| July 17, 2021
COMPTON, CA — The middle of July is always an exciting time for the sport of baseball, with the MLB Draft and All-Star Game showcasing some of the best talent in the world. On Wednesday night, July 14, the California Collegiate League held its annual Showcase Game at the MLB Academy, and the players put on a show for an audience across the country on Bally Sports and in front of scouts and fans in Compton. The South Division ultimately came out on top with a 6-2 victory, overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the 3rd Inning.
Los Angeles Dodgers legend, longtime Los Angeles Angels manager, and skipper for Team USA, Mike Scioscia, was in attendance for the game. A co-founder of the CCL's Conejo Oaks and the Amateur Baseball Development Group (ABDG), Scioscia expressed his excitement about how the showcase evidenced the league's advancement.
"We're getting more national recognition for the caliber of players that are playing in our league," Scioscia said. "These are very highly skilled players."
Catcher Riley Lamb (Solano Mudcats, USC) won Offensive MVP honors, going 3-4 with two doubles. Third baseman Drew Cowley (Arroyo Seco Saints, Cal Poly Pomona) won Defensive MVP, making a tough play in the fifth to save two runs. Pitcher Cody Adcock (Conejo Oaks, Ole Miss) rounded out the award winners earning Pitcher of the Game, striking out two of four batters in 1.0 innings pitched.
In typical Showcase Game fashion, pitching was on display early in this one. Both South pitcher Adcock and North right-hander Matt Sox (San Luis Obispo Blues, Utah) threw shutout innings, striking out four batters combined in a scoreless first.
"It was awesome," Adcock said. "I just soaked it up, and I'm enjoying it. I'm trying to have a good time, and it was fun tonight."
Third baseman Tate Samuelson (Blues, Cal Poly SLO) led off the 2nd Inning with a single to left, and second baseman Trevor Haskins (Lincoln Potters, Stanford) worked a walk to get two runners on. Despite the early pressure, South Division pitcher Andrew Pogue (Orange County Riptide, Illinois) settled in and retired the next three batters to get out of the jam.
Chase Chatman (MLB Academy Barons, Florida Gulf Coast) and Heston Tole (Blues, Arkansas) pitched shutout innings for their respective squads in the 3rd Inning, with each pitcher logging a strikeout and keeping the game at zeros.
The North Division would get on the board first in this one, putting up a two-spot on pitcher Tommy Steier (Saints, Creighton). After Samuelson reached on an error, Trevor Haskins (Potters, Stanford) lined a single to center. Samuelson raced to third, and was waved home after the ball was mishandled in center field. He would later score on an RBI grounder by Jason Brandow (Potters, Cal State Fullerton) to give the North a 2-0 lead.
The South responded immediately, as Saints catcher Peyton Lewis (Texas State) got on base off a catcher's interference. His teammate, Cowley, broke up the combined no-hitter in the next at bat, driving Lewis home in the process to cut the lead in half.
The North threatened to extend their lead thanks to catcher Austin Schell (Blues, Cal State Fullerton) knocking a double and outfielder Mason Holt (Potters, Louisiana Monroe) getting a walk with one out, but South pitchers Tony Robie (Riptide, Texas State) and Clay Rickerman (Oaks, Cal Lutheran) tag-teamed to earn the last two outs.
Singles from the Darrien McDowell (Barons, Pensacola State College) and Josh Cowden (Saints, Brigham Young), and a walk from Davis Diaz (Riptide, Vanderbilt). loaded the bases for the South. Jordan Williams (Barons, San Jacinto CC) reached on a fielder's choice to tie the game entering the sixth.
Tied at two in the 6th Inning, Tristan Garnett (Saints, Cal State Dominguez Hills) entered to try and hold the lead, and did just that. Garnett struck out the first two batters he faced, and got an easy grounder to first base to end the inning.
The floodgates opened for the South at the bottom of the frame. Lewis got on base again via a walk, and he got around to third off a Grant Smith (Oaks, Incarnate Word) single.
The Saints catcher scored his second run of the day on a wild pitch to give the South their first lead of the night.
Tanner O'Tremba (Foresters, Arizona) and Kyle Booker (Riptide, Tennessee) combined to drive in three more runs in the following at-bats to give the South a 6-2 lead.
Looking for a shutdown inning, the South turned to pitcher Cole Reeves (Foresters, Dallas Baptist). He quickly retired the first two batters, but gave up a double to Riley Lamb his third hit of the game. That was all the North would get, as Reeves struck out his final batter to end the threat.
"I kind of just try not to think too much up there," Lamb said. "Doesn't matter really what pitcher's up there for me. I just want to play my game."
Miller Pleimann (Blues, Arkansas) came in for the North and tossed a one-two-three inning to end the 7th. Both teams would go down quietly in the eighth.
Gabriel Starks (Foresters, Arkansas) came in for the ninth inning and slammed the door on the North Division, striking out two and giving the South the 6-2 victory.
The second half of the summer season is now underway, with the 2021 CCL State Championship presented by Placer Valley Tourism slated for August 4-6 in Lincoln, Calif.
- CCL Reporters Joe Pohoryles and Lucas Banks
- CCL Photographers Angie Martinez, Emily Sullivan, and Alina Nelson
- CCL Videographers Brandon Lin and Rhett Spenrath
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