| July 25, 2022
COMPTON, CA – The CCL’s talent was on full display Wednesday evening during the 2022 CCL Showcase Game presented by ABDG. Nominees from all 11 teams headed to the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. to showcase their skills in front of fans, scouts and a national audience on Bally Sports TV. Several key defensive plays along with offensive contributions from shortstop Miguel Santos (Foresters, Dallas Baptist) and right fielder Tyler Ganus (Oaks, Oregon) helped the South Division blank their counterparts from the North 2-0.
Santos’ clutch homer to extend the South’s lead to 2-0 earned him Offensive Player of the Game honors. Shortstop Kyson Donahue (Saints, Hawaii) won Defensive Player of the Game as he made two big assists to help keep the North Division off of the scoresheet. Receiving Pitcher of the Game honors was Matthew Maloney (Riptide, New Mexico State), who recorded three strikeouts while relinquishing two hits in an inning of work.
Jared Sundstrom (Prune Packers, UC Santa Barbara) and second baseman Hunter Baldwin (Mudcats, Harvard) also shined for the North Division during Wednesday’s game. Sundstrom went 1-2 at the plate with a double while Baldwin finished the evening with five assists, two putouts and a part in all three of his team’s double plays.
Much like last year, it quickly became apparent that both teams’ defenses came ready to play; the sides combined for one base knock, one walk and four strikeouts through the first two frames.
The contest opened up in the third when Ganus reached first due to an error by shortstop Alex Gouveia (Stompers, UC Davis). After third baseman Drew Cowley (Saints, Oregon) and catcher Griffin Everitt (Foresters, Nebraska) both picked up base hits, a fielders’ choice allowed Ganus to score and put the South Division up 1-0.
Despite giving up a run, the North Division got out of the half-inning in style, as Baldwin, Gouveia and first baseman JT Waldon (Potters, Undecided) combined for a flashy 4-6-3 double play.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Gouveia and center fielder Jake Holcroft (Prune Packers, Portland) picked up the North Division’s first two hits. However, Maloney’s third strikeout of the inning helped keep the opposition off of the scoresheet. The junior right-hander stated that he was successful on the mound because his main goal was to “fill up the zone and throw strikes.”
The South Division threatened to score again in the fourth when first baseman Gavin Kash (Foresters, Texas Tech) doubled and center fielder TC Simmons (Riptide, Connecticut) drew a walk. Donahue then popped out before the Baldwin, Gouveia and Waldon trio struck again, combining for another inning-ending double play.
Relief pitcher Chris Stamos (Saints, California) was called upon in the sixth to preserve his team’s narrow 1-0 lead. And the left-hander did just that, retiring three of the four batters he faced in a dominant inning pitched. The North Division got their lone base knock of the frame when third baseman Trey Furrey (Potters, Oklahoma Baptist) sent a single into center field.
Both sides’ offenses then stayed quiet until the ninth, as there were only two hits during the sixth and seventh innings, both from the CCL South.
However, the final frame of the contest proved to be the most exciting. In his second at-bat of the evening, Santos launched a leadoff home run off of the left field scoreboard to increase the South Division’s lead to two. The Fort Worth, Texas native recalled that he saw the pitch all the way but initially wasn’t sure his homer had enough height on it.
“I saw it [the first pitch] pretty well, so I was just thinking low middle. [Davis] threw a slider outside and I put a swing on it. I didn’t know if it was going to be high enough but luckily it was,” said Santos.
Second baseman/pinch hitter Kamau Neighbors (Barons, Long Beach CC) followed up the homer by slamming a single over North Division second baseman Ryan Ellis’ (Crawdads, St. Mary’s) head. But Neighbors’ most impactful play came in the tail end of the inning.
After closer Nick Proctor (Foresters, California) picked up two straight K’s and was replaced by Aaron Rosales (Barons, Santa Anna College), first baseman Ryan DuRoff (Crawdads, Chabot) and designated hitter Cole Santander (Mudcats, Long Beach State) drew consecutive walks to keep the game going. The next batter, Ellis, sent the second pitch he saw sailing into right-center field. Standing in the way, however, was Neighbors, who leapt up and made a miraculous grab in midair, sealing the victory for the South Division.
Following the conclusion of the Showcase Game, the teams will enter into a two-week stretch leading up to the CCL State Championship presented by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, which is set to take place from August 4-6.
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