Area Code Games: Sunday Notebook



By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LONG BEACH, CA—The 2017 Area Code Games kicked off Sunday with four teams taking batting practice, followed by three games. The other four will take batting practice Monday before three more games. The Area Code Games feature teams made up of the top players in the country and are split up by region: Athletics (Northern California), Brewers (Southern California), Nationals (Southeast), Rangers (Texas, Louisiana), Reds (Four Corners, Hawaii), Royals (Northwest, Western Canada), White Sox (Midwest) and Yankees (Northeast, Eastern Canada).

The biggest highlight from Sunday was the matchup between the White Sox and Yankees. Both regions have strong classes and it showed in a close game. RHP Mike Vasil (Boston College HS, MA) pitched five innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five. He started out sitting 92-93 mph with his fastball to go with a sharp curveball with depth at 76-77. It showed more lateral action after the first inning and he also mixed in a changeup at 80-83. RHP Alex Havlicek (Indian Hills HS, NJ) finished the game, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. His fastball was 89-93 in the first, touching 94, but he pitched at 89-91 in his second inning of work. He has a slow gather to his wind up before picking up his tempo and exerting some late effort in his delivery. His curveball was 78-79 with rolling break and 11/5 shape.

On offense, OF Mike Siani (William Penn Charter School, PA) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs for the Yankees. He had a hard single to lead off, but was caught stealing by C Jacob Campbell (Janesville Craig HS, WI). He added an infield single in his third at-bat, getting down the line in 4.2 seconds and then smacked a hard two-run double in the seventh inning. It came off an 88 mph fastball and was to the opposite field, down the left-field line. He eventually stole third and scored on a single by C Noah Naylor (St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS, ON). C Patrick Winkel (Amity HS, CT) also made hard contact on the day with two singles against high-80s fastballs. 1B Grant Lavigne had one hit, pulling an outside fastball hard to right field, and then smoked a line drive, but it was right at 1B John Malcom (Detroit Country Day School, MI), who made a nice play.

The White Sox offense was stifled by Vasil, except for OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS, WI), who had the two hits against him. In the first inning, he squared up a 93 mph fastball back through the middle for a single and then pulled another hard hit through the right side in the fourth inning. Campbell also squared up Vasil, but was robbed on a nice play by 3B Nicholas Northcut (Mason HS, OH). He squared up Havlicek for a single off a 92 mph fastball and later scored. Campbell also stood out on defense, throwing out Siani in the first and then getting SS Jeremiah Jackson (St. Luke’s Episcopal HS, AL) in the third. He had a 2.0 pop time and both throws were lasers with plus accuracy.

Here are some more highlights from Sunday’s action…

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