Prep Baseball Report

NHSI Day 1: Jones-Malone Showdown Lives Up To The Hype

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

CARY, NC—The 2019 National High School Invitational began Wednesday and, as usual, most teams tasked their ace with taking the ball in the first round. When the tournament field and matchups were announce earlier this year, the first-round showdown between IMG Academy, FL, and La Mirada HS, CA, immediately raised some eyebrows. The potential matchup between RHP Brennan Malone and RHP Jared Jones came to fruition and did nothing to disappoint. Both brought their best to the table and battled for seven innings.

Malone came out sitting 93-96 and held that most of the game. His last pitch, a called third strike, was 94. Both of his breaking balls were working and showing above average. The slider was sharp at 80-84 and the curveball had 11/5 shape and depth at 74-76. He threw a couple changeups late at 83-84 with sink. His command wasn’t pinpoint, but he did show better control than past appearances and threw 70 percent of his 89 pitches for strikes. Over seven innings, he allowed three hits, three walks and a hit batter while striking out eight.

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