National catcher Andy Yerzy (center) is greeted by teammates after hitting a two-run home run against the American team during the second inning in the Under Armour All America Baseball game at Wrigley field. (Photo: David Banks, USA TODAY Sports)
CHICAGO — The National team beat the American team 11-5 in a wild Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field on Saturday, with many of the top baseball prospects in the nation getting to show their stuff in front of scouts and a national television audience on the MLB Network.
The game was given a particularly big-league feel during the national anthem. With the Air and Water Show taking place at the same time in Chicago, the Blue Angels flew by as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played.
1. To give each of All-American pitchers a chance to throw, a new pitcher came in each half-inning. In all, the 17 pitchers combined for 18 walks as many struggled to find the strike zone. Florida State commit Forrest Whitley (Alamo Heights/San Antonio), Duke commit Graeme Stinson (Norcross, Ga.) and Travis Hosterman (Hagerty/Oviedo, Fla.) each didn’t allow a base runner. Jesus Luzardo (Douglas/Parkland, Fla.) entered the game in relief when Gregory Veliz (Key West, Fla.) couldn’t finish his half-inning and did not allow a hit.
2. Here was something different: In the eighth inning, three runs scored for the American team on a wild pitch compounded by two errors — on the same play. The bases were loaded on three walks. The wild pitch got away from the catcher, who recovered and tried to throw to the plate to the pitcher who was covering. The ball got away and the first baseman who picked it up then threw home where the ball again got away, allowing the runner on first to score. The first run of the game came in when Carter Kieboom (Walton/ Marietta, Ga.) scored on a wild pitch for the American team. Kieboom, who had two hits and scored two runs, was named the top player on the American team.
3. Six of the National team’s 11 runs came courtesy of home runs. Canadian catching prospect Alex Yerzy a Notre Dame commit, hit an opposite-field two-run homer into the left-field basket for the National team in the second inning and was named the game’s MVP. Catcher Michael Amditis from Boca Raton, Fla., closed the scoring with a massive grand slam to left field.
National third baseman Bo Bichette runs the bases on his way to a triple against the American team during the fifth inning in the Under Armour All America Baseball game at Wrigley field. (Photo: David Banks, USA TODAY Sports
4. Arizona State commit Bo Bichette, the son of retired Major Leaguer Dante Bichette, is well on his way to becoming a star in his own rig. He hit a triple, drove in a run and made two big defensive plays on the way to his team’s win. Bichette won the pre-game Home Run Derby with a total of 16 runs. He knocked out six in the first round, but was bested by Joey Wentz (Shawnee Mission East/Leawood, Kan.), who had seven. In the final round, Bichette knocked out seven, then his bat flew into the stands when it slipped from his hands. When it was returned to him, Bichette hit another three to win the trophy.
5. LSU commit Riley Pint, a candidate to be the top prospect for the 2016 MLB draft, struggled in his role as the starting pitcher for the National. While he wowed by hitting 99 on the radar gun, the righthander from St. Thomas Aquinas (Lenexa, Kan.) walked three, uncorked a wild pitch and allowed a run.
Look for more coverage of the Under Armour All-American Game in the coming days on USATODAYHSS.com