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.
Digging a little further, here is a list of Major League MVPs and Cy Young winners who played in the Area Code Games over the last 10 or 12 years…
- Rick Porcello
- Mike Trout
- Clayton Kershaw
- Ryan Braun
- Bryce Harper
- Albert Pujols
- Dustin Pedroia
- Jimmy Rollins
- Ryan Howard
- CC Sabathia
- Roy Halladay
- Dallas Keuchel
That’s one of the neat aspects of the Area Code Games, finding out which one of these guys are going to be mega-stars in professional baseball in the next five to ten years and you can always look back and say to yourself “I knew them back when…”
Today was the first day of five games being played in Long Beach and this is how things turned out under another day of purely cloudless skies and mid-70s temperatures.
And in case you’re wondering, the smog was very little as well.
Royals – 0
Nationals – 7
Yes indeed sir, we have our first shutout of the 2017 Area Code Games as four pitchers combined on a three-hitter and the Nats offense heated up as the game went along to bury the Royals handily by a touchdown.
Oddly, Royals had a no-hitter going through the first three innings. But the Nats teed off on them after that. Xavier Edwards started things with a screaming triple to the wall. Korey Holland followed him with an RBI double to account for the first run.
In the fifth inning, Anthony Seigner (Auburn commit) slapped a bases-loaded, two-run double to break things open for the Nationals, making it 4-0. Cory Acton (Florida commit) added another two runs on a follow-up two-run single, piling on to a 6-0 lead.
Athletics – 3
White Sox – 1
A good pitchers duel got ruined in the fifth inning as the Athletics finally figured out the White Sox hurlers and plated three runs to put some distance between themselves and their Midwest-based rivals.
The big blow came from Ryan Holgate (Cal commit), who sliced a huge two-run triple to the wall – and nearly a three-run home run – off of strapping Sox pitcher Steven Sanchez (Arkansas commit).
Reds…. – 000 100 0 – 1 5 0
Yankees – 000 000 3 – 3 4 1
Technically, it’s a “jog-off” win for the Yanks.
The Northeast-based Yankees wallowed and flailed for six innings, trying heartily to catch up to the Reds’ pitching, and failing miserably. The Yankees had just one hit and every inning was either a three-up, three-down or four-up, three down frame.
Then came the big “Woh.” Which would be Reds reliever Tyler Woessner (Arizona State commit). Unfortunately this big righty from Phoenix was responsible for the beer frame to his Redleggin’ teammates on this game. Well… that is, if high schoolers could buy beer. Eh, you get my point here. See, Woessner committed the ultimate sin of allowing the only runs of the game, costing his team what seemed like a breezy victory in the final inning.
After an initial flyout to start the final half-inning, Woessner gave up a single to Noah “Bo” Naylor (Texas A&M commit), walked Grant Lavigne (Wake Forest commit) and surrendered an RBI single to Nick Northcutt (Vanderbilt commit) to tie the game at 1-1. After a wild pitch moved both runners up a base, Nick Decker (Maryland commit) came on and stroked a two-run single down the right field line, which essentially ended the game.
Jog. Off. Win.
Well, except as you know the ACG plays all seven innings to the end regardless of the score. No prob, Woessner got two more quick outs to officially end the game.
Prior to that, this was a really well-played and well-pitched game as three Yankee pitchers – Shane Smith (Wake Forest commit), Sean Burke (Maryland commit) and Steven Hajjar (Michigan commit) – combined to toss seven Ks with just two walks and two hit batsmen. The Reds saw Mitchell Parker (Tennessee commit), Boston Mateus (BYU commit) and Jack Sellinger (uncommitted) combine for one hit, two Ks and two walks in keeping the pinstripes scoreless through the first six frames.
Athletics – 000 710 0 – 8 7 3
Yankees – 103 700 X – 11 5 1
This one was ugly. Even beyond just regular ole “ugly.” This one was so ugly it was ugly enough to haunt a house for Halloween.
As you can see in the linescore, each team plated seven runs in the fourth inning alone. Man, that inning felt like it took three or spins around the sun to complete. It was brutal, people. In fact, through the first four innings of this game there had been 18 runs on just 11 hits. Adding to the misery was the fact that there were also 13 walks, three hit batsmen and – believe it or not – two mid-inning pitching changes.
… MID-INNING PITCHING CHANGES NEVER HAPPEN HERE.
I’m not going to delve into all the play-by-play happenings that brought upon this 19 runs in this game, just know that there were a ton of unearned runs and a handful of bases-loaded walks to help account for a football-type of score.
The bigger story is that the Yankees won their second game of the day, showing a lot of mettle and mental toughness. It was a long day for them. This Game 10 alone took 2-hours and 45 minutes.
Yes, 2:45. Keep in mind that these are seven inning games here at the ACG.
In their 7-run version of the fourth inning, the A’s got three straight walks from Jack Filby (UCLA commit), Cameron Allie (Cal) and A.J. Miller (Oregon commit) on a combined 14 pitches. Following that, Jason Brandow (Fullerton commit) , Brennan Rozell (Long Beach State commit) and Filby also contributed two-run singles.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees had five straight batters go walk, walk, hit batsman, walk and walk to help set up Patrick Winkel’s (UConn commit) two-run single. Two other runs scored on wild pitches earlier in the frame.
The Yankees were paced once again by leadoff man Nick Decker, who went 0-for-1 with three walks and scored all three times. Hard-hitting slugger Noah “Bo” Naylor had an RBI in each of his first three at-bats, two of those being bases-loaded walks. The A’s also got a good outing from Osiris Johnson (Fullerton commit) who got on base all four times, with two walks and two singles.
In the end, the Yankees having a three-run third inning was the difference in this hard-to-appreciate game.
Brewers – 5
Rangers – 1
It was a completely clean game up till the seventh and final inning between the SoCal-based Brewers and the Texas/Louisiana-based Rangers. At that point the Rangers began to unravel. An error on Rangers shortstop Bobby Witt (Oklahoma commit), a passed ball on catcher Cole Stillwell (Kansas State commit) and a two-run single by the Brewer’s Cole Roederer (UCLA commit) pulled the Brewers from a 0-0 tie to a 4-0 lead in the top of the seventh.
Bryce Collins (Arizona commit) came on to close things out for the Brewers, setting the Rangers down by allowing just one run to end it. Despite the loss, Rye Gunter (LSU commit) and Adam Kloffenstein (TCU commit) combined for 5.0 innings pitched, zero runs and seven Ks for the Rangers.