PBR at The Rock 15U: Quick Hits Day 3


By Wisconsin Staff

In the third day of the 15U PBR at The Rock Championship, we determined which eight teams are going to be battling against one another to play in Sunday’s playoffs. Beyond that, we also learned even more about some of the best the Midwest had to offer. Throughout this week, our scout team will be compiling end-of-day notes in a Quick Hits format, to provide you with the most impressive takeaways from that day’s action. You can find Day Three’s notes below.

If you missed Day One's notes, click here. Day Two’s can be found here.

POWER PITCHING

+ Waunakee’s southpaw Luke Ross (2022) punched out seven batters in five dominant innings. His easy fastball sat 77-79 mph, and touched 81-82 mph a couple of times. Ross locates his fastball well down in the zone, too. He throws two distinctly different breaking balls, a slider and curve, in the same slot as his fastball which helps add some swing and miss to his arsenal. Final line: CG (5 IP), ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K.

+ NorthStar Navy has been one of the most impressive teams here in Franklin, and RHP Josh Hatano (Park, MN, 2022) helped them complete pool play undefeated, 4-0, with a complete-game shutout. Hatano struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings.

+ Top Tier Nationals’ RHP Jorgie Vazquez (Mount Carmel, IL, 2022) pitched a stellar 5.1 innings, pounding the zone with quality strikes. He had some run on his 78-81 mph fastball which played well into a changeup he threw with confidence that featured similar lateral break. His curveball is more of a change-of-pace offering right now, but it helped him keep his opposition off balance. He was also 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI.

+ STiKS Academy Black’s received a clutch performance from RHP Logan Dobberstein (Pewaukee, 2022), who settled in after a rocky first inning. He allowed two runs on a pair of walks and hit by pitches each, but did not allow a run the rest of the way, in his five innings. Dobberstein is a high-waisted 6-foot-6 right-hander with premium projection and a fastball that ranged from 79-82 mph in the first and dropped only a couple ticks down through his next five innings of work. The running fastball worked well in conjunction with a breaking ball he felt out for strikes and swings and misses after that bumpy first.

+ GRB Academy’s RHP Cuyler Zukowski (Madison LaFollette, 2022) is an arm to follow and started the day with a bang, touching 84 mph in his first inning of work, sitting 80-83 mph. He has a lively fastball and works with the kind of athleticism that should make him an enticing follow as he continues to mature.

+ RHP Cole Van Bever (Waupun, 2022) tossed a complete game against a sound Illinois Indians lineup. His strike-throwing abilities helped him compete and shutout the Indians through five. Weak contact and a couple of defensive miscues tied things up, but Van Bever allowed Rhino Wisconsin to at least end it tied, 3-3, when he bailed his team out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the seventh. He coaxed a force out at home to earn the first out and a nifty 6-4-3 double play ended it. Van Bever’s final line: CG (7 IP), 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K.

+ In the final set of the evening, RakeCity was in a must-win game to get in to bracket play and got a clutch outing from RHP Waylan Deck (Homewood-Flossmoor, IL, 2022). Deck struck out 10 in six innings pitched, scattering just four hits and one run. Deck gave way to Luka Radicevich (Joliet Catholic, IL, 2022) who closed things out with a blistering fastball that reached 85 mph.

BIG-TIME BATS

+ Illinois Lightning’s Daniel Pacella (Mundelein, IL, 2022) has been one of the tournament’s hottest hitters and he was completely on fire on Saturday. He was 3-for-3 with two home runs, one of which was a grand slam, and he added a double, too, and it helped him drive in six runs on the day. Pacella is also a talented defender at first base with feel for the bag. His athleticism has also worked in the center field this week, which goes to show the kind of talent Pacella is.

+ Indiana Nitro’s Josh Kern (Noblesville, IN, 2022) has earned a mention in consecutive Quick Hits because of the work he’s doing at the plate. Kern went 2-for-3 in Saturday’s game with a double and an RBI, improving his tournament total to 6-for-9 with four extra- base hits. His quick and simple swing continues to make consistent hard contact and tear up opposing pitching.

+ Hitters Baseball Navy has put together one of the strongest lineups, one through nine, of the tourney and when you watch Will Vierling (Homestead, 2022) and Michael Lippe (Whitefish Bay, 2022), you can clearly see why. Vierling homered on Friday and slugged a deep triple to the right-center gap in Saturday’s action. Lippe’s reputation as one of the country’s top athletes and bats precedes him. He tacked on another three barrels that went for singles today and is a plus runner with a strong, proportional build. Keegan Knutson (Milton, 2022) is also, simply, a ballplayer. He hits in the two-spot for a stout Hitters lineup and has consistently pulled his weight this week, and especially on Saturday by going a combined 4-for-7 with a home run.

+ STiKS Academy Black also received a couple more big performances at the plate on Saturday, from Aiden Haney (Catholic Memorial, 2022) and Carson Hansen (Pewaukee, 2022). Hasen has put together a tremendous week and he slugged a three-run homer on Saturday to add to it. What was even more impressive about the home run was Hansen’s barrel feel – he let the bat lag through the zone on an offspeed pitch and still managed to elevate and barrel it up to push it over the right-center fence. Haney’s profile is totally different. He’s a quick-twitch right-handed hitter with a compact frame who sprays all-fields contact as he can get it. His goal is to reach base by any means necessary, because he’s eager to steal his way from first to second – and, in some cases, even third, which he did today.

+ Easton Richter (Rosemount, MN, 2022) three more hits on Saturday for an undefeated NorthStar Navy squad. After two hits on Friday and a big start on the bump, he put together another great game on Saturday.

+ The Illinois Indians have also rostered one of The Rock’s best bats this week: Charlie Saul (Batavia, IL, 2022). On Saturday, he went 4-for-4 against CBT with four stung barrels. He opened the game with a line drive to center, then pulled a ground-ruled double to the left field fence, smashed a three-run triple into the right-center gap, and finished the night with another hard-hit double, this time to dead center. Saul ended the game with a whopping seven RBIs for Indians.

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