In the summer of 2011 something special happened down in Georgia for the 17U National Championships.
In 2010 Baseball U had finished 5th at the Perfect Game WWBA National Championships and many players nicknamed the team “The U Train” It was a great run that was ended by FTB Mizuno in the Quarter Finals at the main field in East Cobb. To do something like that with a bunch of players that get out of school in late June and basically only have two weeks to prepare for the biggest summer event in amateur baseball was quite an accomplishment.
In 2011 the Class of 2012 / 17U players proved that the northeast could compete with anyone in the country. The team composed of what is now proving to be an impact freshman class this year in college baseball went 17-1 over the summer and made a special run down in Georgia.
Early in the week college coaches from some of your top schools in the country were approaching the staff of Baseball U telling us that we had the best hitting team in the country. The staff took it as a nice compliment but thought nothing of it as more than just a recruiting compliment. By the time the team was playing its third game of the day in the Quarter Finals against the #2 ranked team in the country the Texas Sun Devils we were all believers that they were the best hitting team in the country by mercy ruling the Sun Devils 13-5.
In the semi-finals the team ran into not a team that was better than Baseball U but a pitcher in Matthew Crownover who pitched about as a perfect game as you can pitch for a high school player. The team threatened and was mounting a comeback when a controversial double play was called when the shortstop was taken out when he was clearly over the bag. Baseball U would have been within 2 runs with the bases loaded and UVA freshman Joe McCarthy at the plate. The team lost 4-0 but had nothing to be ashamed about.
That group of players is now spread out at several colleges making the same statement they did in the summer of 2011. Every member of the team went on to play baseball and here are a few that are making an impact this year.
Joe McCarthy – has started and reached base in his first 33 games for UVA batting in the three hole. Joe has 39 hits with 35 walks and is batting .328 with a .481 on base percentage.
Vinny Siena – has started all 31 games at third base and is batting .346 with 44 hits and 21 walks.
Chris Harvey – Is actually considered a sophomore this year because he elected to forgo his senior year of high school and enter Vanderbilt early. Harvey has 4 doubles and 3 triples while catching for one of the top teams in the country.
Connor Myers – Is batting .294 while starting 30 games in center field for Old Dominion.
Bryan Daniello – was Connecticut HS Gatorade Player of the Year and has 6 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs for UConn.
Chris Shaw – has 4 home runs so far this year for Boston College.
Jesse Adams – currently has 23 strike outs in 21 innings pitched for Boston College.
Connor White – has just returned from an injury and wasted no time with a big home run this week to help Monmouth University to a big win.
Tommy Alexander – Tommy pitched in 3 big games down in Georgia in 2011 and is working his way into the starting rotation for Old Dominion while his fastball has topped out at 92mph.
Grant VanOrden – the defensive staple of the defense for the summer of 2011 elected to attend Army and help lead our country. Was starting for Army at West Point and suffered a minor setback while playing the game hard but still managed to get out on the field and start the game at second base against the NY Yankees at West Point.