Area Code Games: Day 1 Notebook
August 5, 2015
By Nathan Rode
LONG BEACH, CA—The 2015 Area Code Baseball Games kicked off Tuesday morning at Long Beach State’s Blair Field. The first two days of the event consist of batting practices in the morning and then games in the afternoon and evening. The Nationals (Southeast), Rangers (Texas), Yankees (Northeast) and Royals (Northwest) were the first teams to go through BP and then we saw three games.
The BPs went smoothly, but games got off to a slow start with the White Sox (Midwest) and Royals combining for 11 walks and three hit batters. After a quick nine-inning tilt between the Reds (Four Corners, Hawaii) and Rangers, the day was capped with a rivalry matchup between the Brewers (Southern California) and Athletics (Northern California).
The Brewers dominated on both sides of the ball and prevailed 7-1 as they rolled out several strong arms and strung together some timely hitting. RHP Kevin Gowdy (Santa Barbara HS, CA) took the hill to start for the Brewers and went two innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit. He sat 88-90 mph with his fastball from an easy delivery, but his breaking ball was the separator. He got several swings and misses on a sharp slider at 80-82 that disappeared at the plate. After Gowdy, the Brewers had the rest of their pitchers go one inning apiece. RHP Reggie Lawson (Victor Valley HS, CA) cruised through his inning, striking out the side on less than a dozen pitches. He sat 90-93 with an easy delivery and mixed in a 74-75 curveball that flashed sharp break. OF Mickey Moniak (La Costa Canyon HS, CA) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, showing good barrel control with a hard single up the middle and another through the hole on the left side. OF Blake Rutherford (Chaminade College Prep, CA) made loud contact in a couple at-bats, but was robbed of extra bases by OF Michael Farley (Chico HS, CA), who made a nice sliding catch in the right-center gap. Rutherford came back in his next at-bat to square up a double to left-center field and stole a base before scoring. He collected a single in his final at-bat and scored again.