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Draft : : Blog
Statewide Showdown
Published: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Say that title three times fast!

Bartonville Limestone hosted its second annual Statewide Showdown. And while the statewide representation was down due to a schedule change, it still served as a showcase for two of the best position prospects in the state.

On Friday night, in front of a dozen MLB organizations, Limestone's Seth Schwindenhammer and Oak Park-River Forest's Jo Jo Maldonado squared off in the unofficial opener of the event. Neither got a chance to show much. Schwindenhammer went 1-for-2 with two RBIs after being walked once intentionally and hit by a pitch. Maldonado finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Limestone, which led 8-1 after four innings, held on for an 8-6 win.

Schwindenhammer showed his power on Saturday, however, as he led Limestone (17-5) to a 10-1 win over rival Peoria Notre Dame (16-4). The sweet-swinging lefty was 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam, and seven RBIs. He also turned a pair of double plays from centerfield by doubling runners off of first base.

Maldonado's OP-RF squad dropped a 10-7 decision to Illinois Valley Central on Saturday. Maldonado finished the day 2-for-4 again, but showcased a troubling trend as he committed his second error in as many nights. Illinois State recruit Jordan Parr had the hot bat for IVC, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and 5 RBIs.

Also impressive on the weekend were a pair of Wright State recruits. Beardstown lefty Tanner Howell struck out 12 and walked just one in a 6-3 win over Addison Driscoll. His future teammate, Sam Picchiotti of OP-RF, didn't stand out the plate, but displayed the type of gritty, winning attitude that inevitably seems to lead to success.

Finally, there was a bitten of a hidden gem on display. Washington senior centerfielder Alex Wilson is as physically gifted player that I've seen come through Central Illinois. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds he cuts an imposing figure, yet still has good enough speed to have stolen home twice during American Legion play last summer. Injuries to his left knee and a torn finger tendon limited him as a junior and hindered his exposure. Finally healthy, he hitting .508 with 17 doubles and 15 RBIs for Washington (14-6). He's a player that colleges should be taking a closer look at.