Tournaments | Story | 7/9/2013

Impressive start for Marucci Elite

Sam Brazenas        
Photo: Perfect Game

MARIETTA, Ga. – With a roster full of Division I commits, victories have come quite easily for Marucci Elite, which is now 3-0 in the WWBA 17u National Championship.

Anything less than a championship, we’re disappointed,” said head coach of Marucci Elite Chad Raley. “We’ve got the single goal to win every tournament we play in.”

Marucci Elite started off the tournament with a big win on Friday against the Long Island Prospects Pro Elite, where right-hander Joe Cavallaro (South Florida commit) racked up 13 strikeouts. Keith Weisenberg (Stanford commit) led them to another victory by throwing a no-hitter against the South Florida Bandits North on Monday.

Marucci Elite continued their winning streak with a 10-2 victory over the Richmond Braves 17u West on Tuesday. Clay Moffit allowed only two runs during his five innings on the mound, and Andy Pagnozzi held the Braves at two in the sixth and final inning.

At the plate, Marucci Elite dominated. Handsome Monica (Arizona commit) and Gregory Deichmann (Louisiana State commit) both drove in three. Deichmann did so in dramatic fashion, hitting a towering three-run homer in the third inning, which followed Brandon Chapman’s (George Washington commit) solo homer that started off the inning.

He’s got a lot of power, (and) he’s going to be a high draft,” said Raley about Deichmann. “First time I saw Greg he was 14. He was swinging the bat really well. We stayed in touch and finally his high school let him go and play with us this year. He usually has to stay back and play with his high school team, so we’re really happy to have him.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound shortstop is ranked No. 13 on the Perfect Game High School Class of 2014 National Rankings, and is ranked No. 1 overall in Louisiana. He’s also recognized as a 2013 Underclass First Team All-American. Deichmann said he’s been putting in a lot of work in the offseason as well as during the season to get him there.

Staying humble and staying focused (is important),” added Deichmann.

Deichmann is from Metairie, La., and attends Brother Martin High School where he was recognized on the New Orleans area All-District team. He graduates in 2014, and will play at Louisiana State University, where he made a verbal commitment after his freshman year.

It has kind of been my dream school so (when they offered) I said yes,” explained Deichmann.

Among other prospects on this team is Jakson Reetz, who shows his versatile talent at multiple positions on the field. This is Reetz’s first tournament with Marucci Elite.

Jakson Reetz excels both behind the plate and on the mound.

It’s truly an honor to play with these guys,” said Reetz about his new teammates. “There’s a lot of talent on this team and I’m really enjoying my time being down here this weekend. (I’m) having a lot of fun.”

He’s a really intense kid, (and) he’s got a bright future,” added Raley. “I don’t know whether he's going to be, a catcher, pitcher, what. He loves to compete, (and) he’s probably one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen.”

Reetz, who Is 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, is ranked No. 42 on Perfect Game’s High School Class of 2014 National Rankings, and No. 1 overall in Nebraska. He is also recognized as a 2013 Underclass First Team All-American.

I owe a lot of it to my coaches and my family,” explained Reetz of his recent jump up PG's updated rankings. “Especially my dad and my catching coach. They did a lot for me and got me where I am today. It’s an honor to be ranked up there with guys like this.”

Reetz is from Hickman, Neb. and plays baseball at Norris High School, where he helped lead his team to a State Championship.

It was a blast this year,” said Reetz about his high school season. “We only lost two games and averaged like 12 runs a game. We just had fun the whole year and had a 0.69 ERA.”

Reetz was also named Gatorade’s Player of the Year for Nebraska. He said he’s “very honored to be representing Nebraska like that.”

Reetz has made a verbal commitment to play ball locally at Nebraska after he graduates in 2014, along with Marucci Elite teammate Monte’ Harrison.

Coach (Darin) Erstad called me in my sophomore year and we talked,” explained Reetz. “It’s an honor to play for him and be a part of Nebraska nation. I’ve always been a husker my whole life (and) It’s always been a dream of mine to play there.”

Almost all of the players on Marucci Elite attended the 2013 National Showcase that took place earlier this summer in Minneapolis, Minn.

It was awesome playing at the Metrodome,” said Reetz about the National Showcase. “Can you have a better experience playing with the top guys in the nation? I really learned a lot playing there.”

I went to the Junior National last year. This year I had the same expectations, just try and do a little better than I did last year,” added Deichmann of the experience. “It was fun. I got to see a lot of guys that I know, and I got to meet some new people. I got to participate in the homerun derby, (there were) just a lot of fun things.”

The Marucci baseball program is based out of Houston. It originated in Baton Rouge, and has been spreading from the southeast all over the country. That nationwide reach is evident by the number of notable D-I schools across the country Raley's players have committed to, including Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, San Diego, Arizona, Louisiana State, Miami, Stanford, Mississippi State, and Nebraska.

We focus on player development (and) teaching the kids to play the right way,” said Raley about the Marucci organization. “We want everybody to get better. We like to attract the top talent in the country and get those guys better.”


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