Indiana Outlaws Win PBR Labor Day Challenge

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

The Indiana Outlaws entered the second-annual Prep Baseball Report Labor Day Challenge with a roster full of top-level arms in the 2016 class. As it turned out, it was the Outlaws’ offense that carried the Indiana club to the championship, scoring 41 runs in four games.

The Outlaws went 3-1 in the five-team event. In their first three victories, they put up double-digit runs, defeating Wisconsin Hitters (12-9), Southern Illinois All-Stars (13-8) and GRB (14-6). The Outlaws lost their final game of the two-day event, 5-2, against Top Tier. Both the Outlaws and Southern Illinois finished 3-1, but the Outlaws earned the championship by defeating Southern Illinois head-to-head. Last year, the St. Louis Gamers won the inaugural event by going 4-0.

On Saturday, all five games were played at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s new Curtis Granderson Stadium. Sunday’s five games were played at Chicago State’s new turf stadium. All 10 games were streamed live on the High School Cube. CLICK HERE to watch all the rebroadcasts.

Kyle MatterThe Labor Day Challenge was loaded with top-level, highly ranked prospects, but it was the Outlaws’ fairly unheralded second baseman, Kyle Matter (Cardinal Ritter HS, IN), who earned the tournament’s MVP honors. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound senior was the offensive catalyst for the Outlaws all tournament long. In four games, Matter went 8-for-15 with three doubles, two triples, eight RBI and four runs. Against the Hitters, Matter went 4-for-5 with a three-run triple, a double and drove home five runs. He also went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, three RBI and three runs scored against GRB. Matter is currently ranked No. 104 in Indiana’s 2015 class.

Not far behind Matter in the MVP conversation was Jake Franklin (Roncalli HS, IN), a solidly built 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting 2016 middle infielder. Franklin finished 7-for-14 with a double, triple and a three-run homer – one of two round-trippers hit during the tournament. Franklin also walked three times, drove in four and scored seven times.

Final Records:

Indiana Outlaws: 3-1
Southern Illinois: 3-1
Top Tier: 2-1-1
Rawlings Hitters: 1-2-1
GRB Rays: 0-4

A look at the Labor Day Challenge All-Tournament Team:

MVP: Kyle Matter, 2B, Cardinal Ritter HS, IN, 2015

Position Players:

Jake Franklin, INF, Roncalli HS, IN, 2016 (Outlaws)
Brady Bain, C, Mooresville HS, IN, 2016 (Outlaws)
Noah Navarro, INF, Avon HS, IN, 2017 (Outlaws)
Collin Clayton, INF/OF, Edwardsville HS, 2016 (Southern Illinois)
Ryan Davila, 1B/LHP, Warren HS, 2016 (Hitters)
Mitch Owens, 1B/RHP, Moline HS, 2016 (Top Tier)
Stephen Lund, OF/C, Verona HS, WI, 2018 (GRB Rays)
Jacob Wilson, C/OF, Belleville West HS, IL (Southern Illinois)


Bryan Hudson, LHP, Alton HS, 2015 (Southern Illinois)
Chris Holba, RHP, O’Fallon HS, 2015 (Southern Illinois)
Ty Weber, RHP, Menomonee Falls HS, 2016 (Hitters)
Hank Christie, RHP, Oak Park-River Forest HS, 2016 (Top Tier)
Andrew Saalfrank, LHP, Heritage HS, IN, 2016 (Outlaws)
Keith Kutzler, Kenosha Tremper HS, WI, 2016 (GRB Rays)
Ryan Selner, RHP, Milwaukee Lutheran HS, WI (Hitters)
Ryan Schmitt, RHP, Arrowhead HS, WI, 2016 (GRB Rays)

Labor Day Challenge Statistical Highlights:

+ LHH C/OF Brady Bain collected seven hits, five stolen bases, four runs and played stellar defense all over the field for the Outlaws.

+ 2017 INF Noah Navarro went 6-for-12 with a triple and three runs scored for the Outlaws.

+ LHP Andrew Saalfrank, an Indiana commit, struggled somewhat with his command early, but managed nine strikeouts in four innings for the Outlaws behind his upper-70s curveball and mid-80s fastball.

+ 6-foot-7, 200-pound uncommitted 2015 LHP Bryan Hudson attracted several pro scouts to Chicago State for his start against the Hitters, and he didn’t disappoint. In four sharp innings, Hudson struck out six, walked one, yielded one hit and no runs. His fastball topped at 89 mph, sitting in the 85-87 range, to go along with a sharp 74-77 mph slider.

+ RHP Chris Holba, an East Carolina recruit, was dominant in three of his four innings for Southern Illinois. The 2015 right-hander sat at 87-89 in the first inning, and showed an advanced mid-70s slider. In four innings, he struck out six, allowed two earned runs. He lost his command in the fourth inning and finished with five walks and a hit batsman.

+ 1B/LHP Ryan Davila delivered a walk-off triple in the bottom of the seventh to lead Hitters past GRB Rays, 2-1. Davila drove in both runs in the game. He also had a single, walk and RBI against the Outlaws. For good measure, Davila threw two scoreless innings of relief against Southern Illinois.

+ Although Steven Lund is only a 2018 prospect, he paced the GRB offense with six hits on the weekend, going 6-for-10 with a double, walk and a RBI.

+ Mitch Owens blasted a game-tying two-run homer for Top Tier in an 8-8 tie against the Hitters. The physical Owens had two hits, walked four times and scored four runs in the tournament. On the mound, he threw 4.2 innings, allowing one earned run, two walks and one strikeout.

+ RHP Hank Christie struck out five, walked one and allowed four hits in four innings for Top Tier.

+ RHP Ty Weber struck out four, walked none, allowed no earned runs and yielded three hits for Hitters against GRB.

+ RHP Ryan Selner allowed no hits and one run in four innings for Hitters. He struck out four, walked four and hit one batter.

+ INF Collin Clayton went 4-for-9 with a double, three RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored for Southern Illinois.

+ RHP Keith Kutzler pitched five innings, yielding one run, four strikeouts, four walks (three in the fifth inning) for GRB.

+ 2016 RHP Dalton Leighty (Western HS, IN) showcased the event’s top velocity at the event, touching 91 multiple times in the first inning for the Outlaws.

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