More than 50 MLB scouts attend annual event
Madison, Wis. – The Northwoods League’s top talent assembled at Warner Park in Madison on Tuesday night for the 2018 Major League Dreams Showcase. The day consisted of a player workout in front of more than 50 MLB scouts and a pair of nine inning games featuring the top players from teams in the North and South Divisions. The workout included players putting on a show in batting practice, crushing home runs to areas of Warner Park that were formerly untouched, and showing off their fielding skills in their respective positions.
For the most part, pitching had the upper hand throughout the evening as the teams combined for only 24 total hits between the two ballgames while pitchers managed to punch out 35 batters.
Eau Claire’s Justin Slaten (New Mexico) got the start for the home team in game one. He looked sharp, tossing two scoreless innings and not allowing a baserunner. The Northwoods League strikeout leader recorded three on the day.
The visiting team, led by Duluth infielder Augie Isaacson (Friends University), won the first game of the doubleheader 3-2. Isaacson collected three hits and knocked in a run while the visiting team pitching staff held the home team in check, allowing only four hits.
The Visitors were able to climb out to a 3-0 lead in the third thanks to a two-out rally. Nick Sogard (Loyola Marymount) drew a walk, then swiped second, before Isaacson drove him in with an RBI single. Two batters later, Christian Jones (Washington) knocked in a pair of runs with another RBI single.
After the home team was able to add a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, the visiting pitching staff dominated the rest of the game to seal the victory. Five different hurlers combined to keep the home team hitless through the final five innings of play. Finn Del Bonta-Smith (San Jose State) and Hunter Biggie (Harvard) both sat a pair of batters down on strikes in their 1.0 inning appearances.
- Augie Isaacson collected a game-high three hits and set the tone for the visitor’s offense in the leadoff spot
- Bismarck second basemanRipken Reyes (Cal – Berkeley) collected half of the home squad’s hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI
- Madison catcher Cal Greenfield (Florida) threw out a pair of baserunners attempting to steal, including Isaacson, the NWL’s stolen base leader
- Mallards reliever Leon Hunter (North Carolina A&T) worked a perfect fifth inning for the Home team, needing only 12 pitches to work through the frame.
Woodchucks outfielder Zach DeLoach (Texas A&M) went 3-for-3 and the home team cruised to a 4-1 win in game two of the doubleheader. Mallards hurlers Carson Ragsdale (South Florida) and Trace Norkus (North Florida) both held the visiting team off of the scoreboard in their relief appearances.
After pulling ahead with a two-run second inning that was highlighted by a Ty Duvall (Vanderbilt) RBI single, the home squad kept the visitors scoreless deep into the ballgame. Starters Trayson Kubo (Stephen F. Austin), Brandon Komar (Madison College), Carson Ragsdale and Josh Serio (UW-Milwaukee) held the Visiting team without a run until the eighth inning. Kubo tossed the game’s first pair of frames and allowed only one knock and Ragsdale picked up four strikeouts and did not allow a single hit in his 2.0 innings of work.
The home team added to the lead in the sixth with a pair of RBI from Christian Boulware (Panola) and Jack Dunn (UW – Milwaukee). Madison closer Trace Norkus entered in the ninth with the home squad holding a 4-1 lead and earned a save, sealing the win.
- Zach DeLoach totaled a game-high three hits, and both knocked in and scored a run in the victory
- Growlers hurler Joe Boyle(Notre Dame) pitched the fifth inning for the visiting team and lit up radar guns, touching triple-digits with his fastball. Boyle struck out one and allowed a hit in a scoreless inning of work
- Madison infielder Trevor Schwecke (UW-Milwaukee) picked up the lone hit for the Mallards players in the showcase, going 1-for-3 with a hard-hit single into left field
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visitwww.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.