Boehm, Gage

FEATURED & OVERALL
4th National CHAMPION

Brethowr, Ivan

UNDERCLASS
4th National CHAMPION

Ripepi, Drew

15U 4th National CHAMPION

Velazquez, Ralph

14U 4th National CHAMPION

TIRADO, Gabriel

13U 4th National CHAMPION

Freeman, Logan

12U 4th National CHAMPION

Offense On Full Display In 12U All-American Classic

The chance to play a baseball game on a Major League field is part of what draws every player to the POWER SHOWCASE, but that joy and excitement is most realized by the youngest players. Living a dream that so few 12-year old kids could ever even imagine, Monday morning’s 12U All-American Classic provided endless action as both teams enjoyed their opportunity to feel like the pros competing at Miami Marlins Park.

The day provided plenty of offense as everyone on both sides got into the action, and the Americans scored runs in bunches to claim a 17-5 victory. Florida’s Erick Soto earned MVP honors after a monster day at the plate, as he went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, two runs and a stolen base.

“This feels amazing, to be honest,” Soto said of the MVP honor. “My teammates were really excited and really proud, and their energy was just hyping me up. It just helped us keep going to play the whole game through. It felt really good playing this game with them.”

Soto and the rest of his Americans teammates wasted no time in getting the scoring started, as they took the lead in the bottom of the first inning with their very first swings. They never trailed the entire way from there.

The top of the order showcased lots of power to get things going right away. Elijiah Buffaloe led off with a double to left field and then stole third base to immediately threaten to score, which he then did easily when 12U Showcase Champion Christopher Levy crushed a shot deep to center field. Levy raced around the bases for an RBI triple, but was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it for a home run.

Already staked to a 1-0 lead, the Americans kept plugging away. Talon Haley singled and stole second, and Soto demolished a pitch deep to center field. Haley scored easily on the hit and Soto never stopped running, getting waved around third base and just beating the relay throw for a two-run, inside-the-park home run.

“I was just really looking for a base hit to start off the game for me,” Soto admitted. “The pitcher threw me a fastball right down the middle so I just tried to put the barrel on the ball, and it just went flying. I was thinking maybe just a triple. I didn’t know that it went that far, but I trusted my coach because the coach is not going to make a bad mistake. So I just decided to go and if I got thrown out, oh well. Somehow I just made it home with the inside-the-park home run.”

The early offense set the tone the rest of the way. The contest quickly evolved into a slugfest, which provided a lifetime’s worth of memories for all the young players living the dream in feeling like a MLB pro.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Nicholas Williams walked and stole second, and Malachi Ferrin rolled an RBI single through the right side.

The bottom half of the inning brought another run for the Americans. Anthony Diaz singled and stole second, Josiah Haslem reached on a fielder’s choice and Mark Brissey laced an RBI single past the shortstop for a 4-1 advantage.

The seesaw tilted in the Nationals’ favor after that. Derrick Hand walked and stole two bases, and Hogan Nelson also walked to set up a double-steal play that allowed Hand to swipe home. An inning later they made it a 4-3 deficit when Ethan Pribramsky singled on a shot deep to the shortstop and scored on an RBI single from Quindon Wright.

The Americans opened things up to run away with the lead from there. In the fourth, Haley singled and scored on an RBI single to right from Soto, who later scored on a balk call. Christopher Carmona reached on an error and scored thanks to an RBI base hit from Diaz. An inning later they added two more runs, when Brayan Sanchez singled and came in off an RBI single from Buffaloe and Aidan Godinich reached with a fielder’s choice and scored off an error.

Another inning brought another run for the Americans, when Diaz walked and scored off an error to make it a 10-3 advantage.

The Nationals answered back in the seventh. Dante Silverio walked, stole second and scored off a wild pitch. They tallied their final run of the contest in the eighth, as Pribramsky singled, stole second and scored off an RBI triple from Wright.

The Americans also had plenty more in store down the stretch. Massey and Sanchez both walked leading off the seventh, as a wild pitch plated Massey and Godinich drove in Sanchez with an RBI single. Levy then walked, and Haley plated both base runners with a two-RBI single. Carmona singled and came home off a wild pitch in the eighth, and Sanchez and Godinich both reached base and scored to close things out in the bottom of the ninth.

 

By: Rick Duteau

Nationals Win 14-12 Slugfest In 13U/14U National Classic

Ty Adams’ unbelievable experience at the 13th annual POWER SHOWCASE got even better. The newly-crowned 14U champion from Ohio added another unforgettable moment on Monday, as he earned himself MVP honors in helping lead the Nationals to a 14-12 victory over the Americans in the 13U/14U National Classic that concluded the event.

Adams continued to showcase his power at Miami Marlins Park, going for 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run.

“Winning the derby and then winning the MVP is just awesome,” Adams said. “Just the opportunity to get to play in a Major League stadium, I don’t even know what to say about it.”

After Nationals starter Jake DesLauriers pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, Adams led things off with a bang to set the offensive tone for his team. The eighth-grader from Mount Vernon Middle School jumped on the first pitch he saw and crushed it deep to left field for a lead-off double, before then scoring off a wild pitch to give his club an early 1-0 lead.

“That one felt really good,” Adams admitted. “It was a high fastball, and it is awesome to see the ball go flying like that. I never imagined being here and hitting that. It is just crazy.”

DesLauriers kept things going with another 1-2-3 frame in the second. The right-hander from New York registered the highest velocity of all pitchers in the game, topping out at 77 miles-per-hour on the radar gun. He struck out four in three innings, while allowing three unearned runs on a hit and a walk.

Three runs in the second helped extend the Nationals’ lead. Jonathan Romo reached on an error and stole second, before a wild pitch allowed him to cross the plate. Manuel Contreras and DesLauriers both walked, and Contreras scored off a wild pitch, while courtesy-runner Cole Corrigan came home when Kevin Sanchez reached on an error.

The Americans finally got to DesLauriers to get on the scoreboard in the third. Luke Costello reached on an error, Jacob Johnson walked and Dylan Richardson got his team’s first runs when he smoked an RBI double deep to left field. A passed ball then brought Jacob Johnson home, and Jonathan Askew reached on an error that allowed Richardson to score and make it a 4-3 deficit.

Both offenses began to heat up from there. The Nationals added three more runs in the third to inch forward to a 7-3 advantage. Mario Saucedo led off with a walk and then went from first to third base on a perfectly-executed hit-and-run, as Pacey Smith plunked a base hit into right field with Saucedo in motion. That execution allowed Angel Abreu to then push Saucedo across the plate with a 4-3 RBI ground out. Smith followed on a passed ball, and Jack Harley walked and also scored off a wild pitch.

The top of the fourth brought more scoring for the Americans. Austin Rogers walked and Austin Morrison deposited a single into right field. A wild pitch allowed Rogers to score, and Bryce Williams then drove an RBI single into the right-center field gap.

That part of the batting order helped generate more runs in the fifth. Rogers reached on an error, Askew walked and Stinson delivered an RBI single to right that let Rogers score his second run of the game. A wild pitch then brought Askew in to tie things up and make it a 7-7 ball game.

The Americans threatened back in the sixth by loading up the bases. Jacob Johnson walked, Costello reached on an error and Jayden Boyd also walked to fill up the bags. But Nationals reliever Michael Mullinax induced an infield popout to escape that threat unharmed.

Four runs in the bottom of the sixth then gave the Nationals their first lead of the day. Hunter Harlin singled to left to kick the inning off, and Clarence Callaway was hit by a pitch. Christian Alicea jumped on the first pitch he saw from reliever Kyle Borque, a 73-mile-per-hour fastball that he lined into center field for an RBI single. Corrigan then reached on an error that brought in two more runs, and Nehomar Ochoa also reached on an error that brought Corrigan home.

The Americans kept delivering big hits to stay in the action. Eddie Henchek provided a spark when he jumped on a hanging curveball and drilled it into the left-center field gap for a stand-up triple with one out in the eighth. But Jaxx Rigelsky responded with a strikeout and a flyout to left to leave Henchek stranded ninety feet from the plate.

Americans left-handed reliever Jacob Sims held the rope from there with three scoreless innings that allowed his club a chance to battle back. The southpaw struck out the side in the eighth and had five strikeouts in three innings, while surrendering one walk but also hitting three batters.

A pair of runs in the top of the ninth made things much closer again. Boyd ripped a single past the shortstop and Jacob Johnson drew a walk. Richardson then drove in Boyd with an infield RBI ground out, and Tyler Johnson lined the first pitch he saw deep to left field for an RBI double. The Nationals’ lead then dwindled to a run again when Rogers singled and later scored off a passed ball in the top of the tenth.

Adams helped ensure the victory by providing the winning run in the bottom of the tenth. Stephon Gryskiweicz went opposite field for a lead-off double to left, and Jack Bello followed with an RBI double on a shot into the left-center field gap. When a passed ball advanced Bello to third, Adams made the adjustment and delivered a grounder to the right side for a 4-3 RBI ground out. Having reached the snake-end of the order, Adams then batted again and came up with a single laced past the shortstop.

“My plan was pretty much if it looked good, swing at it,” Adams explained of his approach. “I have never really seen any of these kids pitching, so I was just looking for strikes and swinging at them.”

Josh Atomanczyk gave his team a spark in the eleventh when he destroyed a pitch deep to the left field wall for a stand-up triple with two outs. But the Nationals responded with an infield ground out to keep the Americans at bay.

The Nationals added their final run in the bottom half of the inning. AJ Sierra reached on an error and Contreras had an RBI single to second base.

Battling to the very end, the Americans managed two more runs to nearly tie things back up. Askew reached on a fielder’s choice, Stinson singled and Dylan Reinhardt smacked an RBI single past third base to drive in Askew. Tyler Johnson then walked to load the bases, and Stinson crossed the plate off a wild pitch. But the Nationals got an infield flyout and a strikeout to close things out and preserve the victory.

 

By: Rick Duteau

Americans Rally For 8-5 Win In College Select Classic

A five-run ninth inning lifted the Americans to a comeback victory over the Nationals, in Sunday evening’s College Select Classic as part of the 13th annual POWER SHOWCASE at Miami Marlins Park. After trailing nearly the entire time, the Nationals battled back in the late innings to rally for the win.

North Carolina’s Cory Everett helped fuel the comeback, which earned the junior from Erskine College the MVP award. Everett’s biggest contribution came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when he plated the Americans’ first two runs. He went 1-for-2 with a double, walk, stolen base and two RBIs.

“This was amazing, and it feels amazing to be playing in Marlins Park. It doesn’t get much better than that,” Everett said. “I can’t thank Mr. Domenico and the group from POWER SHOWCASE more than enough for giving me this opportunity out here. I have not really done much showcasing in my career up to this point, and I was just playing college baseball. This past year I had a good year and started to get some recognition, and Mr. Domenico came up with this opportunity and I jumped on it. This has just been amazing.”

Jackson Weinstrom and Reed Collins both worked one-out walks and Chandler Castleberry laced a single past third base to load the bases and bring Everett up to bat in the seventh. Everett lined a shot right up the middle, bringing in two runners to get his club on the scoreboard with the two-RBI double that made it a 5-3 ball game.

“I was just trying to do something for the team to get a spark going,” Everett said. “We all felt like we had a good opportunity to win this game, and we kind of just had to get it rolling. We had some guys in some spots that just didn’t come through, but once I came through we started getting the momentum rolling. It was awesome.”

Those first runs certainly appeared to provide the spark the Americans needed. Everything seemed to go their way after that.

The pitching and defense followed suit to further aid the rally. Lefty Nando Sepulveda delivered two scoreless frames with three strikeouts, and, after the southpaw surrendered a single to left from Chris O’Neal and then walked POWER SHOWCASE College Select World Champion Jake Gozzo with one out in the eighth, the defense turned a nice 4-3 double play to quell that threat. Sepulveda earned the win, as his team rallied to victory in the ninth.

The first five Americans all reached base to open the frame. Antonio Brown singled to left, Luis Massa drove a base hit up the middle and Josh Fonseca walked to fill the bags. Japan’s Yuma Imagawa then reached on a throwing error that allowed two runners to score, and Sepulveda kept it going with another base hit. Japan’s Taisei Fukuhara then tied things up with an RBI single to left, and Nate Estes completed the comeback with a liner into right field for a two-RBI single and a 7-5 advantage for the Americans.

The victors added on another insurance run in the eighth. Collins singled and advanced on an error, and Cacy Harper drove him in with a 5-3 RBI ground out that closed out the scoring.

Runs were not as easy to come by early on, with both clubs enjoying strong performances from its starters. Right-hander Marco Becerril got the ball to begin the contest, and he allowed one earned run in four innings of work for the Americans. Becerril had three hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out three. Nationals righty Ryan Langford was equally dominant, tossing three scoreless frames with two hits allowed and three strikeouts.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard with the early lead in the top of the third. Luis Diaz singled and advanced on a passed ball, and Luis Olivier followed with a liner into the left-center field gap for an RBI single.

Three unearned runs in the top of the sixth opened up the Nationals’ lead. Tyler Reis was hit by a pitch leading off, Nick Bosma worked a walk and Chris Sanchez reached on an infield error that loaded up the bases. Luis Diaz managed to get the ball on the ground for a fielder’s choice RBI, and another run came in on a throwing error that allowed Diaz to advance all the way to third base. A wild pitch then brought Diaz home to make it a 4-0 lead.

The Nationals scored their final run in the seventh. Colby Warren led off with a single, Larry Cicileo reached on a fielder’s choice and Michael Dellicarri got the ball on the ground for a 6-3 RBI ground out that scored Warren.

Nationals right-hander Freddy May also had a solid outing. May pitched three scoreless innings and struck out four, while allowing only a single to Steven Gallagher and a walk to Everett. His defense also came up big for him in turning a 6-3 double play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.

Even beyond the statistics and highlights, the overall experience itself is what made the most difference. Across the field between both dugouts was a strong sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm, as all the players shared equally in the unique experience of playing together in a Major League ballpark.

“I definitely appreciate all of my teammates, both on the Americans and Nationals,” Everett said. “They are all a great group of guys, and getting to know everybody and getting to make some new friends across the entire country was moving. We are all friends, and we even had some international kids that were all hooting in the dugout, and it was just great. I even learned a little bit of Japanese from them.”

 

By: Rick Duteau

 

 

Americans Hold Off Nationals 8-6 In World Classic

Garrett Glasscock waited years for his chance to participate in the POWER SHOWCASE. Not only did his dream finally come true as he partook in the 13th annual event at Miami Marlins Park this week, but he also earned himself the MVP honors in the World Classic. The high school senior from New Braunfels, Texas, helped lead the Americans to an 8-6 victory over the Nationals in Saturday’s showcase classic.

Glasscock reached base both plate appearances, with a single and also by being hit by a pitch. He stole a base and scored a run as well, and delivered in the clutch to give his team its first lead in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“It’s a blast, just a lifetime experience that I’ve always wanted to be able to come out here and hit some home runs and play a game,” Glasscock said. “I heard about this from Bryce Harper hitting the 500-foot home run and ever since then I’ve wanted to be a part of this. I stepped up and got the leadership role and everybody got hyped up, we did a good job of spraying the field and that was how it happened. It was an awesome team that I played on.”

The Americans scored four runs to jump ahead in the ninth. Thomas Barker worked a lead-off walk and Keegan Evans was hit by a pitch to put some ducks on the pond. Theron Perkins then reached on a throwing error that allowed both base runners to score, and Glasscock kept it going by rolling an RBI single up the middle.

“I had a mental approach just to see the ball and hit the ball, not to think too much and just be focused and have a great time,” Glasscock said.

Dylan Goldstein followed and also reached on an error that brought Glasscock in to give the Americans a 6-3 advantage.

The Nationals answered back to even things up in the top of the eleventh inning. Damon Fountain walked leading off and Braeson Fulton followed by lining a base hit into the left-center field gap. A passed ball then allowed Fountain to cross the plate, and a throwing error brought Fulton home as well. Jake Boden and Michael Campagna were both hit by pitches to give the Nationals more base runners, and Cameron Collier came through with an RBI single to left field that tied the score back up at six runs each.

The Nationals wasted no time in grabbing the lead back for good with their next swings. Keegan Turner led off with a base hit and Justin Looney was hit by a pitch to push the go-ahead run into scoring position. Two batters later Trenton Beazley rolled an RBI single past the shortstop to deliver the winning run, and Cody Fleischer added some insurance with an infield RBI single that closed out the scoring.

The Americans nearly added more when Michael Thomas put a charge in a pitch and lined it deep to center field. But Nationals outfielder Wendell Marrero made a sensational diving catch in which he dove out and caught the ball in full extension to quell the threat in dramatic fashion.

Jesse Pierce nearly got a comeback going for the Nationals in the following inning, when he drove a shot deep to the right field corner for a two-out triple. But the Americans responded with a routine infield ground out to leave Pierce stranded on the bases.

Runs were not as easy to come by early on, as both clubs enjoyed excellent performances from their starting pitchers. Americans starter Hunter Allen struck out four in three scoreless innings, while allowing just two hits and a walk, and Nationals starter Roy Peguero fanned five and surrendered just one base hit in three scoreless frames.

The bullpen did not miss a beat when it was first called into action. Alex Russo came on for the Nationals, and he also kept the runs off the scoreboard for three more innings while giving up a hit and hitting a batter, and recording three strikeouts. Alex Napoli was the first reliever for the Americans, and he gave up one unearned run in his three innings of work, walking two and striking out five.

The Nationals finally got the scoring going in the fourth. CJ Auger reached on an error, Cameron Wayt was hit by a pitch and Ben Shaffer also reached on an error that loaded up the bases. Dylan Butcher then worked the count in his favor, earning himself an RBI walk and a 1-0 lead for the Nationals.

An unearned run in the fifth extended that lead. Fulton, Caden Wagner and Raider Peralta all walked to fill up the bags, and Jake Boden reached on an error that allowed Fulton to cross the plate. Aiden Kelley added another unearned run the following inning, after he reached on an error, stole two bases and then scored when Carmine Lane reached on an error.

Georgia’s Brett Zerbel showcased some nice hitting to represent his class, as the two-way player was the only underclassmen competing in the contest. The sophomore delivered an impressive at bat with two outs in the sixth, resulting in a single rolled up the middle and into center. On the mound the southpaw was not as successful in allowing six runs, although only two of those runs were earned.

The Americans got on the scoreboard to begin their comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Carter Rohman reached on a fielder’s choice and Ronald Evans walked, before a passed ball landed both runners into scoring position. Zion Spearman then provided the Americans’ first runs with a two-RBI single that made it a 3-2 ball game.

An inning later the Americans were back at it again, threatening to take the lead. Xander Hamilton led off with a single up the middle, but was then caught attempting to steal second. After Zerbel responded by striking out the next batter, Tyler Brandenburg put a charge in the ball and sent it deep into the left field gap for a triple. But Zerbel recorded another swinging strikeout to end the inning and leave Brandenburg stranded ninety feet from the plate.

Although the contest was mired by errors, both sides enjoyed plenty of highlights and positive moments. Players delivered in the clutch and enjoyed the real feel of coming up with big hits on a Major League field. With so much more baseball still to come in their promising young careers, the game served as great motivation and recognition of the skills and mindset it took to earn an invitation to the showcase.

“I still have big goals, and coming into this event I was mentally prepared and physically prepared, and I knew what I had to go do,” Glasscock said. “It is just a great experience being out here. Just meeting new people, playing with the best, I just had a great time. I also got to explore Miami and it was awesome.”

 

By: Rick Duteau