StitchHeads, we’ve now gone through four days of the 2017 Area Code Games. One more day to go. In case you are keeping count we have had just one tie game of the 15 that have been played thus far. And better yet, we still haven’t had our first rain delay. (Yes, I’m kidding. It doesn’t rain here in August. Silly me.).
As I’ve probably over-mentioned the last few days, the quality of players that come through the Area Code Games can’t be undersold. In fact, during the broadcast of today’s first game, the broadcasters (sorry, I didn’t catch their names but their twitter handle was @MostlySport, so look ‘em up) mentioned that seven of last June’s top 11 draftees in the MLB draft were alums of the Area Code Games.
Today was the second day of the much ballyhooed Area Code Games. How ballyhooed? To repeat a tweet from the ACG twitter feed there were 535 professional scouts in attendance at yesterday’s opening day. My gawd. Just a side note here, I am glad I am not a highly-regarded, 17-year old baseball pitching prospect because I’m pretty sure I’d get out there on the mound and throw my first pitch about 53-feet. That’s a LOT of pressure on these poor high schoolers.
As many of you StitchHeads out there who have been reading my garb and following me for years know, the Area Code Games is one of my favorite events. It’s no big deal really though, I mean it’s not the College World Series or the Houston College Classic or anything. But it is a bunch of high school All Americans who gather in one place to play five days worth of games for scouts from every MLB team and a whole gaggle of college baseball coaches.
You StitchHeads out there have a right to be hacked off at me. I spent five months documenting the college baseball season from my perspective and writing all about what was going on with our sport. Then, after the College World Series was done, I shut down. Usually I like to put out one last column that tells you guys about my favorite moments and least-favorite experiences to sort of put a bow on the season.
How hacked off does A&M have to be right now? This is the third straight year that the Purple Gang has eliminated the Maroons in the post-season. The previous two came in the Super Regionals. So the Aggies join Cal State Fullerton in going home after two games. Instead of two-and-a-que, it’s two-and-a-zoo, since I’m sure Henry Doorley Zoo was their destination for one of the days they weren’t playing.
Anyway, in the nightcap, the home run ball came back to the Florida arsenal as the Gators supplanted two Kade McClure pitches into touch-em-all land, one by Austin Langworthy off the left field fair pole and one by Deacon Liput into the right field bullpen. Those two dingers, and the pitching of Brady Singer, helped the Gators pull out a 5-1 win over the Cardinals, pushing them within one win of the title series.
The Cal State Fullerton Titans and the LSU Tigers both walked their opposing batters so much, as Rick Vanderhook said in the post-game press conference, “Our players are going back to California with a nice suntan because we were out in the field for so long.”
In the Titans’ 6-4 loss to Florida State, their pitchers issued eight free bases and one hit batsman. They also gave up a pair of bases-loaded walks to account for the winning margin as part of a three-run seventh inning.