Showcase : : Story
Monday, June 16, 2014

PG National: Day 5 recap

Patrick Ebert         Chris Real        
Photo: Perfect Game

Jeff Dahn Day 5 feature: Nolan Kingham

For lefthanded pitcher Kolby Allard and his dad Kenny, traveling to Fort Myers has been well worth the cross-country flight.

It’s been fun, it’s been good,” Kenny Allard said about traveling from Southern California to Fort Myers, Fla. “A little issues with some of the weather here, it’s been hot and muggy, but it’s been good.”

The 6-foot, 170-pound southpaw from San Clemente, Calif., is used to the sunshine and sandy beaches. But participating in the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase has allowed Kolby to pitch with and against the country’s best high school baseball players.

It’s good down in Southern California,” Allard said when asked to compare the competition in Southern California to what he’s facing at the National Showcase. “But it’s nothing like this, facing all the best kids in the country. It’s a fun experience.”

The lefty performed well when he entered the game Saturday night and impressed PG scouts on hand. 
The scouting report from a PG scout said:

Lefthander Kolby Allard was the most pleasant surprise of this group, and made pitching in the low-90’s incredibly easy. He displayed a very live arm in producing 90-93 mph heat with a smooth and easy delivery, spotting his fastball well to both sides of the plate. He also threw a sharp 77 mph curveball and a promising 84-85 mph changeup.

Overall, Allard was pleased with his outing.

I felt I threw really well yesterday. I mean hopefully I can pitch good enough to make the All American game,” he said.

The announcement for the Perfect Game All American Classic will officially be announced July 20 with the game to be played on August 10 in San Diego at Petco Park.

For Allard, he’s been training on his own to prepare for pitching against the top baseball players in the country, and his performance on the mound showed that training paid off.

I’ve worked hard the last couple months; I’ve hit the gym a lot, worked on my mechanics, throwing a lot of bullpens. I mean I’ve worked hard for this situation,” Allard said.

He has put himself into a path that looks to be leading to a lot of success, and for his dad watching his son pitch has allowed him to see his son’s talent firsthand.

He’s actually doing very well and I’m very impressed with him,” Kenny Allard said about his son’s performance on the mound. “His performance out here was very good and he was pretty much at the top of his game.

He’s very young, he’s only 16. So he kind of bloomed late, so he’s just kind of now coming on the National Showcase circuit. I think things are really looking up for him and I think he has a lot more potential and a lot more growing to do. I’m very proud of him, he’s done awesome”

As a dad, Kenny has not only watched his son grow on the field, but off it as well.

I’d say he’s grown up a lot in the last two years as far as his dedication and work ethic,” Kenny Allard added. “He’s always been really good. But then there comes a point and time when you’re in high school that you have to work hard, it just doesn’t come naturally. He’s definitely done really well as far as working hard.

He’s got a good attitude and he’s a good kid, stayed out of trouble and made all the right decisions.”

One decision that could be said was a right decision was picking which college Kolby would commit to. Kenny said his son originally gave a verbal commitment to Cal State Fullerton, but then reconsidered and chose UCLA, something father and son are both happy about.

It’s a good school, I loved it, took a visit and fell in love with the campus basically,” the younger Allard said. “The baseball team is sick; they won the College World Series last year, so it’ll be fun. I’d love to get a ring when I go there. We’ll see, hopefully we can do it. We have a good recruiting class coming in.”

Allard added that he also has some friends who have committed to UCLA, including Kyle Molnar who had a good performance at the National Showcase.

Allard's father looks forward to watch his son grow as a player and a person for the next four years just by taking a short drive to watch his son play at UCLA.

For a parent, that’s a dream come true,” Kenny Allard said. “We’re very happy. It’s a lot easier when you drive up the road to watch your kid play opposed to hopping on an airplane and spend a lot of money. So we’re very happy about that; very excited.”

Chris Real

Live Streaming

For the third straight year the Perfect Game National Showcase is available for everyone to watch online. The live stream to all of the workouts, batting practice sessions, and games, and the archives for each if you couldn't watch them in real time, can be found on iHigh's dedicated Perfect Game page:

National Impressions

Two games were played on the fifth and final day of the 2014 National Showcase, games 17 and 18 overall, with no skill workouts aside from an individual catching workout for Ben Baggett, who missed the Day 4 drills since he pitched the first game on Sunday.

Game 17 was highlighted by a pair of hard-hit doubles. Brendon Davis, a tall and lean athlete ripped a ball down the third base line for a double, although was thrown out at third trying to stretch an additional base. Shane Potter, a big, physical specimen at 6-foot-5, 218-pounds, drove a ball hard to right field and probably could have stretched the hit out to a triple if he had wanted to, but safely stayed put at second.

In Game 18 Jonathan Engelmann roped a double of his own down the right field line.

Jonah Davis put a very good swing on a fastball in the seventh inning, driving it high and deep over the left fielder's head for an opposite field double.

There were a handful of pitchers that took the mound in the final game of the event that rewarded the scouts and recruiters that stuck around until the final pitch.

Will Neely was the first of such arms, and although he didn't offer a particularly imposing stature, he was able to consistently sit at 90-91 mph with a really quick delivery to the plate. He also threw a 78-79 mph breaking ball.

Wesley Rodriguez of the Vegas Gold squad raised a few eyebrows for the ease in which he produced 91-93 mph heat and for how well he spun his mid-70s curveball.

Andrew Noviello offered a more conventional package than the first two notable arms that pitched in Game 18, with an athletic 6-foot, 205-pound frame and very good arm speed that generated 90-91 mph velocity. He worked really quickly, and breezed through his two innings of work.

Following in the form of Joe DeMers and Patrick Sandoval, who each were among the very last pitchers to throw on Days 3 and 4, Ashe Russell took the mound in the bottom of the fifth inning and proved to be more than worth the wait. Russell's flight to Fort Myers landed after 2:00 a.m. early Monday morning, and he didn't show any signs of jet-lag or fatigue in throwing a 93-95 mph fastball and an absolutely wicked low-80s slider. With a broad shouldered 6-foot-4, 195-pound high-waisted build, Russell's fast arm and deceptive low three-quarters delivery made him nearly unhittable as the opposing batters were consistently behind on his stuff. His last pitch registered 94 mph in a very dominant two inning stint, ending the event on a very high note.

Read detailed reports from all 18 games played at the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase as well as the workout results in the scout blogs:

2014 PG National Showcase scout blog

We at Perfect Game would like to share our deepest condolensces with the family of and to those close to Tony Gwynn. When the news crossed of his death there was a collective sigh of sadness throughout the press box at JetBlue Park. Tony Gwynn was my personal favorite ballplayer during his playing days, and I will always fondly remember him for not only for the success he enjoyed as a ballplayer, but the manner in which he carried himself on and off the field.

Thanks to all of the players, parents and other family members, as well as the scouts, recruiters and everyone one that attended the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase and helped make it yet another successful event.

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