Prep Baseball Report

Future Games: 1st Inning Double and Lockdown Pitching Lead NJ to 1-0 Win

By Brian Gelalia
Assistant Scouting Director, New Jersey

Team New Jersey defeated Team Connecticut 1-0 in its final game of the 2017 PBR Future Games. It didn’t take long for Team NJ to scratch across the lone run of the game.  In the top half of the 1st inning, 2019 SS/RHP KC Hunt (Ramapo HS, NJ) reached on a throwing error and ultimately would get to 2nd on a wild pitch and then swipe 3rd base.  That brought up left handed hitting catcher 2019 Cade Hunter (Lenape HS, NJ) who blasted a two-out RBI double to the left center field fence.  

One run was all NJ's pitching needed, as Bergen Catholic's 2019 LHP Jacob Denner took the ball and displayed his 3 pitch arsenal. Denner used his high-¾ arm slot with loose and easy effort to strike out 5 over 3 innings while only allowing 1 hit.  Denner had all 3 working today, spotting fastballs at 81-83 MPH and utilizing an effective sweeping 1/7 breaking ball and a change-up that gave hitters fits throughout the game. Team Connecticut put together a scoring effort in the 1st but Denner proved tough as he induced a weak groundball out to 2019 SS Danny Helfgott (Don Bosco Prep, NJ) to end the threat.  For the 3rd straight day, NJ relievers were dominant.  2019 RHP Joshua O’Neill (Nutley HS, NJ) would record the next 6 outs.  O’Neill worked around a leadoff single in the top of the 4th and would face the minimum from there on, striking out a pair along the way.  O’Neill, who worked his second consecutive day, put together a dynamite outing highlighted by using his 84-86 MPH fastball that jumped on the Connecticut hitters.  He also mixed in a tight spinning 11/5 curveball that he was able to throw in any count for strike to help hold the NJ lead at 1-0. 

This led the way for 2019 RHP Jake Andrey (Cherry Hill East HS, NJ). Connecticut put together their best scoring chance of the day in the home half of the 6th as Andrey fell victim to a well-placed infield single and an error to start.  But as the moment got tougher so did Andrey.  He proceeded to punch out the next two Connecticut hitters while utilizing a fastball that was up to 88 MPH and a swing-and-miss changeup that had arm side run and sink.  After a walk to load the bases, Andrey would strand the runners as he induced a fly ball out to 2020 OF Christian Kane (Washington Township HS, NJ).

In the top of the seventh, NJ would go down quietly in order, which brought in 2019 RHP KC Hunt to close things out.  A seeing-eye single would start the inning for Connecticut, but Hunt would strike out the next hitter to get the first out.  He followed it up by getting a shallow pop up to center and then capped off NJ’s perfect trip to the Future Games by delivering a blazing 89 MPH fastball on the inner half for a called third strike.  The final out was a special one for Team New Jersey and Scouting Director TJ Hunt, as it gave the first All-New Jersey team in PBR Future Games history an unblemished record.

Top Hitters
Cade Hunter: 1-3, 2B, RBI
David Glancy: 1-3, 3B
KC Hunt: 1-3, R, SB
Dante Bozzuti: 1-3, SB
Marty Higgins: 1-3, S

Top Pitchers
Jacob Denner: 3 IP, 1H, 5K (81-83)
Josh O’Neill: 2 IP, 1H, 2K, 0BB (84-86)
Jake Andrey: 1 IP, 1H, 1H, 2K (86-88)
KC Hunt: 1 IP, 1H, 2K (87-88, touching 89)

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