Prep Baseball Report

Prospects On Display At 4-Team O'Fallon Jamboree

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

O’FALLON, IL – The four-team jamboree at Blazier Field featured lots of talent from both Illinois and Missouri on Saturday. Despite consistent rain throughout the day, all four games were completed, with CBC of Missouri winning both its games. O’Fallon and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin each went 1-1 while Lutheran South lost both games.

A game-by-game look at the all the action:

Game 1: O’Fallon 5, Lutheran South 2

O’Fallon ended its four-game losing streak thanks to an outstanding pitching effort by junior LHP Bradley Harrison. The 6-foot-3 Southern Illinois recruit threw a three-hitter and notched 10 strikeouts with no walks. Harrison retired the first nine batters he faced (six via strikeout). After yielding all three hits and both runs in the fourth inning, he shut down Lutheran South (15-4) by retiring the next nine batters to close out the game.

Harrison also helped himself by delivering a big two-run double in O’Fallon’s four-run fifth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit. Junior CF Dillon Weiss also doubled and scored in the inning. Weiss finished 2-for-3 with a RBI single in the second inning and scored a run. Sophomore catcher Chase Hackstadt also had two hits for the Panthers (13-7).

Catcher Cole Bornhop, a Jefferson College recruit, led Lutheran South with a run-scoring double in the fourth and also played exemplary defense behind the plate.

Game 2: CBC 2, O’Fallon 1

Two-way talent Matt Vierling, who’s one of the top prospects in the Midwest, took center stage in the second game. The Notre Dame recruit didn’t disappoint, as he pitched the Cadets to a well-played victory over the host Panthers.

Vierling, who’s the No. 1-ranked 2015 prospect in Missouri, allowed one run and four hits in 5.2 innings. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander struck out five and walked three. He showcased his three-pitch mix, shuffling his upper-80s fastball, 77-79 slider and changeup throughout his outing. Vierling’s fastball velocity climbed as the game progressed; in the first couple innings he sat 87-89; in the fourth he was working 88-90 and topped at 91.

Vierling, the team’s No. 3 hitter, also laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored his younger brother, Mark Vierling, in the third inning. Mark had reached on a sharp single to left field. Junior SS Dan Ampleman led off the Cadets’ two-run third inning with a single and eventually scored the game’s first run on senior RF Stephen Haring’s sac fly. Haring, an athletic 6-foot-2 Xavier recruit, finished 2-for-2 with a pair of singles. He also made back-to-back stellar plays in the first inning. First, he made a diving catch to rob Chris Holba to lead off the game. Then he threw out Bradley Harrison at first base on a hot line drive to right field.

Junior RHP Alec Whaley closed out the victory for CBC (15-6) by pitching a spotless 1.1 innings behind an 85-87 mph fastball and a short, tight 73-75 slider.

O’Fallon (13-8) scored its lone run when Nick Crabtree walked with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Junior 1B Bradley Snyder doubled to left-center with one out to start the inning, and eventually scored. O’Fallon received strong pitching performances by senior starter Kyle VanBevern and Holba in the loss.

Game 3: Sacred Heart-Griffin 12, Lutheran South 0

The Cyclones (12-4) made quick work in this five-inning whitewash. While there were many offensive highlights, the story of the game was unsigned senior RHP Matt Richey, who allowed one infield hit, struck out seven and walked one in five dominant innings.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Richey has made a significant velocity jump since last August. Richey came out the gates hot, sitting 87-88 mph, and touched 90 once in the first. In the second he was 86-87, and then settled in at 84-87 the rest of the way. He also mixed in a 70-72 mph curveball and 78-79 changeup. After Lutheran South got its first runners on in the fifth, with an infield hit and a walk, Richey struck out the next three batters to end the game. In August at a PBR event, Richey’s fastball was 81-84 mph.

Offensively, Notre Dame-bound Cole Daily homered and scored two runs for SHG, while Clayton Taylor went 3-for-4 with a run. Sean Mason added a RBI double and two runs, and Sam Sergent had a run-scoring single, two walks and a run.

Game 4: CBC 5, Sacred Heart-Griffin 0

Matt Richey wasn’t the only unsigned senior pitcher to make a big statement on the day. CBC’s Patrick Barry, a long and athletic 6-foot-5 right-hander, threw a three-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and three walks.

After getting in minor jams in the first and second innings, Barry settled down and shoved the rest of the way. In fact, he retired 14 straight batters between the last out of the second inning till the seventh inning, when he hit a batter with one out. Barry issued a walk to put runners on first and second before he retired the next two batters, finishing his complete-game masterpiece with a strikeout.

Barry opened the game at 84-85, and finished the seventh at 79-82. With his frame and how athletic his arm works, no doubt Barry has just begun to scratch the surface of his potential. He also mixed in a 68-69 mph curveball that he threw for consistent strikes.

CBC broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning on Matt Vierling’s RBI double to right-center field. The Cadets broke the game open in the seventh with three runs, two coming on a line-shot home run to right-field by left-handed hitting 3B Shane Melbrod, a Xavier recruit who was one of the most impressive position prospects over the course of the four games. Melbrod, also a top-level defensive third baseman, added a sac fly RBI in the fifth. Ampleman went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, Matt Vierling added two hits and Mark Vierling contributed a pair of singles and a run.

More in-depth scouting notes will be posted in the Illinois Scout Blog later.

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