Prep Baseball Report

Area Code Games: Tuesday Notebook

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LONG BEACH, CA—The fourth game of the third day at the 2017 Area Code Games left much to be desired as the Athletics (Northern California) and Yankees (Northeast) combined for 17 walks and two hit batters. The worst of it came in the fourth inning, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, when they combined for 14 runs on six hits, seven walks and two hit by pitches. While that game was disastrous, the final game of the day was electric. The Brewers (Southern California) and Rangers (Texas/Louisiana) each sent four pitchers to the mound and none threw a fastball under 89 mph. It wasn’t a completely clean game as the seventh inning got a little out of hand, but it certainly was a breath of fresh air at the end of a long day.

The starters were RHP Adam Kloffenstein (Magnolia HS, TX) and RHP Chandler Champlain (Santa Margarita HS, CA). Champlain faced the minimum in two innings as a walk was erased on a steal attempt and he struck out two. He was 90-92 on a sinking fastball and showed above average spin to an 11/5 curveball at 74-76. Kloffenstein countered with three innings of his own and struck out three while allowing two hits, one of which was a fly ball double lost in the sun. He also walked one batter. His fastball ranged from 89-93 with heavy life and he mixed in a two-seamer with arm-side sink. His breaking ball had hard sharp break at 79-82.

RHP Ethan Reed (Aliso Niguel HS, CA) came on after Champlain and struck out the first three batters he faced, sitting 92-93. He settled into the 89-91 range and finished with four strikeouts and a walk in two innings. His changeup was 86-87 with fade and his curveball was 75-76 with 11/5 shape.

RHP Jake Miller (Newbury Park HS, CA) fanned one in two innings and was 89-92, though he was scattered with his control, walking three batters. He lands slightly closed in his delivery and pitches with a moderate tempo. Miller has very good feel for a changeup, which sits 79-81 with fade. He also mixed in a curveball at 72. RHP Bryce Collins (Hart HS, CA) closed things out for the Brewers with one inning, allowing a run on a hit and two walks while striking out two. He was 91-92 from a funky, up-tempo delivery. He spins a curveball well, which sat 73-74 with 11/5 shape and depth.

For the Rangers, RHP Rye Gunter (Coppell HS, TX) was the second to take the hill and he struck out five in two innings while allowing a hit and a walk. His fastball ranged from 89-93. He pitches with a high slot and short stride. His curveball was sharp with depth and near-12/6 break at 74-76. RHP Brandon Birdsell (Conroe HS, TX) went 1.2 innings and allowed five runs on a walk and a hit, though none of them were earned. He was 92-94 with a sharp, swing-and-miss slider at 78-80. SS/RHP Bobby Witt took over for Birdsell with two outs in the seventh, allowing two hits before getting a strike out on a slider to end the game. It was a slurvy pitch at 80-81 and his fastball was 90-92.

Ranger pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts while the Brewers had nine.

Here are some more highlights from Tuesday’s action…

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