Prep Baseball Report

Game 1 vs. California: Recap

Brett Harrison
Nevada Scouting Director

Game 1 vs. California ended up in a 4-3 loss, but the game was filled with impressive performances, especially from the Nevada pitching staff who stood strong against a talented California squad. We found ourselves in an early deficit with a four spot put up by California after a couple of defensive miscues in the bottom of the second. 2022 RHP, Payton Riske, battled through an extended second inning after a clean first with his fastball topping out at 87 mph while sitting 84-86 mph with his sweeping curveball hovering around 66 mph and his heavy changeup sitting 72-76 mph. The lean built right hander comes from Big League bloodlines and has seen consistent velocity jumps over the past few months topping out at 83 mph in February earlier this year and now sitting mid to upper 80’s. Riske projects to continue adding significant velocity as he adds size and strength to frame to compliment his polished three pitch mix. 

2022 IF/RHP, Parker Vint, got things started offensively for Team Nevada with a single back up the middle to start off his perfect two for two day at the plate with a walk. In his second at-bat, he drove a ball to right-center field showcasing his ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority while also playing a solid third base for Team Nevada. At the team workout yesterday, Vint posted a 96 mph Exit Velocity before putting on a solid round of batting practice that showcased his mature approach and ability to use all fields while putting his present power on display to the pull side.

LJ Mercurius, a 2023 three sport athlete at The Meadows, announced his presence in his two innings of work (3rd and 4th inning) running his fastball up to 87 mph with a split change that sat 72-74 mph that had some late, heavy action working well off of his fastball. The lean, wiry frame right hander has a ton of upside and is only scratching the surface of what is to come over the next few years. Not only did he impress the PBR Nevada staff with is ability to compete on the mound, he also caught the attention of PBR National Supervisor, Shooter Hunt, who hung around for a significant portion of Mercurius’ performance. Keep an eye on this prospect with present velocity and potentially much more to come with added physicality.

The play of the day goes to 2023 C, Anthony Marnell, who turned a low fastball around with a perfect throw to second base from his knees to catch a stealing California base runner. The switch hitting backstop is another prospect with a ton of upside to his game with his power potential starting to peak through as he left the yard to the pull side during yesterday’s team workout. Between innings we were able to get Marnell’s Pop Time at a 1.97 with some mechanics that could still be cleaned up and bring that time down even more. A player to keep on your radar if he isn’t already. 

The Nevada boys fought until the very end with the tying run on second with one out, but were unable to get him in after a key play by the California pitch who tipped a sharply hit ball back up the middle by 2022, Tai Nguyen, right to the second baseman. A fly out by a just tardy Cooper Sheff ended the game that featured a handful of quality performances with some areas to improve on before our match ups against two tough squads in Pacific Northwest and Arizona tomorrow. 

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