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Perfect Game Staff        
Published: Friday, October 27, 2006

Jupiter, Fla. , October 26-30, 2006




Michael Main, (the #1 ranked 07 player all year) from DeLand High in Deltona, Fla., entered with a 1-0 lead going to the sixth inning and struck out the side with a fastball that topped out at 96 mph?€?the fastest velocity on the day at the 80-team tournament. But in the seventh as his velocity dropped slightly and he allowed three hits and a walk as All-Star Baseball Academy rallied for a pair of runs in its final at-bat. In Main ?€™s defense, one of the hits was a bloop single and the other was a ?€?bad hop?€? routine ground ball that should have ended the inning. Main ?€™s last pitch was a strike three 95 mph fastball.

It was the first game of the tournament for both teams. ASBA moved to 2-0 later in the day with a 4-1 win over North Carolina ?€™s On-Deck O?€™s, while Southeast Select lost 6-0 to California ?€™s ABD Bulldogs in the final session of the day.

Southeast select got a brilliant effort by junior righthander Daniel Marrs (Richmond, Va. ), who blanked All-Star Baseball Academy through five innings, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out seven. His fastball was a steady 89-91, peaking at 94.

Despite a lightning-quick arm, Main has had a few rough outings this summer. A gifted two-way player, who was 5 for 10 in the World Championships and doubled in his only at bat in the Aflac game, Main went 0-3 while taking the loss in Fridays game.


--Georgia ?€™s East Cobb Astros, the nation?€™s premier youth team, stretched its record in the tournament to 2-0 with its second straight shutout, an 11-0 win over Perfect Game Maroon. Senior lefthander Will Casey (Kennesaw, Ga.) and senior righthander Brian Dupra combined on a one-hitter, the team?€™s second straight of the tournament. The Astros, the only undefeated team in Pool D, won 3-0 on Friday.

Other teams in the tournament that were 2-0 after the completion of play on Friday included All-Star Baseball Academy (Pa. ), the Florida Magic, Hammertime Performance (Fla.), Midland Scout Team (Ky.), Central Florida Renegades, Diamond Devils (S.C.) and the Dirtbags (N.C.). Several top teams, including the Reds Scout Team (Ohio), PG Crosschecker and California ?€™s ABD Bulldogs had played only one game.

Like East Cobb, the Dirtbags won both their games by shutouts. Righthanders Patrick John son (Conover, N.C. ) and Brad Mincey (Wilmington, N.C. ) combined on a one-hitter in a 5-0 win over Georgia ?€™s OTC Bears, while Ryan Leach (Kings Mountain, N.C. ), Trent Rothlin (Hickory, N.C. ), Vance Williams (Cary, N.C. ) and Justin Poovey (Granite Falls, N.C.) allowed a good Baseball Northwest squad to three hits in the second game. The latter four pitchers were all in the 89-92 mph range and combined to strike out 10.

Despite their inspired play, the Dirtbags were the talk of the tournament--for the uniforms they wore on their back. Hoping it might spur them on to a championship on Monday (Halloween Day), the Dirtbags dressed in blue camoflage uniform tops with the head of a skeleton emblazed on the front. The Dirtbags, made up almost entirely from players from North Carolina , finished third a year ago.

The tournament is broken down into 16 pools of five teams. Only the first-place team in each pool advances to bracket play, which begins on Sunday afternoon. The championship game is scheduled for Monday afternoon. For a team to win the tournament, it must play a minimum of eight games?€?four in pool play and four more in bracket play.

--With Main likely to fall from his perch as the nation?€™s top-ranked high school talent and righthander Matt Harvey (Mistic, Conn. ) absent from the tournament, the door has opened for Rick Porcello to make his case as the nation?€™s top prep pitching prospect.

Porcello (Chester, N.J. ) is pitching in the tournament for the South Florida Bandits, a bit of a misnomer as there are only two players on the roster from Florida . The 6-foot-5 Porcello worked the first two innings of South Florida ?€™s 5-1 win over Perfect Game White Friday, striking out two with a fastball that topped at 95 m ph. Oddly, the first five South Florida batters in the game all scored, but none of the final 16 South Florida hitters even reached base.

EDITOR?€™S NOTE: Perfect Game Crosschecker?€™s Allan Simpson and David Rawnsley are in Jupiter covering the tournament and will file daily notebooks. Beginning Friday, their coverage will also include a daily list of the top 10 tournament highlights of the day.

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