Draft : : Blog
Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Statewide Showdown

Perfect Game Staff        
Say that title three times fast!

Bartonville Limestone hosted its second annual Statewide Showdown. And while the statewide representation was down due to a schedule change, it still served as a showcase for two of the best position prospects in the state.

On Friday night, in front of a dozen MLB organizations, Limestone's Seth Schwindenhammer and Oak Park-River Forest's Jo Jo Maldonado squared off in the unofficial opener of the event. Neither got a chance to show much. Schwindenhammer went 1-for-2 with two RBIs after being walked once intentionally and hit by a pitch. Maldonado finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Limestone, which led 8-1 after four innings, held on for an 8-6 win.

Schwindenhammer showed his power on Saturday, however, as he led Limestone (17-5) to a 10-1 win over rival Peoria Notre Dame (16-4). The sweet-swinging lefty was 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam, and seven RBIs. He also turned a pair of double plays from centerfield by doubling runners off of first base.

Maldonado's OP-RF squad dropped a 10-7 decision to Illinois Valley Central on Saturday. Maldonado finished the day 2-for-4 again, but showcased a troubling trend as he committed his second error in as many nights. Illinois State recruit Jordan Parr had the hot bat for IVC, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and 5 RBIs.

Also impressive on the weekend were a pair of Wright State recruits. Beardstown lefty Tanner Howell struck out 12 and walked just one in a 6-3 win over Addison Driscoll. His future teammate, Sam Picchiotti of OP-RF, didn't stand out the plate, but displayed the type of gritty, winning attitude that inevitably seems to lead to success.

Finally, there was a bitten of a hidden gem on display. Washington senior centerfielder Alex Wilson is as physically gifted player that I've seen come through Central Illinois. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds he cuts an imposing figure, yet still has good enough speed to have stolen home twice during American Legion play last summer. Injuries to his left knee and a torn finger tendon limited him as a junior and hindered his exposure. Finally healthy, he hitting .508 with 17 doubles and 15 RBIs for Washington (14-6). He's a player that colleges should be taking a closer look at.
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