Baseball U had two teams in Georgia at the Perfect Game WWBA 2016 / 16U National Championships and college coaches were flocking to the fields to see them play. Baseball U Tucci Lumber went 6-1 while the 2016U team went 4-3. It was some great baseball by both teams with many highlights that drew interest from many colleges.
Baseball U which now has organizations in four states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York had representation from all organizations down in Georgia that formed the two teams. Baseball U Tucci Lumber really made a statement by recording a 6-1 record. The team did not get out of pool play with a 3-2 loss but the numbers they put up were staggering. They outscored their opponents 52-8 during the week. The most runs the team allowed was in the 3-2 loss and the pitching was outstanding.
The team ERA was .70 with a WHIP of .90 and it gets better. The team threw two no hitters, recorded 3 shutouts and allowed only 15 hits in the 7 games total (40 innings). The young staff had two members highlighted with two stories on them by Perfect Game USA. One of the stories was named "Right Hook Left Hook" in reference to 2016 RHP Max Kranick (UVA Commit) who hit 92MPH while sitting at 90-92MPH and the 2016 LHP Jeff Belge (St John's Commit) who was 89-93MPH while topping out at 94MPH. If that is not impressive enough for a team to have two high quality pitchers it did not stop there. Baseball U ran arms out as if it were a big league tryout. 2016 RHP Robbie Peto (UNC Commit) hit 90MPH at Lake Point and impressed many schools and in doing so put the final stamp on his scholarship to UNC. Robbie had thrown earlier in the month with Baseball U at the Baseball U Summer Challenge impressing Coach Fox at Boshamer Stadium. 2017 RHP Cole Stetzar made three appearances during the week and was part of the teams first no hitter on opening day. Cole velocity spiked in his final two outings topping out at 89MPH in those games. 2017 LHP Eric Heater (Best name in Baseball) stepped up and has gained great attention from the colleges alike. He hit 87MPH and threw a shutout in his second outing showing the ability to spot his fastball and use his backdoor breaking ball as an out pitch. 2016 RHP Reece Maniscalco made three appearances as well and his last two outings were 1,2,3 innings and his velocity had him at 86MPH with a very sharp breaking ball. Closing out the staff was 2016 1B/LHP Alex Kirilloff (Liberty Commit) who threw two innings and hit 85MPH with a very effective change-up. 2015 RHP Ryan Orender who is 16 hit 85MPH but more impressive was his breaking ball and slider that helped him throw 5 no hit innings as part of the teams second no hitter. Left out of the rotation was 2017 Ben Casparius who has gotten his fastball up to 88MPH but the weeks focus was on middle infield where he showed very athletic ability and reminds me of former Baseball U and UCONN alum and current AAA player Nick Ahmed.
At the plate the team put up some impressive numbers while scoring the 52 runs. The team sported at .351 batting avg while recording 59 hits, 18 doubles, 2 triples and 4 home runs. Leading the team was Kirilloff with a .652Avg while going 15-23 with 5 doubles. 2016 OF Chad Leonard has a good week as well while hitting .467. Every player played a part of a solid week and it was good to see the entire organization represented and playing a part of the Baseball U name in the event.
It will be interesting next year with these pitchers growing and maturing into their bodies. To see 6 pitchers based out of one organization throwing over 90MPH is not out of the question next summer for Baseball U.
Baseball U's new state of the art facility is currently under construction and will be up and running late fall. Tryouts for Baseball U will be held in August and those interested in trying out should fill out a prospective player form. http://baseballu.net/playerform/