Ga. – Right-hander Dustin Driver (2013, Wenatchee H.S., Wash.)
threw well enough to earn the victory as the Marucci Elite (4-1)
defeated the World Yacht Clippers American (3-1-1) 7-2 in a
mid-afternoon pool X matchup on Monday at the 2012 17u WWBA National
In his longest outing of the summer, Driver
worked around two hits and two walks through four scoreless innings
before struggling in the fifth. In that frame alone, the UCLA verbal
commit surrendered four base hits as well as a bases-loaded walk,
which ended his outing on the mound. For the game, he pitched four
and a third innings, allowed six hits and two earned runs, walked
three and struck out five.
Perfect Game scout described Driver as “live-armed” and clocked
his fastball consistently in the 88-92 mph range, topping out at 93.
credited his teammates for doing their part on Monday afternoon.
like to have that defense behind me,” said the 6-foot-2, 210-pound
righty. “I’m glad that we have hitting and defense as well as
pitchers who can back me up like they did today.”
who ranks 20th nationally amongst 2013 prospects according to Perfect
Game’s updated rankings, is not alone as a standout on the Marucci
Elite team that competed on Monday.
baseman Justin Williams (2013, Terrebonne H.S., La.) showed out at
the 2012 Perfect Game National Showcase last month in Minneapolis,
Minn., earning him the distinction of being ranked as Perfect Game’s
number three 2013 high school player. Williams, who is verbally
committed to LSU, did little to hurt his national reputation against
the Clippers, creaming a two-run home run.
Oscar Mercado (2013, Gaither H.S., Fla.) looked to be as good as
advertised on Monday as he stroked two doubles and effortlessly threw
out a runner at first from deep in the hole. Perfect Game ranked the
Florida State verbal commitment as the number seven 2013 prep player
after his performance at the National Showcase. He also ranks first
in Florida, which is traditionally a hotbed for high school baseball
said Kansas City Royals area scout Soctt Ramsay helped pair him with
Marucci Elite, putting the two parties in touch earlier this year.
called me and asked if I could go to some tournaments with them,”
said Driver of Marucci Elite head coach Chad Raley.
recently flew to Georgia specifically to play in this event and said
he would compete for Marucci again in October for the 2012 WWBA World
Championship in Jupiter, Fla. The Washington product said he would be
leaving just as quickly as he arrived as he had already booked a
flight out of Atlanta.
the travel sound dizzying to the average person, Driver said it is
gotten used to it because I went to North Carolina for the Tournament
of Stars and Minneapolis for the National Showcase last month,”
said Driver of the constant travel. “It gets me seen more for the
said the length of his time on the bump Monday was longer than any
previous outings this summer.
max I’ve pitched this summer is three innings so five was little
bit more,” Driver said.
before his busy summertime schedule kicked off, Driver made his
college decision shortly after Wenatchee High School’s spring
season ended in early May, choosing to take his talents to head coach
John Savage’s program at University of California, Los Angeles.
campus is really nice, and it’s one of the top schools,” said
Driver of UCLA. “And then Cali and the weather.”
Monday was any indication, Marucci Elite head coach Raley will be
eager to have Driver back on the mound for the team as soon as
a bulldog,” said Raley of Driver. “He’s aggressive with his
fastball, and he’s got a really good changeup. It seems like he’s
got a big league mindset out there. He pounds the zone with
fastballs, and he’s not going to give in to hitters. He’s going
to make you beat him.”
who said he wants to continue getting stronger in addition to
developing an offspeed pitch, said he already learned a great deal
from this summer.
can work harder because there will always be other people working
harder to be just as good if not better than you,” Driver said.