It was a beautiful day for baseball at UT Tyler's Irwin field on Monday where Performance Baseball Texas 17U and Performance Baseball Texas 16U faced off in a 9 inning pitchers dual. Between the two Nationally recognized teams there was easily 30 D1 commits or prospects on the field at the same time. It is not hard to see how that attracted so much attention. Nearly 15 College Coaches representing 11 different schools, including six division 1 schools were in attendance. Not to mention, over 100 spectators mixed with kids of all ages from throughout the organization came out to get a glimpse of what the future looks like for them.
Originally, there was a Scout Day powered by Prep Baseball Report scheduled for the weekend, but due to the amount of rain this Spring, it had to be postponed so that the Youth teams could finish up their schedules. What was originally just supposed to be a scrimmage in preparation for this weeks first tournament for each team turned into a major scouting event.
College coaches spent hours at the field evaluating the talent. The day started with batting practice on the field for each team. In the 2021 class, Catcher - Colby Harris, SS - Peyton Stovall, and UTL - Kolton Koonce put on a clinic. Stovall, a left handed hitter, did not miss a barrel and sent several balls out of the park with a wood bat. 2020's Gage Goddard and Peyton Lewis also had great BP rounds, showcasing a different sound in the barrel and carrying balls well to both gaps.
Pitchers prevailed for the most part once the game started, as 13 of the 18 pitchers were between the mid 80 to low 90 mark. 2020 RHP Cade Medlin started the game off with an electric fastball, and had a quick efficient inning, as did most pitchers on the night. 2022 LHP JD Thompson started the bottom half of the 1st off by shattering the wood bat of the first batter he saw, and missed three d1 hitters barrels in a row. 2021 Cole Brady also had an impressive outing, standing at 6'0, 175 the righty is able to produce some real tilt that proved to be a tough angle for hitters. Although not a big velo like several of the arms that night, one of the best pitched innings of the game came from 2021 LHP Alex Brown. The southpaw throws a true sinker that missed barrels consistently, and mixed it enough which allowed him to get in on hitters. Definitely a fun player to watch. 2020's Trent Gregson, Konnor Baird (UTRGV Commit), and Grant Walters (SFA Commit) all also had great showings. Although not one of the more physical players, Gregson showed a sneaky fastball, as he strides out, the separation from the glove is late and quick which proved very deceptive to hitters. Baird also had a short quick arm stroke that has produced fastballs in the upper 80's, and especially tight spin from that arm slot on the breaking ball. Walters, who is left handed, was absolutely dominant. He pounded the zone at 85-87 mph with arm side run, then spun in a slow breaking ball that froze one hitter for a backwards K.
Hits were at a minimum on the day, but the best showcased barrel of the night was definitely 2021 C Si Schumacher. In a widespread low crouch position, he is really able to get into his legs and showed some pull side power. He turned on two upper 80's fastballs on the night, one of which went for a hit. 2020 Easton Loyd also showed why he is committed to play D1 Baseball at Sam Houston State, with a couple double plays turned in the field with ease, he also had the loudest hit of the night, a triple in the bottom of the 8th to deep right center field. He later scored the go ahead run on a sac fly from 2020 Jackson Cobb (ULL Commit). Other impressive plays included a diving catch in left field from 2021 Kolton Koonce down the left field line, and an over the shoulder catch by 2nd basemen 2021 Kurt Wyman going in to shallow right. 2020 Catcher Luke Banister showed why he is a D1 prospect, as he continuously looked for outs, he finally found a big one in the top of the 9th when he back picked the runner at second to end the inning. 2021 Catcher Colby Harris also showed off behind the dish when he hosed a runner at second on a breaking ball in the dirt that he back handed and put on the money.
In the end, Performance Baseball Texas 17U came out on top 3-1. But it was an impressive night on all ends for both groups, so much so that just about every coach in attendance watched down to the very last out. Both teams officially begin the Summer Circuit this weekend at the Perfect Game South Invitational in Houston.