Prep Baseball Report

Under Armour Classic: Day 1 Notebook

By PBR Staff

BRADENTON, FL – The inaugural Under Armour Classic at IMG Academy got kicked off with a bang Friday morning with an impressive showing between two high-level 2018 pitching prospects when the Louisiana Knights’ Cole Henry squared off against Elite Squad’s Christian Scott.

The pair of future SEC recruits certainly lived up to their lofty status, with Henry and the Louisiana Knights stealing the show – and a 3-1 victory – to put a charge into the crowd after a lightning delay slowed the start of the day.

Henry, a 6-foot-4 LSU recruit from Florence HS (AL), came out the gates hot, sitting 91-92 mph with his fastball, topping at 93.  Aside from his velocity, Henry showcased a plus 77-80 slider with sharp, late break, a pitch which he threw consistently for strikes. Working from a high-3/4 slot with a clean arm action, Henry has a slow-tempo delivery until foot strike, then his arm is lightning quick.

Henry finished his four-inning stint yielding no earned runs, one unearned, two hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Not to be outdone, Scott may not have flashed the same electric stuff as Henry, though he very well may one day soon – and was just as equally effective. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound Florida recruit struck out three in the first inning, and finished with six in his four-inning stint with one walk. He allowed no runs on two hits. Long, lean and highly projectable, Scott has a clean, easy, uninterrupted arm action from a 3/4 slot.  He came out in the first sitting 87-88, touching 91 once. After the first inning, he settled into the 83-85 range the rest of the way. His secondary stuff is still a work in progress, though he occasionally mixed in a 68-69 curveball and low-70s changeup.

Once the two pitchers exited the game, the offense picked up. Tied 1-1 in the sixth inning, pinch-hitter Jay Curtis (John Curtis HS, LA) delivered a no-doubt home run to left field to give the Knights the lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Knights added an insurance run on a passed ball.

Meanwhile, coming in relief of Henry was 2018 RHP Will Ripoll (George Ranch HS, TX), who didn’t necessarily give the Elite Squad much of a break. The 5-foot-11, 171-pound Ripoll pumped strikes to both sides of the plate at 87-89 mph with at times a sharp 76-77 mph breaking ball. He allowed two hits in the final three innings to put the finishing touches on the Louisiana Knights’ victory.

Other game highlights include:

+ 2019  C Jake Holland (Archbishop McCarthy, FL), a Miami commit, had a 2.08 pop time in game with a quick transfer and strong arm. Flexible in his setup and received well. At the plate, Holland was balanced and on time to the fastball while also being able to stay on the breaking balls the other way. Athletic with a lot of potential on both sides of the plate.

+ 2018 1B/DH Jarrett Hall (Cardinal Gibbons, FL), a 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-handed hitter, has quick swing, evidenced by him squaring up 93 mph fastball up the middle for a single.

+ 2018 SS Alexandro Bello (Hiahleah Educational, FL) has a good approach and aggressive short swing which resulted into a base hit and two hard line drives. Gap-to-gap approach and strong for his size there he has good barrel control with to continue to fill out. Bello has good range, soft hands and a strong enough arm. Projects more as a second basemen, but very solid overall.

+ 2018 C Britt McKay (Ocean Springs HS, MS) – Loose left-handed swing, had a pair of hits and a walk. Solid feet behind the plate and handled velocity receiving Cole Henry.

+ 2018 OF Logan Stevens (Northlake Christian HS, LA) - Put multiple solid swings on balls, strength at contact, simple approach.

GRB 4, Dulins Dodgers 3

Trailing for most of the game and down 3-1 in the sixth inning, 2018 C Stephen Lund (Verona HS, WI) of the GRB Rays delivered a two-run single into right field to tie the game up. 2018 RHP Karsen Rupnow (Oconomowoc HS, WI) would come in and shut down Dulins Dodgers for the final two innings. GRB Rays would then score the go ahead run in the 7th inning to complete the comeback and come away with the victory 4-3.

+ 2018 RHP Dillon Nowicki (Stoughton HS, WI) - Loose, quick arm with a repeatable delivery 87-89 FB with run in first inning. Athletic, projectable build. Michigan recruit.

+ 2018 LHP Jacob Schellpheffer (Mayville HS, WI) - Over the top arm action with a solid frame. 80-83,84 FB with some movement.

+ 2018 C Stephen Lund (Verona HS, WI) - Threw out multiple base stealers from behind the plate with a strong and accurate arm. Made hard contact at the plate a showed the ability to hit to all parts of the field. Gonzaga recruit.

+ 2018 SS Tate Kolwyck (Arlington HS, TN) - Lean, athletic build. Showed the ability to make the plays including a couple backhand plays deep in the hole. Accurate arm with some carry. Takes good at-bats and fouls off tough pitches, can square it up. Vanderbilt recruit.

+ 2018 2B Andrew Benefield (Siegel HS, TN) - Lean, athletic, projectable build. Balanced and quiet in the box with a high hand set and good plate discipline. Makes solid contact. Louisville recruit.

+ 2018 OF Jaylen Wilbon (St. Benedict HS, TN) - Strong, stocky build with a slightly open stance at the plate with an aggressive approach. Had two hard hit line drives into centerfield. Displayed some range and a strong arm on an accurate throw to home from centerfield.

+ 2018 MIF Colten Schild (Fox Valley Lutheran HS, WI) - Lean build on a smaller frame. Lead off batter that had a single into the right-center field gap and showed some plate discipline. 4.31 down the line and was quick on the base paths.

North East Baseball 12, GRB Rays 3

North East Baseball turned a 3-3 tie into a 12-3 run-rule victory by erupting for nine runs in the fifth inning. The offensive highlights for NEB equaled the defensive lowlights for GRB. 2018 1B Zach Stevens (Lexington HS, MA), a physical 6-foot-2, 220-pound right-handed hitter, led the way for NEB, going 3-for-3 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk.  

+ 2018 2B Colin Boyle (St. Marks HS, MA) reached base all four appearances, and collected a pair of singles and three runs scored. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder also made a sliding play up the middle and popped up to edge the runner at first base.

+ 2018 RHP Mike Doherty (Middlesex HS, MA), a 6-foot-3, 175-pounder, started for NEB, working three innings between a rain delay. Doherty came out sitting 83-85 with his fastball, and settled in 81-83 range the rest of the way. He also mixed in a 71-73 mph curveball.

+ 2018 C Stephen Lund (Verona HS, WI), a 6-foot Gonzaga recruit, swung it well for GRB. Lund laced slicing line drive to right field for a triple, and also squared a ball to centerfield.

+ RHP Jack McNeil (Edgewood HS, WI), a hulking 6-foot-5, 240-pound right-hander, pitched in the 79-83 range, touching 85 once.

MSI-Bubba 10, Virginia Cardinals 2

MSI-Bubba scored six runs over the first three innings on their way to capturing a 10-2 win over the Virginia Cardinals in a six-inning game shortened by the mercy rule.

+ 2018 RHP Anthony Sasso (Toms River North HS, NJ) tossed a complete game, scattering seven hits and a walk while fanning nine batters over the six innings. The physical 6-foot, 185-pound righty repeats a simple, compact delivery and showed a quick arm, throwing from a 3/4 slot with some effort. He attacked hitters with a heavy dose of firm 83-87 mph fastballs to the glove side while also flashing a 73-74 mph breaking ball with 12/6 shape.

+ At the plate, MSI was led by 2018 OF Tyler Keppley (Cocalico HS, PA), who reached base four times including a line drive single and double to right field. Keppley is a physical 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitter with strength. He showed bat speed and a middle to opposite field approach.

+ 2018 SS Gregory Ryan (Benedictine College Prep, VA), a Pittsburg recruit, showed a gap-to-gap approach at the plate, went 2-for-3 with a line drive to center field and double to right-center field. The 6-foot, 170-pound Ryan also stood out during pregame infield showing athletic actions and making strong throws using a loose, low-3/4 arm action.

+ 2018 OF Michael Peterson (Prince George HS, VA) led off for the Cardinals and also collected a pair of hits and ran a 4.12-second home-to-first time from the right side.

Toronto Mets 5, Ohio Elite 3

Ohio Elite took a 3-0 lead early in the game, but Toronto rallied and went ahead in the fifth on a two-run single by 18 SS Daniel Carinci (Pickering HS, ON). LHP Matthew Deen (St. Marcellinus HS, ON) entered the game in the third inning with his team down. He ended up pitching four scoreless innings and earned the win. He walked one, struck out one and allowed one hit.

+ Carinci showed a short swing at the plate and barrel control when he kept his hands inside on his hard hit to right-center field.

+ 2018 OF Denzel Clarke (PEAC, ON) has a wiry frame at 6-foot-2, 160 pounds. Playing center field, he made a spectacular diving catch. He used long, easy strides to glide toward left-center field and laid out for the catch. He also had an an RBI 1B, flaring a ball over the second baseman’s head. He’s raw at the plate with happy feet, but has a flat path. He was 1-for-2 with a walk.

+ SS Dondrae Bremner (Bill Caruthers SS, ON) smoked a single past the first baseman with a loose swing.

+ 2018 RHP Spencer Kiehl (Upper Arlington HS, OH) has a stocky frame at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. He sat in the mid 85-86, touching a tick higher, and was 82-84 out of the stretch. He flashed a sharp curveball with depth, which had 11/5 shape and was 74-75 when it was on. He also showed a changeup at 77.

+ 2018 SS/RHP Greg Gilbert (Desales HS, OH) has a projectable frame at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds. He had a hard single through the left side and then got on the mound later in the game. He has a short arm action and gets good arm-side sink to his fastball at 82-83. His breaking ball was slurvy at 77 and his changeup at tumbling action at 75.

MSI-Bubba 6, Top Tier 4

Down 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Top Tier plated four runs, but it wasn’t enough as MSI-Bubba held on for the 6-4 win.

+ 2018 RHP Jake Rosing (Richmond-Burton HS), a Louisville commit, tossed the first three innings for Top Tier, surrendering three runs on just one hit and one walk while striking out five. Rosing has a thin, athletic 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame and showed a simple delivery with whippy arm action from a 3/4 slot. In the first inning, Rosing’s fastball was clocked at 84-87 mph touching 89. He also features a 72-76 mph breaking ball with 11/5 shape. The righty threw both pitches for a very high percentage of strikes.

+ 2018 RHP Parker Aquino (Bishop Gorman HS, NV) of Top Tier threw two scoreless innings in relief of Rosing giving up one hit and no walks while striking out one batter. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound righty has a very deliberate delivery, pausing midway through his pivot and picking up his tempo during his knee lift. The righty throws from a low-3/4 slot with some effort. He pounded the strike zone with an 84-87 mph fastball, touching 88 with arm-side run while showing a 73-74 mph breaking ball with 11/5 to 10/4 shape mostly below the strike zone. Aquino also flashed a 73-75 mph changeup.

+ 2018 OF Clay Thompson (Andrean HS, IN) launched launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

+ 2018 SS Luke Gutos (Moorestown HS, NJ) collected three line-drive hits including a pair of singles to left field and double to left-center field.

+ 2018 C Hunter McGarey (LaSalle HS, PA) of MSI showed a quick release and accurate arm behind the plate throwing out two base stealers at second base.

FTB 1, Dulins Dodgers 0

A first inning sacrifice fly from Dylan Buck combined with a three hit shutout from Eric Linder and Travis Lane led FTB to the win against  Dulins Dodgers.

+ 2018 3B Dylan Buck, West Virginia recruit (Lakewood Ranch, FL) - Single and Sac Fly showing a good approach with balance, quick hands and barrel control.

+ 2018 SS Blaze Alexander South Carolina recruit (Bishop Verot, FL) - Impressive defensively with a plus arm and good hands. Ran a 4.25 home to first.

+ 2018 OF Jacob Young Uncommitted (Ponte Vedra, FL) - Athletic outfielder with short quick swing. Stole two bases and ran a 4.4 home to first.

+ 2018 RHP Travis Lane Boston College recruit (Phillips Academy, MA) - 83-86 mph while working down and to both sides of the plate. Lane’s slider ranged from 68-71 mph and had tight spin with a late biting action.

+ 2018 OF Will Huber (St. Benedict, TN)-  Short swing with some speed. Ran a 4.04 on bunt

+ 2018 2B Tate Kolwyck Vanderbilt recruit (Arlington, TN) - Good balance, strong lower half, advanced approach.

+ 2018 LHP Jacob Laws (Florence HS, AL) - 6-7, 255 build on an extra-large frame. Fastball sat 80-83,84 mph and a 73-74 mph change up.

Georgia Titans 6, Virginia Cardinals 2

With a solid offensive performance from the whole lineup, Titans Baseball defeated the Virginia Cardinals.

+ OF Michael Peterson (Prince George HS, VA) showed loose hands and some bat speed at the plate and had a hard single.

+ 2018 SS Gregory Ryan (Benedictine College Prep, VA) had a two-run double to right-center. He has some looseness and bat speed in his swing.

+ 2018 UT Austin Hunter (Roswell HS, GA) had a hard double in the second inning.

+ 2017 SS/OF Zach Perdue (Langston Hughes HS, GA) showed a simple swing with some strength. He had a sacrifice fly in the game.

FTB 9, North East Baseball 6

After FTB jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with production from up and down their lineup, North East Baseball would battle back and close the gap 8-6 late in the sixth inning with key hits coming from 2018 OF Matt Sullivan (St. John’s HS, MA) and 2018 OF Ryan Cervone (Lexington HS, MA). After FTB tacked on another run in the top of the seventh to push the score to 9-6, 2018 RHP Joseph Strong (Gainesville HS, FL) would shut the door in the bottom of the seventh inning on any kind of North East comeback. This would be FTB’s second win of the day.

+ 2018 1B Taylor Pridgen (Eustis HS, FL) - Strong, athletic, solid frame with a strong lower half. Balanced in the box with a slightly open stance. Displayed the ability to make hard contact as he had a hard hit line drive up the middle and into right field. Troy recruit.

+ 2017 C Luis Rodriguez (Celebration HS, FL) - Stocky, solid, thick build who gives up his body behind the plate to block the ball. Receives well. Gets a good leg kick for his load and can drive the ball with some authority. Delivered a hard 3B into the left-center field gap.

+ 2018 RHP Evan Michelson (Mandarin HS, FL) - Solid frame. Fastball mostly sat 83-84, top 85 mph during the game with a 75-76 mph curveball that had better break deeper into the game as he became more comfortable on the mound. Competes.

+ 2018 RHP Joseph Strong (Gainesville HS, FL) - Solid, athletic frame. Worked quickly and threw a slot of strikes in his time on the mound. Fastball sat 83-84 mph along with a 72-74 mph curveball with good depth and some shape. Has a simple and repeatable delivery. Showed good poise on the mound.

+ 2018 RHP Zach Stevens (Lexington HS, MA) - Strong, projectable, athletic build. Fastball sat 83-85 mph and mixed in a 77-78 mph slider with some movement. Can leave the ball up in the zone sometimes. Makes hard, consistent contact at the plate, ball comes off the bat hard.

+ 2018 RHP Jimin Kang (BB&N HS, MA) - Athletic, projectable build throwing out of the side-arm slot with some deception and movement on his pitches. Fastball sat 77-79 mph that broke two planes with some tailing and cutting action. Slurve sat 69-71 mph.

+ 2018 1B/RHP Travis Lane (Phillips Academy, MA) - Strong, solid build. Balanced in the box with some strong hands. Tripled deep into the left-center gap. Boston College recruit.

Top Tier 5, Georgia Titans 2

Top Tier scored a pair of runs in both the second and fourth innings and tacked on a single run in the fifth on their way to a 5-2 win over the Georgia Titans.

+ Top Tier 2018 OF Dakota Kotowski (Providence Catholic HS, IL) reached base four times including a single to right field and another to left.

+ 2019 RHP Grant Leader (Lyons Township HS, IL) worked 80-85 mph with his fastball in middle relief throwing a high percentage of strikes working both sides of the plate. Leader also showed a sharp 69-72 breaking ball below the strike zone and a 69-70 mph change-up with arm-side run. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound righty is just a rising sophomore and looks even younger, but the arm is noticeably fast so there should be more velocity in the tank as he develops physically.

+ Top Tier 2018 LHP Sean Sinisko (Aurora Central Catholic HS, IL) features a large 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame with a fastball in the 82-85 mph range and a sweeping 70-73 mph breaking ball that follows his low-¾ slot. He also showed a 70-76 mph change-up with arm-side run and occasional sinking action when in the chase zone. Sinisko tossed 2.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts to seal the win for Top Tier.

Ohio Elite 8, Louisiana Knights 2

Ohio Elite put up five runs in the second inning on the way to an 8-2 win over the Louisiana Knights.

+ 2018 2B/RHP Marcus Ernst (Dublin-Coffman HS, OH) competed on the mound, throwing strikes and sitting 80-81.

+ 2018 C/IF/RHP Mitchell Smith (Pickerington North HS, OH) has a loose swing from the right side with rhythm and bat speed. He squared up two balls in the game.

+ 2018 IF/RHP Cole Niekamp (Versailles HS, OH) sat 85-87 with a short, funky arm action and pitched slightly across his body. He had good spin on his curveball with 10/4 shape. It sat 71-72.

+ 2018 SS/RHP Zach Dezenzo (Marlington HS, OH) has a great, projectable body. He showed bat speed and whip from the right side of the plate.

+ 2018 IF Brayden Carter (Worthing Kilburne HS, OH) has a simple left-handed stroke. He had a hard single to left-center field and is a dirtbag type player.

+ 2019 SS K.C. Hunt (Ramapo HS, NJ) is an advanced defender with good actions, an internal clock and loose, left-handed swing with projectable power.

+ 2018 OF/RHP Logan Stevens (Northlake Christian HS, LA) has a simple set-up, bat speed and strength at contact. He barreled multiple balls in the game.

Elite Squad 9, Toronto Mets 2

Elite Squad bounced back from its loss earlier in the day with a decisive victory to conclude the day. Elite Squad busted open the game in the fifth with a six-run outburst.

+ 2017 RHP Landon Leach (Pickering HS, ON), a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, was one of the day’s bigges winners. The uncommitted right-hander took the ball in the Mets’ second game and started with three straight 93s. He sat mostly 91-93 in the first, ranging from 89-94. His fastball was mostly true, but he showed the ability to get it downhill at times and produced a lot of ground balls and weak contact. In the second inning, he sat 87-90. He also flashed a slider with depth and 11/5 shape at 78-80. He pitches exclusively out of the stretch with a slight hip turn at balance point and comes through a high-3/4 slot.

+ 2017 2B Daniel Carinci (Pickering HS, ON) made two fantastic plays at second base. On over the shoulder play in shallow right field as well as a nice play deep behind first base near the fence. Carinci also ran a 4.4 home to first time.

+ 2018 MIF Anthony Villar (Westminster Christian, FL) showed good rhythm and balance in his setup at the plate. Used his lower half well, his swing got long at times, but hands worked quick resulting in a double in the right center field gap off of a 92 mph fastball.

+ 2018 3B Kevin Maura (Gulliver Prep, FL) showed an advanced and patient gap-to-gap approach. Maura has a balanced set-up with a strong lower half while taking a direct path to the ball resulting in multiple hard hit balls.

+ 2019 1B/RHP Triston Casas Miami recruit (American Heritage,FL) showed why he is the top ranked player in the 2019 class with an advanced approach, extremely quick bat and and strong lower half. His big left-handed power was on display when he crushed the farthest ball hit of the day, albeit foul, down the right field line.

> CLICK HERE for schedule and rosters

Complete Day 2 action will be posted following the games on Saturday.

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