Sunday, August 10, 2014, 5:00 PM PDT | Petco Park, San Diego, California

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All American Game : : Story

Published: Monday, August 11, 2014


Be sure to check back early and often over the next several days, as this page will provide a running blog of notes, features and highlights from all of the events that are part of the Perfect Game All-American Classic. You can also follow updates via 
Twitter and Facebook and view photos of the event on Flickr.




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014 – 11:07 PM PDT

The Game Recap from the 2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic is now available: 2014 Game Recap.

Also be sure to view the event's Flickr page for photos from the game and entire event.




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014
 – 9:58 PM PDT


The box score from the 2014 All-American Classic is now available:

http://www.perfectgame.org/AllAmerican/History/BoxScore-2014.aspx

The attendance for tonight's game was 6,438.




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014
 – 9:09 PM PDT


2014 PG All-American Classic MVP Kolby Allard peaked at 95 mph

The West continued its recent dominance in the Perfect Game All-American Classic beating the East 7-0 to pull ahead 7-4-1 in the all-time series. Lefthander Kolby Allard was named the game's MVP for his dominant performance in the second inning, striking out the side with a nasty 1-2 punch between his 94-95 mph fastball and 80-81 curveball.

We'll have the full game recap and box score up shortly.

In the meantime, here are the peak pitching velocities for the 18 pitchers that took the mound. Half of those threw at least 95 mph, and all threw 92 or better.


Justin Hooper: 97
Beau Burrows: 96
Joe DeMers: 96
Austin Smith: 96
Kolby Allard: 95
Luken Baker: 95
Cole McKay: 95
Mike Nikorak: 95
Ashe Russell: 95
Christifer Andritsos: 94
Hogan Harris: 94
Kyle Molnar: 94
Tristin English: 93
Austin Riley: 93
Drew Finley: 92
Juan Hillman: 92
Triston McKenzie: 92
Patrick Sandoval: 92

Congratulations to all of the All-Americans this year, not only for your performance on the field, but your performance of raising over $50,000 to support the fight against pediatric cancer and Rady Chidren's Hospital.




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014
 – 4:23 PM PDT


Brandt Stallings received the 2014 PG All-American Classic Home Run Challenge trophy from Louisville Slugger's Rob Partin

Brandt Stallings is the winner of the 2014 Perfect Game Home Run Challenge. Both he and Isiah Gilliam advanced to the second round of the finals after each hit two in the opening round. Isiah Gilliam, who batted righthanded in that first round, turned around and hit from the left side in the second round. After Gilliam didn't record a home run, Stallings hit one of his first swing, winning the challenge. Congratulations to Brandt, as we'll have more on this as part of tonight's game recap.




Jeff Dahn – Sunday, August 10, 2014
 – 3:43 PM PDT



Top coaches PG All-Americans, too

Sunday wasn’t the first time veteran Virginia high school baseball coach Tim Lowery walked into breath-taking Petco Park in downtown San Diego wearing a uniform for the East Team at the Perfect Game All-American Classic.


Lowery, who has been the head coach in the Chesterfield (Va.) County School district for 27 years – 19 at Clove HS, eight years at Cosby HS -- has been at the Classic in previous years, serving as an assistant coach and throwing batting practice sessions, and loving every minute of it. This is his first go-around as the East’s head coach, however, which makes this adventure all the more special.

It’s a great experience for me and every year it’s always something new,” Lowery said. “I get to hang around with some of the best players in the country and it’s just a real honor; I feel very privileged that people would pick me to come out here and do this.”

The 12
th annual Perfect Game All-American Classic is set to be played late Sunday afternoon in downtown San Diego, the sixth straight year the high school all-star event is to be played at Petco Park, the home of the Padres. Another large crowd of between 7,500 and 8,000 fans is expected.

The prospects – 52 of them this year – are the stars of the show, of course, but the coaches play a big role as well. While Lowery uses a loose hand to keep things under control in the East dugout, PG AA Classic rookie coach Brett Kay – the ninth-year head coach at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – will oversee the West dugout.

I am honored and flattered to be a part of this,” Kay said. “This is as first-class of an event as I’ve been a part of and this is an amazing experience for the players. For me, I’m kind of along for the ride to help with facilitating and really get a chance to meet some of the best players – if not all of the best players – in the nation.”

Seventeen prospects that played in the Classic a year ago were selected in the first round of June’s 2014 MLB Draft, and while this year’s crop might be hard-pressed to match that number there is certainly no shortage of talent. The 56-year-old Lowery, who also helps coach the powerhouse EvoShield Canes 17u team during the summer, enjoys watching the way the talented youngsters interact with one another.

The camaraderie they have with each other and the way they talk, they just become instant friends,” he said. “A lot of these guys are going to be friends for the rest of their lives because they’re in the same profession as they continue with their baseball careers; it’s just great to see them make bonding friendships for a lifetime.”

Kay, who is 34 years old, has a ton of admiration for a veteran coach like Lowery who can continue to relate to his teenage players on such an even basis. Year in and year out He works hard at achieving that himself.

I’m kind of that age level where it’s enjoyable for me,” he said. “Do I feel like athletically my body might be falling apart, yes, but with this I can kind of be on the same page with them. I get the social media and the Twitter and all that stuff and I’ve had a good time with these guys.”

To Lowery’s way of thinking, it’s just a matter of recognizing the individual strengths and weaknesses of each prospect, and acting on the strengths. With this generation, it’s recognizing that they might not be any more physically talented than those who preceded them but they just might be a little smarter in certain areas.

They’re a lot more tech savvy so you have to come up with different ways to communicate with them, and I think maybe that’s the key to it,” he said. “Perfect Game does a great job with the tweeting and the insta-grams and all those things – that’s just the way to get through to the kids and get on their wave-length and understand what they’re thinking.”

Kay sees baseball as a game that is constantly evolving, particularly at the amateur level. It is one of the reasons he finds his PG All-American Classic head coaching assignment such a delightful one.

These guys have probably been traveling a lot all summer … and to see them interact and to see the friendships they’re building, and for me to just kind of hop along for the ride and watch them and be a part of, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” he said. “These players are the best of the best and it’s fun to see how they go about their daily activities and their daily business.”

Lowery has two sons still playing ball at very high levels with even high levels still to be reached. The Cleveland Indians selected Jake Lowery in the fourth round if the 2011 June amateur draft out of James Madison University and d is now at Double-A Akron in the Indians farm system; Luke Lowery is a rising junior at East Carolina University.

Jake and Luke obviously benefitted from their old man’s coaching through the years, as have many other top Virginia high school prospects. So just how much direction do you plan to provide your East All-Americans tonight, Coach?

I think it’s basically telling them whether to ‘Ho or Go’ at third base,” Lowery said with a laugh. “It’s just talking to them and understanding the game … but basically it’s their time to shine. It’s all-star game – let’s have some fun and let’s go after it, but the bottom line is I’m a competitor and I’d like to win.”




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014 – 1:13 PM PDT



2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic lineups


Here are the lineups and projected pitching orders for this year's Perfect Game All-American Classic. The West squad is the home team and hold a 6-4-1 series advantage over the East.

East

1 - Jahmai Jones, LF
2 - Daz Cameron, CF
3 - Brendan Rodgers, SS
4 - Daniel Reyes, RF
5 - Brandt Stallings, 1B
6 - Cornelius Randolph, XH
7 - Ryan Mountcastle, 3B
8 - Kep Brown, EH
9 - Isiah Gilliam, DH
10 - Nick Fortes, C
11 - John Aiello, 2B

Extras:

Willie Burger
Chris Chatfield
Jonathan India
Alonzo Jones
Elih Marrero
Kyle Tucker

Pitching order:

Ashe Russell
Mike Nikorak
Tristin English
Austin Smith
Triston McKenzie
Hogan Harris
Juan Hillman
Austin Riley

West

1 - Nick Shumpert, XH
2 - Mitchell Hansen, CF
3 - Chris Betts, C
4 - Greg Pickett, DH
5 - Devin Davis, 1B
6 - Ryan Johnson, RF
7 - Kody Clemens, 2B
8 - Josh Naylor, EH
9 - Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B
10 - Cadyn Grenier, SS
11 - Kyle Dean, LF

Extras:

Luken Baker (pitcher)
Trenton Clark
Wyatt Cross
Doak Dozier
Parker Kelly
Lucas Wakamatsu

Pitching order:

Justin Hooper
Kolby Allard
Beau Burrows
Joe DeMers
Kyle Molnar
Drew Finley
Cole McKay
Luken Baker
Patrick Sandoval
Christifer Andritsos


 



Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014 – 12:59 PM PDT


Players arrive at Petco

The players have arrived at Petco. Here are some pictures down on the field


The Rawlings helmets the players for the West squad will wear in the Padres home dugout


Cole McKay and Christifer Andritsos were the first to take the field


Members of the East showing off their Nike uniforms




Patrick Ebert – Sunday, August 10, 2014 – 10:58 AM PDT

Game Day!

Game day is upon us. The 2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic will be played at 5:00 pm PDT at Petco Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5:17 and the players are excited to take the field.

Prior to departing for the game the players will attend one last presentation, EvoShield's "Protecting the Game" summit in which Chuck Fox and R.J Harrison will speak with the players about some long-lasting keys to the game. The players will then have lunch, get on the bus and head to the stadium.

Warm-ups and batting practice will begin at 1:40 followed by a snack and then the final round of the Home Run Challenge.

The game itself will be available on MLB Network with Daron Sutton, Darryl Hamilton, David Rawnsley and Brett Dolan providing the analysis for everyone to enjoy. For the first time the game will also be available on satellite radio, with MLB Network Radio providing the broadcast. Mike Ferrin and myself will provide the commentary on Sirius 212 and XM 176. The game will be broadcasted again on radio at 8:00 pm Pacific on Sirius 209 and XM 89 in lieu of the usual weekly MLB Roundtrip Sunday night segment.





Jeff Dahn – Sunday, August 10, 2014 – 10:52 AM PDT



Cameron honored with Jackie Robinson Award

It was late December 2011 when Dazmon Cameron arrived at the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase-Main Event in Fort Myers, Fla., and the wide-eyed 14-year-old spoke with PG for the first time.
It’s been a good experience because I’m still really young,” Cameron said after taking batting practice at the event nearly three years ago. “To see these guys even let me come out here at my age, I’m thankful for that. I’ve got to have some fun but at the same time I’ve got to compete, because these guys are older than me. I’ve just got to play my game.”

Daz Cameron, now a 17-year-old senior at Eagles Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga., and a Florida State commit, kept playing his game at an extremely high level since that 2011 PG showcase, and now has been recognized for it.

The 2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic Awards Banquet was held Saturday night at the San Diego Hall of Champions and while seven of the 52 All-Americans were honored with individual achievement awards, Cameron took home the most coveted of them all: The Jackie Robinson Award, given annually to the prospect Perfect Game recognizes as it’s National High School Player of the Year.

It’s an honor, man – it’s Jackie Robinson,” Cameron said shortly after receiving his trophy. “It’s great to be named the Jackie Robinson Award Player of the Year; it’s just great.”

Cameron’s reception of the Jackie Robinson Award brought to a conclusion an emotional evening in which San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital – the PG All-American Classic’s beneficiary – shared the stage and the spotlight with the talented young prospects.

The banquet started with a riveting and powerful address from a father whose young daughter was first diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at 10-months-old and today – thanks to the remarkable medical staff at Rady and fund-raising efforts not unlike those performed by the PG All-Americans – is a healthy, happy 2-year-old. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A video was shown of smiling Rady Children’s Hospital patients, delivering a clear message of hope and healthy lives. That video led into one showing this year’s All-Americans on their visit to Rady, along with the fun-filled, two-hour visit to PG All-American Classic Honorary Chairman Trevor Hoffman’s oceanside beach house, both which took place on Friday.

After dinner, every prospect received a crystal statuette to recognize his selection, and the individual awards were handed out. And the winners were:

Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award:  Daz Cameron
Louisville Slugger Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Greg Pickett
Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year Award:  Brendan Rodgers
EvoShield SWAG Award: Chris Betts
Baseball Prospectus Prospect of the Year: Justin Hooper
Baseball America Pitcher of the Year: Ryan McKay
Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award: Jahmai Jones

This marks the second straight year – and third time in the last four years – that the Jackie Robinson Award went to the son of a former big-leaguer: Nick Gordon (son of Tom Gordon) won in 2013 and Lance McCullers Jr. (Lance McCullers Sr.) won in 2011. Clint Frazier was the 2012 winner.

Cameron is the son of 17-year MLB standout Mike Cameron.

It’s been interesting since I retired to see (Daz) move up into the upper echelon of the talent of these young men that are playing today,” Mike Cameron told PG on Father’s Day in June. “Some of it’s starting to payoff, a lot of the hard work that at least I’ve had the chance to put in with him on a daily basis. … It’s been a blessing, a blessing in disguise for me.”

Daz Cameron joins a list of 10 previous Jackie Robinson Award winners, including current MLB All-Stars Justin Upton (2004) and Bryce Harper (2009).

It’s unbelievable to be listed in a group of such great players,” he said. “They’re all great players and they all play the game hard, and to be listed as one of those great players is just a great thing.”

Every one of the prospects honored Saturday night will next move into their senior season in high school and then onto either college or professional careers. Even the best know their jobs are far from finished.

There is always a lot more hard work to put in; that’s the way you’re supposed to go about the game,” Cameron said. “Working hard plays a big role in this game and staying humble is a big part, too.”




Patrick Ebert – Saturday, August 9, 2014 – 10:12 PM PDT


Brendan Rodgers receives the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year award from Brett Dolan and Jerry Ford

2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic dinner banquet

The annual dinner banquet as part of the Perfect Game All-American Classic was conducted on Saturday evening at the San Diego Hall of Champions.  Daron Sutton served as the emcee while San Diego Padres great Trevor Hoffman was the Honorary Chairman.  Here are the award recipients:

Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award:  Daz Cameron
Louisville Slugger Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Greg Pickett
Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year Award:  Brendan Rodgers
EvoShield SWAG Award: Chris Betts
Baseball Prospectus Prospect of the Year: Justin Hooper
Baseball America Pitcher of the Year: Ryan McKay
Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award: Jahmai Jones

Jeff Dahn will have a more detailed feature from the awards banquet and Daz Cameron, the Jackie Robinson Player of the Year, on Sunday.

View pictures of all of the award winners on the event's Flickr page.




Jeff Dahn
 – Saturday, August 9, 2014 – 3:16 PM PDT


Lucas Wakamatsu (left) and Trenton Clark

From Connie Mack WS to PG All-American Classic

The bus carrying 52 of the 54 Perfect Game All-Americans arrived at hilltop Fowler Park on the University of San Diego campus at about 9:30 Saturday morning, with the players rolling in from their headquarters at the Marriott Mission Valley Hotel.

At roughly the same time, the other two players – both Texans and members of the PG All-American Classic West Team – arrived at USD having started their morning in Farmington, N.M. Not surprisingly, Fort Worth, Texas, outfielder Trenton Clark and Keller, Texas, infielder Lucas Wakamatsu wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Clark and Wakamatsu are members of the Dallas-based D-BAT Gallegos team that early Saturday morning claimed the championship at the long-running Connie Mack World Series in Farmington by beating the 13-time CMWS champion Midland Redskins, 7-5, in the deciding championship game.

The second of the two title games in Farmington didn’t end until 12:30 Saturday morning, and from there the D-Bat team retreated to a restaurant for a celebratory pizza party. The festivities lasted until around 2:30 when the team hopped on a bus for the long ride back to Dallas – except for Clark and Wakamatsu who returned to the hotel to grab all of about 2 hours of sleep.

From there it was off to the airport in Durango, Colo. – about an hour drive – for a flight to San Diego with a quick stop in Phoenix. The flight left Durango at 6:30 a.m. MDT and arrived in San Diego at around 9 a.m. PDT; the duo arrived at Fowler Park on the USD campus at about 10 a.m.

It was a whirlwind but it was worth it.

That was the best baseball experience I’ve had in my life,” Clark said while trying on his new Nike cleats inside the visitor’s dugout at Fowler Park. “From the host families to the way the treat you, it’s first class all the way. It’s a baseball town and everyone loves baseball; the fans really come out and cheer their butts off.”

Speaking from the same dugout, Wakamatsu added: “It was an unbelievable experience I feel extremely blessed to be there. I’m happy for my team winning it and it’s been shocking really; it really hasn’t hit me yet.”

Their CMWS obligation cut in half the amount of time Clark and Wakamatsu got to enjoy everything associated with the PG All-American Classic, and they missed the Friday visits to the Rady Children’s Hospital and an enviable lunch trip to the Pacific Ocean beach house of former San Diego Padres MLB All-Star Trevor Hoffman.

There is still plenty to take in, of course, including the start of the PG AA Classic Home Run Challenge Saturday morning and Saturday night’s PG AA Classic Awards Banquet at the San Diego Hall of Champions. And, of course, Sunday afternoon’s 12th annual Perfect Game All-American Classic at the Padre’s spectacular Petco Park downtown.

We couldn’t wait to get here,” Clark said. “We were excited to win (the Connie Mack championship) but we were excited to get here, too. We’re pumped and ready to go for this.”

I’m extremely happy to be here and excited to play with the best talent in the nation,” Wakamatsu said. “Just being around these great players and just knowing what they do (and) seeing what they do, and getting to know them and really just playing against them is a lot of fun.”

Clark is ranked No. 35 nationally in the 2015 class and is known for his fast bat and fast feet. After being on the scene for less than an hour it was obvious he was very much in his element.

I’m really looking forward to meeting all the guys and picking a couple of guys brains; just seeing what they do,” Clark said. “These are the best players in our class in the country in our class and I like to be around them. I like picking guys' brains and seeing what they do at the plate, see what their approach is and just watch some freaks of nature do their thing.”

Clark himself uses a unique grip on the bat that caught the eyes of scouts and others in attendance, including PG President Jerry Ford. The grip resembles one a golfer might use when handling a driver with the thumbs extended upward.

According to Clark, it was during his freshman year in high school when an “old-school” coach noticed that his knuckles weren’t probably aligned on the bat and suggested he grip it like a golf club. Something clicked.

I just started liking it, so I did it every day in the cage and it started translating into the game,” he said. “I got going on a hot streak with it so I just kept it up; I’ve used it since my freshman year and I love it. It makes me feel like I have way more bat control and I can put the bat where ever I want.”

Wakamatsu, ranked No. 46 nationally, has been playing with the D-BAT organization for about three years and described his association as “awesome.”

I’ve been playing with a lot of good talent on my team and we’ve been playing a lot of good talent, so it’s been fun,” he said.

But the biggest influence on Wakamatsu’s baseball life has been his father Don, a former big league catcher and manager of the Seattle Mariners who is currently on the Kansas City Royals’ coaching staff.

He’s been my coach since I was little and he’s taught me a lot about the game and how to respect it,” Wakamatsu said of his dad. “I was able to be in the clubhouse a lot when he managed the Mariners, and it’s been amazing, really.”

The CMWS championship is now a lifelong memory for Clark and Wakamatsu. What lies ahead late Sunday afternoon could quite possibly create an even more indelible memory.

I feel like I’m going to enjoy myself a lot, just going out there and being relaxed and calm, and just having fun, really,” Wakamatsu said. “That’s what my dad taught me was just to have fun no matter what.”




Patrick Ebert – Saturday, August 9, 2014 – 3:02 PM PDT


Luken Baker watches one of his six home runs sail over the fence

Baker, Rodgers and Stallings advance to the final round of the Home Run Challenge

On Saturday the PG All-Americans started their day with a light workout prior to the first round of the Home Run Challenge. Batting practice was conducted first prior to kicking off the challenge, with three players hitting six home runs each to advance to the finals. The final round of the Challenge will be conducted prior to the beginning of tomorrow's game at Petco Park.

The three players that will advance are Luken Baker, Brendan Rodgers and Brandt Stallings. Baker had the most majestic home runs of the trio, routinely clubbing the ball well over the fence in left and left-center field. Baker won the high school part of the Home Run Derby conducted as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis in mid-July.

Rodgers continues to hit the ball here in San Diego, as he did in the first round of batting practice on Friday and the entire summer prior to this event. Stallings also has hit the ball well this summer.

One other player, to be determined, will also be selected to participate in the finals. Here are the other players that hit home runs in the first round of the challenge:

4 Drew Finley
4 Isiah Gilliam
4 Elih Marrero
3 Daniel Reyes
2 Christifer Andritsos
2 Willie Burger
2 Devin Davis
2 Trenton Clark
2 Greg Pickett
2 Austin Riley
1 John Aiello
1 Chris Betts
1 Daz Cameron
1 Wyatt Cross
1 Joe DeMers
1 Tristin English
1 Mitchell Hansen
1 Juan Hillman
1 Alonzo Jones
1 Ryan McKay
1 Patrick Sandoval




Patrick Ebert
 – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 11:12 PM PDT


Donny Everett started Friday's scrimmage for the East

PG All-Americans take the field

While Friday was full of excitement for the PG All-American class of 2014, after fun-filled visits to Rady Children's Hospital and Trevor Hoffman's oceanside beach house, it was evident that the players were anxious to finally take the field on Friday night.

The first practice, which consistented of each team taking a round of batting practice and infield before playing a six-inning scrimmage, was held at Fowler Park at Cunningham Field on the University of San Diego's stunning campus.


Willie Burger, the first batter to take to the cage, wasted no time making an impression, hitting several balls hard to all parts of the field.

Brendan Rodgers stole the show in his second round of BP, hitting seven of the eight balls out of the ballpark. Perfect Game President Jerry Ford astutely pointed out Rodgers' natural ability to add backspin to the ball, with his first few home runs looking like routine yet deep flies to center field, and yet they just continued to carry. The rest of them were no-doubters that were absolutely crushed, with most of them traveling well over the wall in left-center field. Rodgers bat speed continues to be incredibly obvious as he is enjoying a tremendous summer while routinely exhibiting why he is ranked the No. 2 player in this class.

Other East hitters that stood out in BP include Isiah Gilliam, who hit the ball consistently hard with the ball making a different sound off of the bat even amongst this talented group of players.

Cornelius Randolph's power potential is also obvious as a lefthanded hitter who also has a knack for barreling up the ball on a consistent basis.

The powerfully built Daniel Reyes also continued to hit the ball hard, crushing one ball well over the wall in straightaway center.

Chris Betts of the West, a lefthanded hitter, put great loft on the balls he hit, as he usually does.

Mitchell Hansen, a very gifted all-around athlete, has a really quick bat with a loose and easy swing and plenty of room for added strength as he matures physically.

The power in Greg Pickett's swing also continues to be extremely evident every time he takes the plate, carrying over a very successful showing at the PG National as well as numerous PG-based tournaments to his round of BP here in San Diego.

Cadyn Grenier wasted no time in the six-inning scrimmage to make an impression, drilling a low-90s fastball out of the hand of Donny Everett to the gap in right-center for a triple. After Wyatt Cross drew a walk, Parker Kelly brought Grenier home with a single through the hole on the left side of the infield.

Grenier continued to shine on the field defensively, making a really nice scoop on a sharply hit ground ball in the second while cleanly and quickly starting a slick 4-6-3 double play at second base later in the game.

The West maintained their 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth inning when Cornelius Randolph led off the frame with a walk. Two batters later, Austin Riley also drew a free pass before Tristin English smashed a single up the middle to drive in Randolph and tie the game.

One batter later, Elih Marrero absolutely drilled a booming RBI double to the gap in left-center field, scoring Riley to put the East squad ahead 2-1.

In one of the more odd plays we have ever seen, Marrero was technically picked off second base after he “successfully” stole third base, even though Tristin English occupied the base. Marrero quickly scampered back to second and nearly avoided the throw to tag him out. One had to guess that Marrero thought his blast had scored both runners that were on base prior to his hit.

Other base hits in the scrimmage came off the bats of Daniel Reyes, who crushed a triple to the gap in right-center, and Nick Fortes, who did what he always does by getting his barrel on the ball and recording a base hit through the hole on the left side for a single.

Kyle Dean gave the scrimmage an added web gem by making a great diving catch in the third inning to rob Jahmai Jones of a base hit.

As noted above, Donny Everett, who is unable to participate in Sunday's game due to Tennessee high school rules, started the scrimmage for the East squad. He did a nice job getting on track after giving up a triple, a walk and a single to open up the game by striking out the last two batters he faced in the first inning on 95 and 92 mph fastballs respectively.

Overall Everett worked three innings, allowing just the one run while sitting in the 92-94 range early in the game, peaking at 95 a few times. He also threw a very sharp power curveball in the 76-77 range while also showing the ability to pull the string on a 82-84 mph changeup.

Two pitchers that were not selected to participate in this year's Classic did take the mound in the scrimmage to keep the primary pitchers that were selected to the game fresh for Sunday.

Jonathan Buckely, a 2015 righthander from Chino, Calif., worked three scoreless innings for the West squad to open the game. Buckely commanded his sinking 85-87 fastball very well and mixed in a solid 71-72 mph curveball.

Chris Davidson, a 2015 lefthander from Pasadena, worked the final three frames for the East. Davidson also went unscathed in his outing, mixing well between his 83-84 mph fastball and 74-75 mph breaking ball.

Two-way talents Parker Kelly, Ryan Johnson, and Ke'Bryan Hayes each threw an inning for the West.

Kelly was throwing 83-85 fastballs with late life and his break-and-butter sharp 73-75 mph curveball.

Johnson, who was up to 94 at the National Showcase in mid-June threw in the 87-90 mph range on this day with his own big, slow breaking 73-75 mph curve.

Hayes also threw a similar breaking pitch, although used mostly 87-89 mph fastballs to get through his scoreless inning to close out the scrimmage.




Jeff Dahn – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 9:47 PM PDT


Here's Jeff Dahn's detailed feature on the PG All-American's visit to Rady Children's Hospital on Friday and how they have embraced their individual fundraising efforts to fight pediatric cancer: PG All-Americans embrace Rady.




Patrick Ebert – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 6:24 PM PDT



Play ball! The first practice for the All-Americans kicked off at 6 pm on Friday evening at the beautifully renovated Fowler Park and Cunningham Field on the campus of the University of San Diego. The practice started promptly with a round of batting practice, which will be followed by a scrimmage between the East and West teams.

Nike Baseball of course was on hand and continued to show their creativity and innovation in the products they produce by presenting the players with new cleats, gloves and sunglasses.






Patrick Ebert – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 5:02 PM PDT



As great as the great is collected in San Diego to participate in the 2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic, we at Perfect Game are quick to point out the importance of giving back, and have supported efforts to eradicate pediatric cancer since the game's inception in 2003. Rady Children's Hospital has been the beneficiary of the event since the Classic came to San Diego in 2006, and on Friday morning the players, coaches and other staff members for the event took the annual tour of the hospital and spent time with the patients. One thing that was evident, there was not a single person there who did not have a smile from ear to ear.

Trevor Hoffman, the Honorary Chairman for the Classic, has long supported the efforts at Rady Children's Hospital, and was kind enough to invite the members of this year's Classic to his oceanside beach house for lunch. After the players enjoyed Mahi Mahi fish tacos, they took to the beach to brave the waves, with a few picking up a surfboard to see how they fared on the water.

Hoffman himself took to the beach to play sand volleyball with the players, with everyone rotating in and out in groups to enjoy their time under the brilliant California sun.

Photos from the day's early activities can be found in this Facebook photo album as well as the event's Flickr page.




Patrick Ebert
 – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 4:41 PM PDT



On Thursday after the PG All-Americans checked in an enjoyed the welcome dinner, they split into groups to be part of special Nike Baseball focus group as well as a presentation by EvoShield.

On Friday the All-Americans were able to meet with select members of the Rawlings team to create custom gloves, and also were treated to a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Perfect Game would like to thank all of our partners for being a part of the PG All-American Classic.

To view pictures from all of the activities, including those from Thursday's Nike Baseball focus groups and the EvoShield presentation, please visit the event's Flickr page.




Patrick Ebert – Friday, August 8, 2014 – 3:22 PM PDT

If you don't already be sure to follow all of the activities this year's PG All-Americans are enjoying by following the official Twitter handle, @PGAllAmerican. Pictures from today's visits to Rady Children's Hospital and Trevor Hoffman's beach house are included. Also check out the daily picture recaps on Facebook as well to get a taste for the things the PG All-Americans get to experience.




Jeff Dahn – Thursday, August 7, 2014 – 8:30 PM PDT


Jerry Ford presents Daniel Reyes with the award for the top hitter at the 2014 PG National Showcase

2014 Classic officially launched at Welcome Dinner

The players and coaches that will play central roles at this year’s Perfect Game All-American Classic were officially introduced at the annual Welcome Dinner Thursday night, held in one of the large meeting rooms at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley Hotel.

The more than 50 prospects gathered for an introductory dinner that featured sirloin steak, fish fillets, rice dishes, broasted potatoes, steamed asparagus and whole baby carrots, lettuce and spinach salads, dinner rolls and a variety of deserts that guaranteed no one left hungry.

The after-dinner program featured remarks from Perfect Game founder and president Jerry Ford who congratulated the players and urged them to take pride in being recognized as the “best of the best” in their national high school class and for being selected for amateur baseball’s most prestigious all-star contest.

He also reminded them while the Sunday evening, nationally televised game is important to their baseball futures, their fund-raising efforts for Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego trumped anything they will accomplish on the field.

This is all about the cause and we want you guys to keep that in mind all the time that you’re here,” Ford said. “It will really hit home with you when you visit the (Rady) Children’s Hospital (Friday morning), and the best thing about this game is the cause; really, that’s what it’s all about.”

In his comments, Ford pointed out that the two starting pitchers in the inaugural All-American Classic held in 2003 in Fort Myers, Fla., were current Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey and the late Nick Adenhart, who was tragically killed in a drunken driver-related traffic accident after a start with the Los Angeles Angels in 2009.

They are two of 89 alumni of the PG All-American Classic that went on to play in the big leagues, including the last two National League MVPs: Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen. Additionally, nearly 150 PG AA Classic alumni went on to be drafted in the first round of the MLB amateur draft.

As I sit here and talk to this group, history has pretty much shown that one of every three of you guys is going to be a first-rounder. Think about that for a minute,” Ford said. “One out of three of all of you guys sitting here – if it’s like every other year – is going to be a first-rounder. … It’s just unbelievable.”

Six PG All-Americans were recognized for their standout performances at the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase held in June in Fort Myers, Fla., including three from Georgia and two from Florida. They are:

Top Overall Prospect: Daz Cameron, East Team, McDonough, Ga.; Fastest Man: Alonzo Jones Jr., East Team, Columbus, Ga.; Top Hitter: Daniel Reyes, East Team, Miami Springs, Fla.; Top Power Hitter: Isiah Gilliam, East Team, Lilburn, Ga.; Top Pitcher: Mike Nikorak, East Team, Stroudsburg, Pa.; Top Defensive Player, Brendan Rodgers, East Team, Longwood, Fla.




Jeff Dahn – Thursday, August 7, 2014 – 5:34 PM PDT





As noted in the entry just below, here is a picture of the catching gear and the bats provided by PG All-American Classic sponsors Nike Baseball and Louisville Slugger.



Jeff Dahn – Thursday, August 7, 2014 – 5:30 PM PDT



West’s Dean first to arrive, first to depart

West Team outfielder and San Diego hometown hitman Kyle Dean was the first player to check-in and register Thursday morning for this weekend’s Perfect Game All-American Classic and immediately showed why he one of the country’s best high school ballplayers in the class of 2015 by pulling off a remarkable balancing act.

Dean, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior at San Diego’s famed Rancho Bernardo High School, put forth a skilled effort of simultaneously savoring the moment while also keeping an eye on the clock. He needed to get checked-in as quickly as possible before hitting the road for a drive north to Long Beach where he would play in a 2 p.m. game at the Area Code Games.

I’m really supposed to be there by 12, but that’s obviously not going to happen,” Dean said with a smile while he autographed PG All-American Classic baseballs in one of the meeting rooms at the grand Mission Valley Marriott Hotel. “This is a good excuse for being late, I guess.”

The whole registration process that sets into motion a phenomenal four-day experience for the young prospects is, in itself, a sight to behold. Players arrive with their families throughout the day and go through the wrist-cramping procedure of putting their signatures to 12 team posters, four dozen baseballs and 56 black PG All-American Classic Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

I really haven’t even processed it all,” Dean said. “I have to sign so much stuff it’s like I’m a superstar and I haven’t even done anything or even touched a baseball yet; it’s really cool. You get to sign baseballs; you get gear – custom bats, custom everything. This is definitely something I want to do again when I get older.”

One of the coolest parts of the whole registration process is watching the players reignite friendships with their fellow prospects from all across the country. They exchange hugs and fist-bumps, smiles and stories with a familiar ease, brought together once again under baseball’s wide umbrella.

And there, taking it all in while making sure to stay in the background, are the proud parents. Thursday morning it was Andrea Dean glowing with pride as her son laid down signature after signature.

This is so amazing. It is just so amazing,” she said. “He’s still my little boy and yet by being successful you can look at the trajectory he’s gone on just by doing well. Luck has been a part of it but then all the hours he’s put in have been (justified). Perfect Game has been so incredibly awesome with all that they’ve done for him and just helping along the way.”

Other players soon began arriving behind Dean. West squad teammates Justin Hooper from San Ramon, Calif., and Beau Burrows from Weatherford, Texas, grabbed their Sharpies and started signing. East Team members Jahmai Jones (Roswell, Ga.), Brendan Rodgers (Longwood, Fla.) and Ashe Russell (Indianapolis) followed suit.

Dean takes his duties as event host seriously.

I’m looking forward to showing all the East players what San Diego is all about,” he said. “I want to show them this beautiful weather and show them what San Diego is and all its ins-and-outs. There are a lot of my friends coming to the game and that’s what’s going to be the most important.

Now I just have to go out there and do well but not put any pressure on myself. It’s going to be fun; I’m looking for to it.”

Added his mom: “This is his hometown and he gets to be the host in his hometown and at his ballpark. It’s a really cool venue and to be able to be a part of this is fantastic.”

The PG All-American Classic will be played Sunday at 5 p.m. (PDT) at the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park. The game itself brings to a conclusion four days of activities that includes the much-anticipated visit to event beneficiary Rady Children’s Hospital Friday morning.

This year’s schedule also includes a special lunch invitation to the beach house of former Padres’ All-Star closer and PG All-American Classic Honorary Chairman Trevor Hoffman Friday afternoon.

Practices, scrimmages and the opening rounds of the Home Run Derby will be held at the University of San Diego. The annual PG All-American Classic Awards Banquet will be Saturday night at the San Diego Hall of Champions.

It is really a lot to absorb in a short amount of time and it is always thrilling to watch how each and every one of the young men involved indelibly come across as the classiest of acts.

This has just been so fun; It’s been great to see him be successful and to watch him grow in all of this,” Andrea Dean said. “He’s still just a kid but then he gets on the field with the other best players in the country and he performs. You watch all of his other really good friends come out and just give it everything they have and it’s such a great thing to watch … and to have them rise to their competition.”




Patrick Ebert – Wednesday, August 6, 2014 – 6:43 AM PDT



Jackie Robinson Finalists released

The Jackie Robinson Award,named for the late Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former Brooklyn Dodger, is awarded annually to the Perfect Game National Player of the Year – the All-American considered the nation’s top high school prospect. The award is presented to the player who exhibits outstanding character, leadership, is involved in his community and embodies the values of being a student-athlete.

Jackie Robinson came from humble beginnings as the son of a sharecropper in Cairo, Georgia, to become the first black player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier that had segregated the sport for more than 50 years. Jackie Robinson was not only a skilled baseball player, he was an excellent all-around athlete. At UCLA, Robinson became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: Baseball, football, basketball and track.

After attending UCLA, Robinson briefly served in the U.S. Army, and after receiving an honorable discharge, he played one season in Negro Baseball League in 1945. Two years later in 1947, Robinson was approached by the Brooklyn Dodgers about joining their franchise. When he donned their uniform, he not only became the first black player in Major League Baseball since the sport was segregated in 1889, he pioneered the integration in professional sports in America. Through his integration, Robinson courageously challenged the racism that existed in both the north and the south in America at that time. At the end of Robinson’s rookie season with the Dodgers, he won the National League batting title (.342) on his way to earning the league's Rookie of the Year and MVP honors.

Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and was inducted into UCLA’s Hall of Fame in 1984.

On April 15, 1997, exactly 50 years after he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, the entire nation honored his legacy. Robinson’s No. 42 jersey number was retired league-wide, the first and only player to earn this honor. That same day, President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Robinson at the New York Mets’ Shea Stadium in a special ceremony. Robinson was also honored by the United States Postal Service that year with a commemorative postage stamp.

Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy will continue to be remembered as one of the most important in American history.

The first recipient of the award was Justin Upton in 2004, the second year of the Classic. Nicholas Gordon, the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft and now a member of the Minnesota Twins organization, received the honor last year.

Here are this year's finalists (listed alphabetically):

Dazmon Cameron
: .390 avg, .523 OBP, 26 RBI, 37 R, 7 2B, 6 HR, 11 SB
Justin Hooper: 6-3, 2.04 ERA, 44 2/3 IP, 58 K
Jahmai Jones: .467 avg, 1.416 OPS, 24 RBI, 32 R, 10 HR, 10 SB
Brendan Rodgers: .397 avg, .488 OBP, 18 RBI, 19 R, 5 2B, 8 HR, 6 SB
Ashe Russell: 8-1, 0.88 ERA, 49 IP, 74 K




Patrick Ebert -- Wednesday, August 6, 2014 -- 6:08 AM PDT


 Wyatt Cross at the 2013 PG Underclass All-American Games

Scout schedule

The full schedule for baseball-related activities for the 2014 Perfect Game All-American Classic can be found
here. Included on that page is the schedule for the 2014 PG Underclass All-American Games which will be conducted the two days after the Classic, Monday and Tuesday August 11 and 12. The event will be held at the University of San Diego's Fowler Park and Cunningham Field (Google Maps are also included on that page).

This annual event is held in conjunction with the Classic to showcase some of the very best players in future graduating classes. Last year, nine of this year's All-Americans (John Aiello, Willie Burger, Wyatt Cross, Drew Finley, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Jonathan Indian, Parker Kelly, Patrick Sandoval, Nick Shumpert) participated, and seven of those were named to the event's
top prospect list.

In other words, this year's PG Underclass All-American Games will serve as a preview of some of the players we can expect to see in next year's Classic.




Patrick Ebert -- Wednesday, August 6, 2014 – 5:56 AM PDT

Welcome to the Perfect Game All-American Classic blog, and congratulations to all of the players, friends and family members involved with the Classic.

This page will be used to provide updates from all of the events that are part of the four-day festivities, primarily from Perfect Game Feature Writer Jeff Dahn and myself.

Be sure to visit the
Media Room page to read past features where many of the players (Kody Clemens, Drew Finley, Justin Hooper, Mike Nikorak and Patrick Sandoval) have been profiled. Jeff Dahn, Matt Rodriguez and 2014 PG Interns Tyler Andrews and Chris Real provided stories on other All-Americans this summer not found in the media room prior to the announcement of the rosters on July 20. Here is a list of those player features:

John Aiello
from the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Kolby Allardfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Christifer Andritsosfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Luken Baker & Ryan Johnsonfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Chris Bettsfrom the 17u PG World Series (Jeff Dahn)
Kep Brownfrom the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Willie Burgerfrom the 17u PG World Series (Jeff Dahn)
Beau Burrowsfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Dazmon Cameron & Nick Shumpertfrom the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Christopher Chatfieldfrom 18u BCS Finals (Jeff Dahn)
Devin Davis & Greg Pickettfrom the 17u WWBA Elite Round Robin (Matt Rodriguez)
Kyle Deanfrom the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Joe DeMersfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Tristin English & Cornelius Randolphfrom the 17u WWBA Elite Round Robin (Tyler Andrews)
Donny Everettfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Matt Rodriguez)
Nick Fortesfrom the 17u BCS Finals (Jeff Dahn)
Isiah Gilliamfrom the 18u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Mitchell Hansen & Jonathan Indiafrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Hogan Harrisfrom the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Ke'Bryan Hayesfrom the 17u BCS Finals (Jeff Dahn)
Jahmai Jonesfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Elih Marrerofrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Ryan Cole McKayfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Triston McKenzie & Austin Smithfrom the 17u WWBA Elite Round Robin (Tyler Andrews)
Kyle Molnarfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Ryan Mountcastlefrom the PG National Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Daniel Reyesfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Austin Rileyfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Tyler Andrews)
Brendan Rodgersfrom the PG National Showcase (Chris Real)
Ashe Russellfrom the 17u WWBA National Championship (Matt Rodriguez)
Brandt Stallingsfrom the 17u PG-East Cobb Invitational (Matt Rodriguez)
Kyle Tuckerfrom the 17u BCS Finals (Jeff Dahn)


Features conducted with 2014 PG All-Americans prior to the summer of 2014:


Wyatt Cross
from the 2013 PG Underclass All-American Games (Jeff Dahn)
Cadyn Grenierfrom PG's 2014 High School season preview (Jeff Dahn)
Alonzo Jonesfrom the 2013 National Underclass-Main Event Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Parker Kellyfrom the 2013 Coach Bob National Invitational (Jeff Dahn)
Josh Naylorfrom the 2013 National Underclass-Main Event Showcase (Jeff Dahn)
Thomas Szapuckifrom the 2014 Perfect Game High School Showdown (Jeff Dahn)


Visit the
Roster page to access the individual player profiles, as well as the History page to learn more about the previous 11 games played including the inaugural event in 2003. The Scout page provides the daily schedule of baseball-related activities, including those for the 2014 PG Underclass All-American Games. And of course, don't forget to tune into MLB Network, as well as MLB Network Radio, at 5:00 pm PDT on Sunday for the game itself.

 
 
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