The Reds Midwest Scout Team won the
2011 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship by beating the Chicago land
2012's team 8-2. The Reds are no strangers to this tournament,
winning it in 2009 while finishing as the runner-ups last year as
well as 2006-2008.
“We've been here a lot, so it made it
easier because we knew what to expect,” Reds Midwest Scout Team
Head Coach Andy Stack said. “The first couple of times we were
pretty nervous. But this time we took (the Championship) as just
another game, we came out and swung the bats when we needed to and
played a pretty good game.”
The Reds went 2-1 in pool play,
out-scoring their opponents 21 to 6 in those games. They defeated
Top Tier 18U 5-4 in the quarterfinals, and KC Express 3-1 in the
semifinals to advance to the title game.
“Our guys competed,” Stack said of
his pitching staff. “We don't have a bunch of guys that throw 90,
mostly upper-80s, but they move it around, spin the breaking ball and
did a good job. For the most part we played good defense behind
With the win, the Reds Midwest Scout
Team has received a paid invitation to participate in the 2011 WWBA
World Championship to be conducted October 20-24 at the Roger Dean
Complex in Jupiter, Florida.
“Jupiter is a grind, the best
tournament in the nation, or the world, for amateur players,” Stack
said. “We'll go down there with no expectations, to play the best
we can. We'll run our guys out there, who will be seen by a thousand
scouts and give it our best.”
Reds Midwest slugger Nathan Mikolas was
named the tournament's Most Valuable Player by going 7-for-15 (.467)
with a double, two triples a home run, six RBI and eight runs
scored. He went 2-for-2 in the final game with two runs scored and
one driven in.
“It feels great,” Mikolas said of
his winning the WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship and MVP honors.
“We had a great time, we played hard and we played really great as
“I've been at this tournament for
four years now, so to win it is a great honor.”
Mikolas is no stranger to Perfect Game
events, participating in both the WWBA 18u and 17u National
Championships playing for the East Cobb Braves, the Wisconsin Spring
Wood Bat League and the 2011 National Showcase. The 6-foot-2,
200-pound left-handed hitting outfielder is currently ranked the
216th best high school player in the 2012 class, and has
committed to play for Louisville.
“Great kid,” Coach Stack said of
his star slugger. “Not only a great baseball player, but one of
the best kids I've ever had. He's been with us for five years since
he was an eighth-grader, and he's just gotten better every year.
“I don't think you're going to find
another guy in the country that swings the bat better than him.
Everything hits is on the button, hard, and he takes a great
approach. He's going to be a pretty good one some day.”
Minnesota Blizzard Blue's Logan Shore
was named the Most Valuable Pitcher. The 2013 right-handed pitcher
shut down the Reds Midwest Scout Team on Saturday, throwing a 1-hit
shutout and striking out 13 hitters with a fastball that peaked at
“I haven't seen a guy like that throw
in a very long time,” Stack said of Shore's performance. “He
reminded me of Jeremy Hellickson at this age when we faced him down
here a couple of years ago. (Shore) located everything and threw
three pitches for strikes at 88 to 91.”
The second-place Chicago land 2012's
team made it to the Championship game in dramatic fashion, as Jake
Hanson hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to
give Chicago land a 4-3 win over the DTA Wildcats in the semifinals.
In the Championship game, Parker Meek
put Chicago land on the board first in the second inning by hitting a
booming RBI double to deep left field that just missed clearing the
fence. Meek then scored from third when Jack Troike drove him in
with a sacrifice fly.
While that was the end of the scoring
for the Chicago land 2012's team, Meek went 3-for-3 in the
Championship game. He also hit .500 and struck out 6 batters in 5.2
innings of work over the weekend tournament.
Hanson also enjoyed a big weekend at
the plate, going 7-for-17 (.412) with six RBI and seven runs scored.
His team went 3-0 in pool play to advance to the playoffs,
out-scoring their opponents 21 to 3.
Please visit the 2011 WWBA Kernels
Foundation Championship scouting blogs for detailed game and player
reports from all of the action from the four-day tournament.