The 17u Thunder - College Select Tournament Team resumed its schedule on Saturday September 23 at its premier Fall event, the Future Starz Showcase Tournament at Brown University and University of Rhode Island (URI).
In Game 1, Saturday morning at Brown, The Thunder faced off against the Full Count (New Jersey) Prospects, in front of coaches from Brown, Fordham, Army (USMA) and Bates College. The Thunder scored 2 runs on 4 hits, including triples from Armando Gonzalez and David Collazo, and singles from Noah Skaug and Jack Zweig. The Thunder defense was flawless, and Full Count’s 9 runs scored were largely attributable to wildness, as Starter Matt Jester (3 IP, 6 runs, 3 BB’s, 2 HBP) and reliever Evan Campbell (3 IP, 3 runs, 3 BB’s) allowed 8 free passes between them.
In Game 2, Sunday morning at University of Rhode Island, the Thunder battled to a 3-3 tie versus the Zoned Redhawks (New Jersey) , in front of coaches from URI, Fordham, Trinity College, Quinnipiac and UBridgeport. Starter Matt Tiplady kept the Redhawks largely off-balance over the first four innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out 7 while walking 3. Reliever James Gerard pitched a strong 3 innings in relief, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out 4 and walking 1. The Thunder defense again played well, while the offense was led by Noah Skaug (2 hits, One BB), Ross Green (2 hits), Armando Gonzalez (1 hit, one RBI) and Evan Campbell (triple and 1 RBI).
Game 3, Sunday afternoon at Brown, saw a somewhat tired Thunder team battle valiantly, coming up one run short in a 4-3 loss to Kings Baseball (Rockland NY) in front of coaches from Brown, UMass-Lowell, Hartford and UConn. Starter Julian Tonghini (4 IP, 3 runs, 2 K’s, 3 BB’s) was masterful, holding the hard-hitting Kings at bay for three of his four innings; in the third inning, Tonghini made his only two mistakes, allowing back-to-back triples which led to all three runs he allowed. Reliever Ross Green (2 IP) also pitched well, holding the Kings to just one unearned run over the final two innings. The Thunder offense was a balanced attack led by David Collazo (double, single, run scored) , Chris Screnock (single, RBI) and Evan Campbell (double, run scored).
The weekend tournament was a rewarding success, as players were able to meet and interact with the college coaches attending. Four Thunder players were approached by college coaches with specific interest and feedback, and all pitchers received performance evaluations from attending college coaches as well. This event should prove to be an important building block for the college bound players as they see for themselves that they are competitive with the best players in the region, and they begin to receive real-time constructive feedback from regional college coaches.