Team Brave takes Tournament of Stars title game in pitchers' duel

USA Baseball names 40 players who will compete to make 18U National Team

Team Brave takes Tournament of Stars title game in pitchers' duel

CARY, N.C. -- Center fielder Mike Siani delivered the only run Team Brave needed when he singled in Anthony Servideo in the eighth inning, helping his squad to a 4-0 defeat of Team Free in the Tournament of Stars championship game.

Facing Free right-hander Shane Baz -- a top pitching prospect for the 2017 Draft -- Servideo doubled to the opposite field to get things started in the eighth. Then Siani came to the plate and turned on an 88 mph cutter to score Servideo.

In the ninth, Brave got to Baz again and tacked on three insurance runs. After Jordon Adell advanced to third on an errant pick-off attempt, Ron Washington hit a high pop-up into no-man's land, as neither shortstop Nick Allen nor center fielder Alek Thomas could make the play, allowing Adell to score.

Nick Allen on his glove

Later in the inning, Baz walked Servideo, prompting Free to bring in right-hander Joe Perez. Perez then walked Mark Vientos on a ball in the dirt that enabled both Washington and Ricardo De la Torre, who walked, to come around and score.

With a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, hard-throwing righty Alex Scherff sealed the deal with a 1-2-3 inning that gave Team Brave the title.

Things were quiet through the first seven innings, as both teams' pitchers controlled the game and got out of a few jams in the process.

The starting pitchers, Free right-hander Hans Crouse and Brave left-hander Logan Allen, each tossed three scoreless frames. Crouse handled the Brave lineup on the strength of his mid-90s fastball and power breaking ball, allowing just two hits, while walking two and striking out three. Allen mixed an 88-91 mph with a 76-78 mph changeup and a slow breaking ball, surrendering two hits, walking one and fanning four. He got into some trouble in the second inning after runners reached second and third, but escaped with no damage after getting Thomas to fly out to left field.

Right-hander Jeremiah Estrada entered for Free in the fourth inning and threw two scoreless frames, stranding runners on second and third in the fifth after getting Servideo to ground out to first base to end the inning. Left-hander DL Hall entered for Brave in the fourth inning, working two scoreless frames of his own.

Right-hander Kyle Whitten also threw two clean innings for Free before Baz entered. For Brave, right-hander Justin Bullock contributed a scoreless inning in the sixth. He was followed by right-hander Kyle Hurt, who was credited with the win after throwing scoreless seventh and eighth innings.

Whitten shows off his command

After the game, USA Baseball named the 40 players who will be going to the 18U National Team Trials in September:
Logan Allen, LHP
Nick Allen, SS
Tanner Allen, OF
Patrick Bailey, C
Shane Baz, RHP
Kyle Blendinger, RHP
Hunter Brittain, C
Tanner Burns, RHP
Jordan Butler, LHP
Luis Campusano, C
Sam Carlson, RHP
Hans Crouse, RHP
Hagen Danner, RHP
Reid Detmers, LHP
Blayne Enlow, RHP
Richard Gilbert, LHP
Hunter Greene, RHP/SS
Calvin Greenfield, C
DL Hall, LHP
Sam Hall, INF/OF
Quentin Holmes, OF
Ivan Johnson, INF
Jarred Kelenic, OF
Royce Lewis, INF/OF
Brandon McCabe, RHP
Brady McConnell, SS
MJ Melendez, C
Kier Meredith, OF
Calvin Mitchell, OF
Nick Pratto, LHP/1B
Alex Scherff, RHP
Mike Siani, OF
Tyler Shifflett, INF
Brady Smith, C
Mitchell Stone, LHP
Bryce Turang, SS/OF
Conner Uselton, OF
CJ Van Eyk, RHP
Ryan Vilade, INF
Kyle Whitten, RHP

40-man 18U roster announced

Jesse Burkhart is a contributor for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.