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FTB Chandler wins big

Tournaments : : Story
Matthew Stokes        
Published: Saturday, July 14, 2012

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – FTB Chandler (1-0) rode a seven-run inning and stellar pitching to a 9-1 victory over the OTC Baseball 16u (0-2) in a Saturday afternoon pool T matchup at the 2012 WWBA 16u National Championship. Due to the tournament’s mercy rule of eight runs after five innings, the game ended.

Florida Travel Baseball’s bats woke up in the third inning as they crossed the plate a whooping seven times.

We came out a little sluggish,” said FTB Chandler head coach Jered Goodwin after the team’s win. “I kind of had to yell a little bit at them. They did a good job of running the bases and playing defense. We were fortunate enough to have a big inning.”

Nick Longhi (2013, Venice High, Fla.), Colby Bortles (2013, Oviedo H.S., Fla.), Jeremy Vasquez (2014, Martin County H.S., Fla.), and Tyrone Perry (2015, Avon Park H.S., Fla.) each contributed RBIs in that frame.

Longhi is a Louisiana State University verbal commitment while Bortles has given his verbal pledge to University of Mississippi. Both attended last month’s National Showcase at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., and rank amongst Perfect Game’s top 300 prospects for the high school class of 2013.

Vasquez also made an appearance at the Metrodome as he participated in the Junior National Showcase. He ranks as Perfect Game’s 42nd-ranked player in its high school class of 2014 prospect rankings. That list will be updated in the near future. Perfect Game’s National Director of Scouting, David Rawnsley, commented after the Junior National that Vasquez should be one of the top hitters in the 2014 class as he “had some of the loosest wrists of any player” at that event.

FTB Chadler’s roster also includes Nicholas Gordon (2014, Olympia H.S., Fla.), Perfect Game’s fourth-ranked 2014 high school player, as well as Kyle Marsh (2014, Spruce Creek H.S., Fla.), who checks in as the PG’s 12th-ranked prospect in his class.

Marsh, who gave an early verbal commitment to University of Central Florida in Aug. 2011, walked twice, stole two bases and scored a run on Saturday. He played second base in this game, but manned the shortstop position and served as a right-handed pitcher on Spruce Creek’s 8A state championship-winning team this past spring.

When I toured the school, I enjoyed the surroundings, the academics and the people I talked to there,” said Marsh of UCF.

The 6-foot-2, 177-pound Marsh said that after playing a few tournaments in 2011 with FTB he was sold on the organization.

I got to play two tournaments with them last fall,” Marsh said, “and just loved it and couldn’t leave so I stayed.”

Goodwin, who handles FTB’s player recruiting and college recruiting in addition to coaching a team or two, said he has seen Marsh numerous times in the past year.

He was in our district in high school,” said Goodwin, who also serves as head baseball coach at Hagerty H.S. in Oviedo, Fla. “He’s a guy that, if he wants to, can do whatever he wants. He can swing it, and he’s as dominant as I’ve seen on the mound as far as having some velocity, locating and having a plus-plus breaking ball.

With him, I try to bang it into his head that it’s just about staying focused and staying aggressive. If he can do that, the sky’s the limit for him.”

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