control would come and go the entire game but leadoff walk after they took the lead was a tough one that eventually cost him.

2019 CF/1B Shane Modena (Aptos) - Uncommitted. Very long with a high waist and athletic build. Modena was in CF and showed good foot speed, looking like he can stick in CF at the next level with the ability to work behind the baseball using a fringy M-3/4 arm. At the plate ripped a 2B down the RF line and had a 2nd hit taking a breaking ball back through the middle. During his 2B, he showed off the athletic ability (4.35T) getting out of the left batter's box quickly and using those legs to cover a lot of distance.

2021 OF/2B Jacob Pappas (Santa Cruz) - Uncommitted. Moved from LF to 2B for this game and played well there with developing footwork and an arm that can easily fit there. Showed his athleticism on a popup that dropped on the RF line getting to 3rd with a clean turn at 2nd base. Scored the game-winning run after lacing a single over the 2nd baseman’s head in the bottom of the 9th. Some swing and miss with 2 K’s, but has a chance to keep making strides as he matures and plays the game more.

2019 LHP Clayton Ray (Santa Cruz) - Uncommitted. Battled and kept Santa Cruz in the game without his best stuff. 5IP, 5H, 3R, 2BB, 5K. Was able to pitch around trouble for the first three innings getting big strikeouts in the middle of the order but found too much plate in the 4th and 5th and was hit hard giving up his 3 runs. FB 81-83 MPH with better run and angle to the arm side mixing in his CHG and CB. CB didn’t have the same tight spin I’ve seen before and FB didn’t have same angles leading to some long XBHs including 2 3B, 2 2Bs.

2020 OF Brady Chavez (Santa Cruz) - Uncommitted. Made good adjustments at the plate after striking out in 1st AB. Finished the day 2-3 with 2 hard singles and a walk. Long and lean lefty was able to stay compact and quick with the bat, driving the ball back through the middle twice with the 2nd one tying the game in the 5th. He got the ball into 2nd base quickly after catching a sinking liner in RF to end a threat in the 7th showing baseball instincts.

2020 C/CF Jack Bollengier (Aptos) - Uncommitted. Medium, quick-footed frame swinging from the left side. Was on base 3 times with a walk, HBP, and driving a ball past a diving 2nd baseman. Compact swing stays to the middle of the field with a flat path through the zone. Defensives skills were good with aggressive streak throwing out runners at 3rd, 2nd (2.13-2.22 Pop) with a back pick at 2nd to add. His receiving skills were also good with flashes of lateral agility.

2019 1B Javier Felix (Santa Cruz) - SDSU Commit. Continues to show bat-to-ball skills while working good AB’s. In game-winning AB, had some poor pitch selection early but adjusted and knocked hanging breaking ball into left field. Good instincts on the base-paths picking off-speed counts to steal 2nd twice then drawing a throw at 3rd when in no man's land to score the 1st run for the Cardinals. Liked seeing him embrace the moment when runners were on late in the game, but also need to understand the situation and stay within himself; 1st swing was trying to hit the ball out of the park when a single wins it. I’ll take that type of passion and determination to win on my team all day.

IN-DEPTH COVERAGE:

2021 RHP Nathan Brouse (Aptos) - Uncommitted. Second viewing and has made big improvements in a short amount of time...

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UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
South Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/14 Archbishop Mitty HS
North Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/28 Clyde P. Smith Field - Cardinal Newman HS
Northern California Future Games Trials CA 05/26 Islanders Field
Inland Empire Futures Games Trials CA 06/01 Norco High School
SoCal ProCase CA 06/08 Hart Park
Northern California ProCase CA 06/09 Delta College - Nick Cecchetti Field
Bay Area Open Showcase CA 06/26 Laney College
Inland Empire Top Prospect ID CA 07/23 Santiago High School
Norcal Top Prospect ID CA 07/24 St. Mary's College
Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/30 LakePoint
Rising Stars Showcase CA 09/21 Santiago High School

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