2016 Area Code Games – Day Four

By Eric Sorenson. Posted on August 10th, 2016 in National Stuff
 
Those poor Kansas City Royals. Here the dugout looks on helplessly as they are one out away from another non-victory.

Those poor Kansas City Royals. Here the dugout looks on helplessly as they are one out away from another non-victory.

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
Brewers: 2-0-1
Yankees: 2-1-1
Nationals: 2-1-1
Athletics: 1-3
Rangers: 1-3
Royals: 0-1-2
Reds: 0-3-1

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GAME TWELVE
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.

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GAME THIRTEEN
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.

Ontario, Canada native Adam Hall, who is headed for Texas A&M, had a home run and two RBI to lead the Yankees today.

Ontario, Canada native Adam Hall, who is headed for Texas A&M, had a home run and two RBI to lead the Yankees today.

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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.

Daniel Cabrera took over mound duties in the 7th and final inning, but did not quite deliver the lock-down performance the Yankees coaching staff had hoped for.

Soon-to-be LSU Tiger Daniel Cabrera took over mound duties in the 7th and final inning, but did not quite deliver the lock-down performance the Yankees coaching staff had hoped for.

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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.

Cabrera's shakiness led to a visit to the mound, which doesn't happen here at the ACG very often.

Cabrera’s shakiness led to a visit to the mound, which doesn’t happen here at the ACG very often.

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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.”

Philly native and North Carolina Tarheel-to-be, Joseph Lancellotti (#11) was so stout on the bump the Yankees probably should've just gone ahead and kept him in the entire game.

Philly native and North Carolina Tarheel-to-be, Joseph Lancellotti (#11) was so stout on the bump the Yankees probably should’ve just gone ahead and kept him in the entire game.

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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.

Rippin' 'em a new one! The Yankees staff jumps all over their players in the post-game huddle for blowing a sure victory in the last inning.

Rippin’ ‘em a new one!
The Yankees staff jumps all over their players in the post-game huddle for blowing a sure victory in the last inning.

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GAME FOURTEEN 
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.

K.C. players are hanging their heads after another non-win in Area Code Games play. Ugh. Poor dudes.

Shoe gazing time again. K.C. players are hanging their heads after another non-win in Area Code Games play. Ugh. Poor dudes.

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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.).

The coaches son did well. Riley Crean put away all six of the batters he faced for the White Sox today.

The coaches son did well. Six-foot-three, 175-pound Riley Crean put away all six of the batters he faced for the White Sox today.

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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.

Kentucky-bound Benjamin Jordan pitched pretty well today, hitting the low 90s and locating his fastball very well. However, his pants remind you of those Michael Jackson high-water togs the gloved one used to wear with his shiny white sox glowing as well.

Kentucky-bound Benjamin Jordan pitched pretty well today, hitting the low 90s and locating his fastball very well. However, his pants remind you of those Michael Jackson high-water togs the gloved one used to wear with his shiny white sox glowing as well. Oh, and at 6’9, he looks well-suited to play for the Big Blue basketball team as well. Wonder if he has a good jumper?

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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.

A Ducky future for Kolby Somers, who puts his all into every pitch. Can't wait to see him in those Pac 12 wars in the years ahead.

A Ducky future for Kolby Somers, who puts his all into every pitch. Can’t wait to see him in those Pac 12 wars in the years ahead.

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Future Michigan Wolverine Jack Blomgren showed good defensive skills, including covering a lot of range on ground balls and pop-ups. Here he goes into the Bermuda Triangle but keeps his concentration to make a difficult catch look easy.

Future Michigan Wolverine Jack Blomgren (center) showed good defensive skills, including covering a lot of range on ground balls and pop-ups. Here he goes into the Bermuda Triangle but keeps his concentration to make a difficult catch look easy.

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Oklahoma State-bound Jake Taylor tries to make a lunging tag on Royal baserunner Clayton Keyes (Washington State), but to no avail. Keyes was safe.

Oklahoma State-bound Jake Taylor tries to make a lunging tag on Royal baserunner Clayton Keyes (Washington State), but to no avail. Keyes was safe.

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Steve Mann, who is committed to Duke, showed great flash on the base paths. Mann is a native of the Detroit area.

Lucky 13 with a flash. Steve Mann, who is committed to Duke, showed a blur of a dash on the base paths. Mann is a native of the Detroit area.

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The Royals are winless, which is painful enough, but when the umpires are making poor judgements on your plays, it doesn't help. Here, Jason Willow was clearly safe at third - note the defenders glove is not touching and this was as close at he got to making a tag - but the umpire in the field called him out. That also has a lot to do with having just two umpires calling the games here in Long Beach.

The Royals are winless, which is painful enough, but when the umpires are making poor judgements on your plays, it doesn’t help. Here, Jason Willow was clearly safe at third – note the defenders glove is not touching and this was as close at he got to making a tag – but the umpire in the field called him out. That also has a lot to do with having just two umpires calling the games here in Long Beach.

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The White Sox dugout got really animated when the ESPN cameras were on them during the game... well, except for the one unidentified Sox player who is giving the cameraman the bird. You rebel you.

The White Sox dugout got really animated when the ESPN cameras were on them during the game… well, except for the one unidentified Sox player who is giving the cameraman the bird. You rebel you.

 

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GAME FIFTEEN
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.

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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.

Jordan (Jo) Adell gets the hardware after putting on a big show and winning the derby.

Jordan (Jo) Adell gets the hardware after putting on a big show and winning the derby.

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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.

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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.”

And here I was thinking they were imbibing them illegally.

And here I was thinking they were imbibing them illegally.

 

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