The Yankees players run the bases with two courageous kids who are fighting cancer. Their shirts (and the Yankee players' hats) say "NEGU" on them, which means "Never Ever Give Up. Cool scene.


Sorenson: Area Codes Day 4 Thoughts


LONG BEACH, Calif. — StitchHeads, we’ve now gone through four days of the 2017 Area Code Games. One more day to go. In case you are keeping count we have had just one tie game of the 15 that have been played thus far. And better yet, we still haven’t had our first rain delay. (Yes, I’m kidding. It doesn’t rain here in August. Silly me.).

As you guys know, most of these guys playing in the Area Code Games won’t make it to a college campus. A good number of them will get drafted too high to pass up millions of dollars and will start riding rickety buses in the minor leagues right away. But there are still a good number of players here that will come to our sport and grace our college diamonds across the country. God willing, a good number of them help their college programs make it to the College World Series.

There were over 550 MLB scouts here this week, according to the ACG people. But there have also been a ton of college coaches here as well. So that got me thinking, which programs had the most Area Code Games players committed to their schools? In case you were wondering, here is the quick rundown:

– Texas A&M, 10 committed players
– Vanderbilt, 9 players
– UCLA, 8 players
– Arizona, 8 players
– FIU, 8 players
– California, 7 players
– Louisville, 5 players
– LSU, 5 players
– USC, 5 players

That’s great news for those teams. Let’s hope they keep ’em. By the way, what the hell is Florida International doing with this many committed players from the most prestigious high school all-star tournament in the country? That’s a shocker.

Again, c’mon guys. Get all these talented boys to campus. Feel free to remind them that riding horrible buses with no A/C and finding your future wife at some stinkin’ truck stop is no way to have their lives go. Go to college. Increase your draft stock. Be a big man on campus. Find an intelligent college girl to marry that’ll make your parents proud.

Here is how Day Four of the Area Code Games went…

Yankees – 6
Brewers – 11

I got to this game expecting to see the beginning of Game 13, but instead I got to see the last full inning of this Game 12. That’s how slow this game was going. It was a glacial pace.

Nonetheless, the Brewers got four RBI from Jake Moberg and a pair of RBI from Emilio Rosas as the SoCal-based squad jumped all over Yankee pitching and took a 10-2 lead after three innings.

Virginia-bound Michael Siani has had a great week at the dish. Today he got to take his turn on the mound at the end of the Yankees loss to the Brewers.

WhiteSox – 010 011 0 – 3  7  1
Royals… – 201 000 1 – 4  8  0

For the second day in a row, we got the ACG version of a “jog off” win.

With the score tied at threes going into the bottom of the seventh and last inning, Royal catcher Carter Sakamoto (Northern Colorado commit… not a typo) took a very painful plunking off his kneecap, leaving him in a crumbled mess in the dirt near home plate.

Ouch-Chee!Carter Sakamoto writhes in pain after taking a fastball off the kneecap in the seventh inning. He would not return to the game. But on a positive note his pinch runner would score the winning run.

Sakamoto’s pinch runner, Carter Booth (Oregon State commit), then got moved to second base by a groundout. Two batters later, Dustin Garcia Washington commit) hit a blooper to left-center, scoring Booth from second and handing the Northwest-based Royals their first win of the week.

Starting pitcher Damon Casetta-Stubbs threw threw no-hit innings with three Ks. But he hit Alek Thomas (TCU commit),  the first White Sox batter of the second inning, then had him advance to second on a groundout, move to third on a passed ball and scored on another groundout.

His face says it all. Damon Casetta-Stubbs strains to throw another low-90s heater. His three inning effort today was exemplary.

Through the first four innings, Casetta-Stubbs and Samuel Lauderdale held the Sox hitless while their offense behind them built up a 3-1 lead. Jake Dukart and Alex Guerrero both earned RBI singles and Damiano Palmegiani (undecided) notched an RBI groundout to build the lead.

The Sox would strike back with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to even the score. Nicholas Schnell (Louisville commit) continues to impress me with his speed and savvy. He knocked in Zaid Walker with an RBI single to pull the Sox within 3-2 and also beat out a bouncer to short in his last at-bat, showcasing that 4.5 speed.

From the weird and bizarre department comes this:

You know how they say no matter how long you watch baseball something you’ve never seen before comes around? Well dotty, in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Kansas City team got their first two men on in a walk for Jake Dukart (Oregon State) and a single by Palmegiano. After throwing two pitches to Alex Guerrero, Sox pitcher Dillon Nowicki (Michigan commit) just walked off the mound, appearing to be complaining about his arm. The “manager” of the Royals walked up to him right near the baseline and said a few words back and forth, then signaled to the umpire to “roll it over.”

It appears as if Dillon Nowicki tells the White Sox team manager that his arm doesn’t feel right.

Suddenly, the umpired called the White Sox players off the field and the Royals went and took the field for the next inning. Essentially, the Royals just lost their fifth inning of at bats – and with a man in scoring position, no less.

The next inning, the Royals picked up where their offense left off, starting with Dukart and Palmegiano standing on first and second base again. Go figure.

So the Royals won this game, despite their offense essentially getting shorted an entire inning.

I was very excited when I saw Dustin Garcia head toward home and begin his slide. I was going to get the perfect shot of him beating the tag of the catcher. Then, just as he got close… the DAMN umpire got in the way. Curses!


The White Sox outfield takes a knee during a pitching change.


Zaid Walker has had a good week here in Long Beach, going 1-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.


Dustin Garcia gets the plaudits after earning the game-winning RBI in the last inning.


Rangers – 030 001 0 – 4  10  1
Reds….. – 000 020 0 – 2  5  3

The Texas/Louisiana-based Rangers got a huge second inning, scoring three runs in the frame, two of them coming off the bat of Jose Gutierrez (Dallas Baptist commit). Meanwhile, on the mound, Kolby Kubichek (TCU commit) was stout, going through all 10 batters in the order without giving up a hit. That three-inning stint also included five punch outs for Kubichek as well.

Kolby Kubichek was throwing some mean MoJo today, going through the Reds batting order without any drama.

After Kubichek was pulled from the mound the Reds soon made it a game again, scoring twice in the fifth inning. Both runs came off the bat of Brennan Davis (uncommitted), who sliced a single just over the head of Rangers second baseman Jack Sigrist, plating Micah Bello (St. Mary’s commit) and Trevor Doyle (uncommitted).

All this led to another impressive pitching performances. After the Rangers added a run in the top of the sixth inning on another Jose Gutierrez RBI, they brought in Simeon Woods-Richardson to lock down the final six outs. The intimidating power-arm nearly mowed through those six outs unscathed, giving up just a bloop single and gathering four strikeouts along the way.

Woods-Richardson also hit the highest mph on the gun that I have seen so far this week, clocking in at 95.6mph on one of his seventh inning fastballs.

JR Richard-like (you youngin’s out there Google that).Simeon Woods-Richardson had an uber-impressive performance today for the Rangers.


Jose Gutierrez produced three of the four runs for the Rangers today off the end of his own bat.


Cole Stillwell and Kason Howell both reached on errors in the second inning and came around to score.


The Rangers Cole Moore and Reds Kevin Jimenez both look to the umpire on the call for this attempted stolen base. Sad to say, Moore over-slid the base and was called out.

Nationals – 3
Athletics – 4

“The heavy favorites went down…” is how ASBN’s commentators described this A’s victory. Well it is true that the Northern California-based Athletics did tag the Nats with their first loss of the Area Code Games.


The final day of the Area Code Games is tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what happens on this climactic finish. I’m all giddy here.

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