Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: Rodriguez's 5 RBI Day in Finale of Team Carolinas Run

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The final day of the PBR Future Games saw Team Carolinas drop a tight decision to Team Mid-Atlantic.  Playing their 3rd game in 3 days several players continued to separate themselves in front of throngs of college coaches and scouts.

Team Mid-Atlantic jumped to a 2-0 lead after 3 innings, but Team Carolinas threw up a 4 run 5th to take the lead.  In that inning, a two out bases loaded double from Alejandro Rodriguez (C/MIF, Southeast Guilford HS, 2020) plated three.  Rodriguez would score when Andrew Grande (3B, Christ School, 2021) laced a ground-rule double to left-centerfield on a 2-0 fastball.

Facing a 2-run deficit again in the 6th, James Hobbs (SS, Myers Park HS, 2020) got things going.  A 6.75 runner, Hobbs was hit by a pitch and then stole second base on the next pitch.  A couple of pitches later, Hobbs would take 3B. A Chandler Riley (SS, Cox Mill HS, 2020) ground out would plate Hobbs, cutting the Team Mid-Atlantic lead to 6-5.  

As Team Carolinas entered the Top of the 7th, the deficit had grown again, now to 8-5.  However Team Carolinas would continue to battle, loading the bases with no outs on two walks and a single from Gavin Mortenson (SS, Northwest Guilford HS, 2020).  Rodriguez would again come up big, plating two on an RBI single to left.  Rodriguez and Chet Sikes (C, Wesleyan Christian Academy, 2020) would advance on an error from the outfielder putting the go-ahead run in scoring position.  Team Carolinas would leave those runners, however, coming up one run short in the border battle.

Game Notes:

+  7 different Team Carolina hitters had hits on the day including doubles from Grande, Rodriguez, and Nick Neal (1B, Randleman HS, 2020).  Neal continued to attract on-lookers during BP as several college coaches camped out along with other Future Game and JR Future Game attendees.  

+  Team Carolinas hitters continued to rack up walks, showing power and plate discipline throughout the week.  In this game, Team Carolinas earned 7 walks to only 5 strikeouts.

+   Rodriguez recorded 5 RBI’s in the contest while playing 2B and catching.

+  Pitching on back-to-back days may have calmed two Team Carolina arms.  Braxton Elms (RHP, Lewisville HS (SC), 2020) worked the first two innings, firing zeroes in both halves.  He recorded 4 strikeouts with a combination of a riding fastball up to 86 mph with a breaking ball that produced some awkward swings, sitting 71-73.  The ability to throw the offspeed pitch at anytime eliminated one threat. Behind Elms, Andrei Beal (RHP, Parkwood HS, 2020) also took the hill for a second consecutive day.  The righty continued to pound the strike zone with a fastball, curveball, cutter combination.  The fastball ticked up in his second outing, reaching 84. The breaking ball sat 70-73.

+  Jackson Kirkpatrick (RHP, McMichael HS, 2020) worked a quick 7th inning for Team Carolinas.  Kirkpatrick fired a zero on the board, striking out 1. The fastball worked up to 85, creating some discomfort for hitters out of his large frame.

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