Four days down, one to go.
Today was chock full of action at the Area Code Games in Long Beach as there were four games, starting at 8am and then the Home Run Derby in the evening.
The White Sox, comprised of mostly players from the Midwest, continued their hot tear through the Area Code Games field unbeaten with a 3-1 come-from-behind win today against the Royals. Meanwhile, the Royals saw their best chance to finally get a W go by the wayside by blowing a late lead to the Sox.
Not that they care about who wins out here or anything, but here are the standings from the first four days of the Area Code Games going into the final day…
White Sox: 4-0
Rangers – 5
Reds – 2
Again, an 8am start time for this one. That’s waaaaaay too early for this night owl. Hope you guys had fun.
But from what I read Ranger slugger Cole Turney, a future Arkansas Razorback, went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored to pace the offense as the Rangers finally penetrated the win column for the first time this week. Bryce Bonnin, another soon-to-be Razorback, opened the game with two innings pitched and four Ks, setting the tone from the bump for the Rangers.
Yankees – 000 031 0 – 4 7 0
Brewers – 000 200 2 – 4 8 4
The baseball gods are looking down upon what is going on here in Long Beach… and the gods are angry.
This game marked the third tied game of this year’s Area Code Games and also marked the third tie that ended up with a 4-4 score.
This time it was the Yankees who had to be kicking themselves mightily. The Northeasterners clung to a 4-2 lead going into the final inning, three outs away from improving to 4-0 on the week.
But Yankees relief pitcher Daniel Cabrera had a mini-implosion at the wrong time and ended up watching the 4-2 lead evaporate to a tie game. The odd part is that it all happened with two out. Ouch.
With a man on first and two away, Cabrera walked Daniel Zimmerman to put men on first and second. Then Hagen Danner, a UCLA commit, slapped an RBI single, scoring Je’von Ward and moving Zimmerman all the way to third base. Nick Allen then came on to stroke an RBI double off of Cabrera to knot the score.
That put runners at second and third with two out. And it also brought out the rarity of rarities, a meeting at the mound. After a short discussion, LSU-bound Brice Turang slice a sinking fly down the line in left field which was eventually caught on the dive, inches away from being the game-winning hit.
Ultimately, it was just the game-saving hit instead.
As you can tell from the linescore, there were a couple of really good starting pitching performances. The Brewers Kyle Hurt – USC bound – and the Yankees Joseph Lancelotti pitched four and three innings respectively and each one racked up five strikeouts while hitting low 90s speeds on the radar.
I loved Lancelotti’s reaction to being asked about his 6’0, 195-pound stature. I’m paraphrasing here but he said something along the lines of, “You don’t have to be 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds to be able to throw 90-plus and be a competitor.”
Lancelotti proved that, throwing 4.0 innings and collecting six Ks in the process. Hurt did a little better, going 3.0 innings with five Ks and holding the Yankees scoreless with just three hits.
White Sox – 000 020 1 – 3 4 1
Royals…. - 100 000 0 – 1 4 2
For the Royals, it’s a good news-bad news kind of thing.
The good news is that they were the second to last team to finally lose a game here at the Area Code Games this week.
The bad news is that they are the only team still looking for a win.
The Royals looked bound and determined to end their 0-fer streak as they bolted out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the opening frame, Clayton Keyes (a Washington State commit) hit a tough grounder down the right field line that White Sox first baseman Jake Taylor (Oklahoma State) booted, allowing Brody Barnum (uncommitted Canadian) to score the first run of the game.
The problem was, that was the only run the Four Corners-based Royals would be able to plate the entire game.
The White Sox got really stellar pitching from starter Brady Corrigan (Arizona State commit) and relievers Riley Crean (undecided, but he IS Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean’s son, so coach Lamonis and his staff should have the edge in landing him) and Benjamin Jordan (Kentucky) held the Sox to just four hits and allowed only two walks the entire game. (Compared to what we’ve seen this week that’s saying a lot.).
After starter Corrigan gave up the opening run in the first, the last six innings saw the Royals go either three-up, three-down or four-up, three-down the rest of the way, committing no more errors and issuing no more walks. Very well done boys.
All three White Sox hurlers were hitting the 90s on their heaters and showed good life on them, but Crean was definitely the most impressive, facing just three batters in both the fourth and fifth innings. He did give up a leadoff single to Zach Britt in the fifth frame but ended up picking him off first to erase him for the first out.
The Sox have played extremely well so far this week, winning all four of their games with relative ease, never having to have the game-tying or game-winning run on base as they closed things down.
Kolby Somers, who is headed to Oregon, certainly deserves a shout across the rooftops for the Royals. In his three-inning starting assignment he went three-up, three-down in each of the first two innings, then despite two walks in the third inning he struck out the side to escape any damage. Somers, a 6-foot, 185-pound lefty from Hillsboro, Oregon, is not a power-arm per se, keeping his fastball in the upper 80s range, while tossing a very effective curve and slider in the 72-to-76mph range.
In essence, Somers is one of those turbo-deceptive types that George Horton will use with utmost effectiveness in the true west coast style.
Nationals – 10
Athletics – 2
With this blowout win the Nationals’ unbeaten streak reaches two games. Meanwhile, with this blowout loss the A’s losing streak reaches three games. That’s all I got for this one, sorry.
THE HOME RUN DERBY
After all the games were completed today, the Area Code Games annual Home Run Derby took place with each of the eight teams having a dog in the fight. In the end, and almost not-surprisingly, the 6’3, 210-pound Jordan Adell, who is committed to Louisville but with probably never step foot on campus, pounded out the most yard calls in the competition to claim the 2016 title.
Keep in mind, two years ago, Joe Davis, playing for the Rangers, took the Home Run Derby title and two years later he was a Freshman All American for Houston this past spring. Hopefully Adell follows suit to play some college ball.
BEER SALES… STUPID ME.
So, I’ve been going to the Area Code Games for six years now. And NONE of those years have they had any beer for sale whatsoever. So today, while sitting in one of the box seats, I noticed the couple next to me swilling some Budweisers. So I leaned over to the dude and asked him, “Hey man, how did you sneak those beers into the stadium?”
He said,, “I didn’t. They have them at the concession stand.”
I sat there momentarily… slack-jawed.
“Dammit.” was the only thing I could respond with. Then I told them that in all my years of going to ACG games they’ve never sold beer here.
The man just shrugged his shoulders. “Guess you know now.”