Tournaments : : Story
Monday, July 16, 2012

Reed shines for Knights Baseball

Matthew Stokes        
Photo: Perfect Game

MARIETTA, Ga. – In spite of 14 strikeouts by its starting pitcher, Knights Baseball 16u National (1-2) lost 5-4 against Quakes Baseball (1-2) in an early Sunday afternoon pool P matchup at the 2012 WWBA 16u National Championship.

With the tying and winning runs on base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Eric Mertens (2014, Althoff Catholic H.S., Ill.) set down Gregory Lambert (2014, Madison Academy, Ala.) on strikes to seal the win for the Quakes.

Entering the game at Southern Poly’s Water J. Kelly, Jr. Field, the Quakes had yet to register a run scored through two games, and it appeared little would change in the early going on Sunday. Knights left-hander Cody Reed (2014, Ardmore H.S., Ala.) struck out the side in the first as well as four of the first five batters that he faced.

But the Illinois-based Quakes finally plated some runs in the second as Ty Grant (2014,
Gibault Catholic H.S., Ill.) drove in Parker Hendricks (2014, Belleville East H.S., Ill.) from third on a RBI groundout to second. Later on that half inning, Taylor Schmitt (2014, Lebanon H.S., Ill.) also crossed home plate.

An inning later, the Knights rallied to tie the game after Quakes starting pitcher Grant Strieker (2014, Althoff Catholic H.S., Ill.) drilled Lambert with the bases loaded and then surrendered a sacrifice fly to Tyler Brown (2014, Friendship, Tenn.) on consecutive pitches.

Two frames down the road, Quakes used a walk and three hits to push home their final three scores to break a tie ballgame. Technically, Knights lefty Reed struck out the side in the top of the fifth, but not before allowing a two-run double by Strieker, which skipped by a diving Kyle Wright (2014, Buckhorn H.S., Ala.) at third base.

The Knights did muster some offense in response to the Quakes’ three-run fifth though as Lambert notched two more RBIs on a line drive two-run double to left-center, drawing the team within a run. But that would be the last sighting of the Knights’ bats.

Reed took the loss for the Knights in a complete-game outing, allowing six hits, five runs (two earned), three walks and striking out 14. He struck out the side twice on Sunday afternoon. A Perfect Game scout clocked the six-foot-three left-hander’s fastball in the 86-88 mph range.

Cody pitched well,” said Knights head coach Jason Anderegg after the game. “He kept us in the game, and we had an opportunity to win at the end and that’s all you can ask for.”

Anderegg was complimentary of the left-hander pitcher, who also sees time at first base for the Knights.

Cody has a fastball that has late life on it and a good curveball too,” Anderegg said. “He just knows how to throw and get people out.”

The rising junior said he is considering University of Alabama and Vanderbilt University. He claims to have a verbal offer from the Crimson Tide while the Commodores have expressed interest.

I’m looking for good academics, facilities, coaches and just solid people,” said Reed in response to what he is seeking in a school.

Anderegg also gave third baseman/right-handed pitcher Kyle Wright high marks.

He’s got the college maturity already as a 16-year-old,” said Anderegg of Wright, who went hitless in three times to bat Sunday. “He knows how to pitch and just controls the tempo of the game. He’s very good defensively at third and has good power and leverage at the plate, but he’ll pitch in college.”

Wright, who pitched a complete-game three-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Full Count Baseball on Friday, described himself as “calm, relaxed but aggressive” when he plays.

As far as playing at the collegiate level goes, Wright said he is focusing on Alabama, Auburn University and Mississippi State University.

Auburn’s giving me a chance as a two-way guy and so is Alabama,” said Wright, whose fastball topped out at 89 mph on Friday.

When asked about what he will focus on position-wise after high school, Wright appeared to be on the fence.

I’d prefer to pitch because that’s what I feel like I’m better at, but I’d like some opportunities to hit,” Wright said.

To wrap up the conversation, Anderegg said he is proud of Reed and Wright.

Just two awesome guys, on and off the field,” Anderegg said.

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