Pennsylvania Travel Baseball Championships Set for August



By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Details on the inaugural Pennsylvania Travel Baseball State Championships have been released and the field of 16 teams has begun to be compiled. Iron Horse Sports will play host to the three day event bringing together many of the top travel teams from Pennsylvania as well as from bordering states.

While teams will play for unofficial state and region bragging rights the focus will be on gathering the top uncommitted prospects in the region at one location. This format will offer college coaches an opportunity to evaluate and compare the top uncommitted prospects in the region side-by-side in a competitive environment.

Prep Baseball Report will provide in depth coverage of the tournament with preview articles, in game live-tweeting and post-tournament analysis. Top prospects in the region not participating for a team in the tournament will also have an opportunity to participate as a member of Team PBR.

The 16 team field will be divided into four-team pools for three preliminary games on August 19 and 20 prior to being bracketed for championship play on August 21. A total of 36 games will be played on two neighboring fields at the Iron Horse Sports complex with 12 games being played each day. Additionally, Prep Baseball Report will be conducting the Western PA College Prospect Showcase on August 19 at the same location as a kickoff to the weekend.

Tournament Field

With nearly nine months until the first pitch is thrown the tournament field has already begun to take shape. Prep Baseball Report staff have begun the process of extending invitations to many of the top travel programs in the region and will continue to field requests for invites until the full 16 team field is finalized. Following is a look at the six teams that have already secured a spot.

Flood City Elite

http://nebula.wsimg.com/38b5e8d2d10828726509824cc3265957?AccessKeyId=76C13FB9DD7D6BF4DAC3&disposition=0&alloworigin=1The Iron Horse Sports complex also happens to be the home base for the Flood City Elite. One of the top programs in West Central PA, Flood City sends a host of players on to the college ranks annually. The 2015 17U Flood City roster was highlighted by 3B//RHP Isaiah Kearns, a West Virginia commit, ranked No. 5 in PA and No. 113 in the PBR combined Class of 2016 rankings.

Flood City has yet to finalize its 17U roster for the summer of 2016 but have an impressive list of prospects that donned an Elite uniform in 2015. Some of that list likely to participate in August follows:

RHP/1B Riley Christner (Meyersdale Area), #6 in PA Class of 2017
OF/RHP John Servello (Hollidaysburg Area), #37 in PA Class of 2017
RHP/IF Cory Storm (Hollidaysburg Area), #46 in PA Class of 2017

Keystone State Bombers

http://keystonestatebaseball.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/std-content/repos/Top/News/Bombers.pngThe Bombers have had considerable success in placing prospects in the college ranks over the past three summers with Zach Minnick (Campbell), Zach Guth (Maryland), Billy Phillips (Maryland), Tyler Walters (Slippery Rock), Collin Liberatore (Pittsburgh), Connor Yoder (Virginia Tech), Nico Popa (Pittsburgh), Casey Vincent (St. Bonaventure) and Danny Long (Monmouth) heading the list. While the Bombers 17U roster for the summer of 2016 has yet to be finalized a list of some top Bombers prospects likely to participate in August follows:

SS/OF Kris Kremer (Hershey), #19 in PA Class of 2017
LHP/OF Curtis Robison (Northern York), #25 in PA Class of 2017
RHP Scott Leitholf (Northern York), #29 in PA Class of 2017
OF Ben Arthur (George Washington), #6 in WV Class of 2017

MSI/Bubba Baseball

http://cdn2.sportngin.com/attachments/lefthand_graphic/5172/7579/msi_logo__2_.pngMSI has had considerable success in preparing prospects to play at the next level. With the hiring of Kevin Schneider as Director of Baseball operations, MSI will combine forces with Bubba Baseball for the summer of 2016. Schneider has quickly built the Bubba program into a nationally recognizable name in just two short years.

Some notable player to have played in an MSI uniform over the past several years include Mark Osis (George Washington), Tommy Richter (College of Charleston), Ben Faso (La Salle), Charlie Concannon (St. Joseph's), Bret Clarke (Stony Brook), C.J. Pruitt (La Salle), and Nick Falso (Ohio).

The combined roster that will represent MSI/Bubba will likely not be determined until later in the summer as many of the Bubba roster from the summer of 2015 have made, or will likely be making, commitments prior to August.

Some names of note that have played in the Bubba uniform the past two summers include:

C/RHP Shane Muntz (Malvern Prep), #1 in the PA Class of 2017
RHP Brady Devereux (Malvern Prep), #3 in the PA Class of 2018

Pittsburgh Spikes

The Spikes compete in the West Penn Elite Baseball Leauge and have had a great deal of success over the past seven years finishing first or second in all but one season. Last year's team went 16-0 in regular season play before falling 1-0 in the deciding game of the WPEBL championship series.

A developmental philosophy has allowed the Spikes program to not only compete at a high level, but to also produce a long list of players that have moved on to the college ranks.

Some of the most notable Spikes almuni follows:

RHP Jake Potock (West Virginia), #33 in the PA Class of 2015
1B Patrick Ferguson (West Virginia), #34 in the PA Class of 2016
RHP Collin Liberatore (Pittsburgh), #10 in the PA Class of 2015
LHP Jon Dignazio (Maryland), #7 in the PA Class of 2016 

South Troy Dodgers

South Troy Dodgers The Dodgers are the first, but likely not the only, out of state entry in the inaugural tournament. Eleven former Dodgers have gone on to careers as professional players, including Atlanta Brave RHP Jason Grilli. 

Following is a look at notable prospects who have recently worn a Dodgers uniform:

RHP Ryan Lambert (St. John's), #5 in NY Class of 2017
3B Frankie Pizzo (Monroe CC), #58 in NY Class of 2016
LHP Nick Chiseri (Connecticut), #14 in NY Class of 2016
MIF Matt Hamel (Siena)

Team PBR Pennsylvania

Prep Baseball ReportPrep Baseball Report Pennsylvania will be entering a minimum of one and a maximum of four teams into the 16 team field. Rosters for each team wearing the PBR logo will be made up of top uncommitted prospects from the tri-state region on an invitation only basis. These players will come from travel programs not participating in the tournament and will be coached by PBR staff. Invitations to participate for Team PBR will be handed out in an ongoing basis and prospects will also have an opportunity to request an invite on their own. 

Lakeland High School OF/RHP Jordan Art, #121 in the PA Class of 2017, is the initial member of the Team PBR Pennsylvania roster. The 6-foot, 165-pound two-way prospect has shown well at previous PBR events and is coming off an impressive sophomore season for the Chiefs. Art hit .370 with a team leading 20 hits in 2015 and went 1-1 with a save on the mound.

Additions since December 1


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