Prep Baseball Report

PBR at The Rock 13U & 14U: Day 3 Quick Hits

By Wisconsin Staff

Day Three of the PBR at The Rock Champions saw a pair of winners crowned, from both the 13U and 14U Brackets. After all of Saturday’s rain, the third day of the tournament featured more of the top talent across the Midwest. Below, we have a few notes and some analysis from the best of Day Three.

In case you missed it, we also compiled all of the highlights from Day One and Day Two. Click the previous hyperlinks to see for yourself.

+ We’ll start by highlighting the two championships teams. On the 14U side, Indiana Elite and its suffocating pitching staff prevented their opposition throughout the tournament from scoring in bunches. The story was the same in their 14U championship game, against PTA Cardinal. RHPs Ben Murphy (Center Grove, IN, 2023) and Ben Orrill (Madison, IN, 2023) combined to shut out PTA and dodged barrels all game. Both look like next-level prospects, too. Murphy starred back on Day One in a four-inning relief appearance, and was more of the same in the title game. Orrill relieved Murphy this team and showed off his quick arm, sitting just a tick or two under Murphy, at 73-75 mph.

+ For the 13U championship game, the Top Tier Americans scored five first-inning runs and ultimately cruised to the tournament win, 10-5, over a Quad City Hitmen Elite squad that had been a danger to all opposing pitching. Randall Nauden (N/A, 2024), who typically served as Americans’ starting catcher, led Top Tier with two hits, including his team’s only extra-base hit (a double). 1B/LHP Tomas Valincius (St. Laurence, IL, 2024) has demonstrated an advanced feel for the strike zone all weekend, and it played a big role in the title game. He barreled a single in his first at-bat, and walked in his three other plate appearances, to help keep the Top Tier line moving. Valincius also recorded the game’s final five outs and struck out three in his 1.2 innings of clutch relief work.

+ One of Sunday’s biggest takeaways, beyond the crowning of the two champs, was the work of RHP/SS Cam Collier (N/A, 2023) for the Lou Collier DBA’s 14U team. The big-bodied 6-foot righty was sitting at an easy 80-82 mph, and touched 83 mph, in his day of work from the rubber. He also operates as the team’s starting shortstop when he’s not on the mound and is a natural with the glove, and obviously has the arm strength to play on the left side of the infield.

+ From nearby in Wisconsin, the Hitters Baseball 14U program that came out to The Rock brought with them a few of the most interesting arms in the state’s 2023 class. C/RHP Nicholas Lacson (Barrington, IL, 2023) started the day on the bump in the team’s first game and was sitting 78-80 mph, and touched 81 mph, in his first few innings of work. Later, in that same game, RHP Evan Shapiro (Wauwatosa East, 2023) relieved Lacson and looked electric, firing hard downhill fastballs over the plate, sitting in the 79-80 mph range, touching 81 mph. But his played up given his long and lanky limbs and the extension he’s able to get as he releases the ball towards home. The third Hitters arm to get into the 80s on Sunday was RHP Adam Switalski (Westosha Central, 2023). The lanky athletic 5-foot-10 righty came out sitting 78-80 mph, also touching 81 mph. These three – in addition to the strong work provided by Zachary Rechner (Catholic Memorial, 2023) on Friday – should be high-follows once they finally get to high school.

+ We shined a spotlight on him yesterday, but 1B/RHP Dawson Peterson (Riverdale, IL, 2024) was crushing baseballs all day again for Quad City Hitmen Elite’s 13U team. He was arguably the toughest out of the entire tournament, pound for pound, regardless of age.

+ The same goes for Friday’s standout LHP/OF Max Clark (Franklin, IN, 2023). His tremendous work on the mound was practically matched the rest of the weekend with his performance from the left-handed batter’s box and innate ability to run down baseballs in center field. On Sunday, he combined for a 3-for-4 line with a couple of walks, and also smashed a double to deep center field. His motor is on a different level than his peers.

+ Coama Legends 13U play the game as a unit with energy and swagger, and C Alexis Cartagena (N/A, 2023) was able to provide the middle of his team’s lineup some punch. After showing some next-level ability to hit for power, Cartagena slugged a home run over the Fenway field’s green monster replica. He finished the game against the Fox Valley Freedom 2-for-3 with a double and a homer.

+ Naperville Renegades’ 14U squad got a huge pitching performance from RHP Jake LaVine (Metea Valley, IL, 2023). He nearly went the distance in his start against a quality Hitters team, and settled for a 6.1-inning outing with 11 punch-outs. His fastball had life and sat in the 75-77 mph range, topped 78, and didn’t lose much of its steam throughout his start. LaVine also showed a feel to spin a breaking ball, which consistently kept this opposition off balance. He further demonstrated his athleticism by going 2-for-2 at the plate.

+ Lastly, the 14U Quad City Hitmen Elite had its fair share of quality bats, too, and 3B Seamus Boyle (Moline, IL, 2023) is firmly among them. His right-handed bat has natural loft and his super quick hands allow him to pull his barrel through the zone fast and with advanced bat strength. He roped a double off the Fenway fence against Top Tier’s 14U Americans team in action on Sunday.