Pearson collects 3 hits; De la Torre leads Team Brave to title game
By Jesse Burkhart
Special to MLB.com |
CARY, N.C. -- Team Stripes jumped out to a fast start to kick off Saturday's Tournament of Stars action, scoring three runs in the top of the first and eventually holding on for a 5-4 victory over Team Stars.
Outfielder Jacob Pearson (West Monroe HS, La.) led the attack for the Stripes, tallying three hits on the day to finish 3-for-5 with a run scored. A 5-foot-10, 189-pound outfielder, Pearson doesn't have much pop, but he has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball with a contact-oriented swing, and the LSU commit is capable of doing damage on the basepaths with his plus speed.
After being handed the early 3-0 lead, Stripes starter Reid Detmers (Nokomis HS, Ill.) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four, relying on command and deception to keep the Stars off-balance. The left-hander worked both sides of the plate with his 86-89 mph fastball, mixing in a slurvy breaking ball that registered between 72-76 mph. He allowed one hit and issued one walk.
Right-hander Chandler Ferguson (Lafayette Jefferson HS, Ind.) was impressive in his three-inning stint, running his fastball up to 91 mph before settling in the high-80s. He coupled the heater with a 73-78 mph curveball, which flashed late slider-like bite at the higher end of that velocity band. He struck out three and allowed one run on four hits. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has a loose arm with athleticism in his low-effort delivery, and he should be an interesting follow for scouts next spring in advance of the 2017 Draft.
Switch-pitcher Kris Armstrong, a rising junior, also made an appearance in the game for the Stripes. Throwing left-handed, he scraped the low-80s with his fastball and combined it with a slow-rolling curveball. On Friday, however, he showed much better stuff while pitching right-handed, topping out at 92 with a sharper hook.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, down 5-4, Stars infielder/outfielder Sam Hall had a chance to win it with runners on second and third, but Stripes right-hander Adam Oviedo coerced him into popping out to center field to end the game. Hall finished 0-for-4 but managed to swipe three bases, giving him five through three games.
Enlow Dominates Again as Team Free Rolls to 7-2 Win Over Team United
Right-hander Blayne Enlow (St. Amant Hill HS, La.) again put his first-round talent on display as he led Team Free to a 7-2 win against Team United on Saturday.
Enlow tossed three scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out five -- the same exact line he posted in his first appearance of the tournament on Wednesday. Classically projectable at 6-foot-4 and 169 pounds with a free-and-easy motion, he offers plenty for scouts to consider. He can hit 93 mph with his fastball, sitting 88-92 mph with sink. He also throws a sharp slider with good vertical depth at 78-82 mph that projects as a plus pitch.
Playing second base for Free, rising junior Bryce Turang continued to show the most impressive pure hit tool in the field, singling to his opposite field before proceeding to swipe second base and third base. He's 7-for-11 (.636) in three games and has yet to strike out. Turang -- who's also played shortstop and center field during the tournament -- is an elite prospect for the 2018 Draft.
De la Torre Keys Team Brave's Win to Clinch Spot in Championship
Ricardo De la Torre, one of the top shortstop prospects in the 2017 Draft class, shined in Team Brave's 3-2 win over Team Pride in the final game of pool play. The win moved Brave to 3-0 and earned them a spot in Sunday's championship game against Team Free, who is also undefeated at 3-0.
Facing Pride starter Jordan Butler, De la Torre tripled in his first at-bat before adding a single in the third inning to finish 2-for-4 with a strikeout. Though he committed two errors in the field, he displayed softer hands than those mistakes suggest. He also has the smooth actions and plus arm strength that evaluators look for in pro shortstops.
Brave's Mike Siani -- a rising junior who's stood out for his quick bat and defense in center field -- contributed on both sides of the ball. He started in right field in this game, singling in his first and only at-bat, then swiping second base before he was lifted to make his first pitching appearance of the tournament. His fastball never got above 87 mph, but he threw two clean frames and struck out four.
Sunday's championship game is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET on Coleman Field.
Jesse Burkhart is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.