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Tournaments | Story | 9/13/2018

Fall Champs invade the desert

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Cody Freeman (Perfect Game)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Play at both the Perfect Game Upperclass and Freshman Fall National Championships Protected by G-Form begins Friday at three MLB Cactus League spring training complexes in Phoenix’s West Valley.

Those two events will run Friday, Sept. 14 through Monday, Sept. 17, with games being played at the Camelback Ranch Complex (Dodgers, White Sox) in Glendale, the Goodyear (Ariz.) Ballpark Complex (Indians, Reds) and the Peoria (Ariz.) Sports Complex (Mariners, Padres).

The PG Underclass Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form will be played Sept. 21-24 at the Camelback Ranch Complex and the Surprise (Ariz.) Stadium Complex (Rangers, Royals).

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will compete for the title at the 10th annual PG Upperclass Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form, a tournament won last year by Arizona-based Wilson Sandlot. This year’s field includes entrants from the western outposts of Alaska, Montana and Utah, as well as the usual throng of teams from Arizona, California and Colorado.

Based on the rosters that had been submitted early this week, Ontario, Calif.-based CBA Marucci National and CBA Marucci American will be armed to the teeth with top prospects when they arrive in the Arizona desert.

CBA Marucci National features 15 2019s ranked in the top-500 nationally, a number that includes seven that are ranked in the top-256. No. 67 shortstop Carter Young (a Vanderbilt commit), No. 73 first baseman Joseph Naranjo (Cal State Fullerton) and No. 112 shortstop Cody Freeman (Baylor) are among the leaders of this talented upperclass squad.

CBA Marucci American comes in with a roster that features seven 2020 prospects ranked in the top-357 of their class, including No. 107 outfielder Jake Vogel (UCLA).

The Nevada-based Las Vegas Recruits (LVR) enters with a diverse roster that includes No. 125 2019 right-hander Aaron Roberts (California), No. 61 2020 third baseman/right-hander Jaden Agassi (U Southern California), No. 180 2020 catcher Emilio Morales (USC) and No. 39 2021 right-hander Tyler Whitaker (Arizona).

University Place, Wash.-based GBG NW Marucci features talented top 2020s in No. 7 right-hander Mick Abel (Oregon State) and No. 95 right-hander Marquis Grissom Jr.

Other highly ranked prospects rostered for the Upperclass event include No. 18 2020 shortstop Mac Horvath (North Carolina) from the Twin Cities Baseball Academy and No. 8 2021 outfielder Thomas Dilandri (Texas Christian) from the LVR Red.

Sixty-two alumni of the PG Upperclass Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form have already made their major league debuts, a number that includes the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, the Rockies’ Trevor Story, the Padres’ Eric Hosmer and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger.

Indians’ right-hander Shane Bieber, who is enjoying a terrific rookie season in the big leagues, was at the Underclass Fall National Championship in 2011 and the Upperclass Fall in 2012.

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– Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada – will vie for the championship at the 3rd annual PG Freshman Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form. The first Freshman Fall National Championship held in 2016 was won by Nevada-based LVR and last year’s title was claimed by GBG Arizona 2021.

Many of the West’s top travel ball programs will be represented, with teams from California’s CBA, GBG, Dykstra Baseball and San Diego Show, Colorado’s Slammers Baseball and Nevada’s LVR in the tournament field.

The rosters are filled with several of the top class-of-2022 prospects, including No. 28-ranked shortstop Mickey Romero (Arizona) from the Show, No. 37 outfielder Mason Neville from the Nevada Road Dogs, No. 47 shortstop Demitri Diamant and No. 94 third baseman Logan Saloman from Phoenix-based 3D West and No. 100 left-hander Spencer Seid from the CBA Wave.

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– the majority from Arizona and California – will get after it at the 10th annual PG Underclass Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form.

Phoenix-based Canyon Thunder 2017 won last year’s Underclass Fall PG national championship. In the previous nine years, only the California-based GBG program has won as many as two titles with seven other prominent programs winning one each.

Official rosters for the expected teams had not been published as of mid-week, so the names of the top prospects that will be on hand were not available as this was written. Readers are encouraged to click here in the coming days for updates involving this event.

It is known that the Los Angeles-based GBG Marucci organization will be well represented with four teams – 2020 Blue, 2020 Navy, 2021 Blue and 2021 Navy – in the field. University Place, Wash.-based GBG NW Marucci will also contend.

Colorado-based Slammers Baseball has four teams in the field – Asnicar, Gonzalez, Howard and Jenkins – and California-based CBA will have three entrants: the Bulldogs, Sacramento 2020 and the Wave. The Southern California Bombers will have a pair of entrants in the 2020 Black and the 2021 Black and the San Diego Show will enter both the Show and the Show Black.

The Crabfest All-Americans get the high mileage award for traveling nearly 2,300 miles from their base of operations in New Carrollton, Md.

More than 300 alumni of the Underclass Fall National Championship went on to be selected in the MLB June Amateur Draft and nine have already made their big-league debuts. That number includes Kolby Allard (Braves), Shane Bieber (Indians), Caleb Frare (White Sox), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Rangers) and Jacob Nottingham (Brewers), all of who debuted this season.

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