AABC MATTINGLY WORLD SERIES: Championship Game Notes

 

MELISSA – With a trip to Farmington, New Mexico to participate in the prestigious Connie Mack World Series on the line, Texas Twelve Maroon and Stix Scout 2022 took the field last Saturday night at the Melissa Sports Complex. Early, Texas Twelve Maroon jumped out to a lead and with lefty Shane Sdao on the mound, the 2020 champions proved too much for Stix Scout 2022, who played outstanding baseball during a long, competitive week. Texas Twelve Maroon took the crown and punched its ticket with a 7-1 win.

 

Some notes on the game and the player award winners:

Most Valuable Player – Sdao tossed 11.0 innings (0.56 ERA) and gave up just two hits during the AABC Mattingly World Series, including 5.0 sharp innings during Saturday night’s championship game. He gave up just one run on one hit, three walks and he punched out six. It wasn’t until the fourth inning Sdao, committed to Texas A&M, threw a breaking ball. He attacked Stix Scout 2022 primarily with his fastball while mixing in his changeup, which is easily his best secondary offering. 

Up to 88 MPH in the first inning, Sdao’s fastball carried life deep into his outing, routinely generating swings and misses. Working quickly and confidently, the Lake Creek standout pitched with noticeable intent throughout his outing and finished his fastball with competitive conviction. He has all the tools to be a strike-throwing starter at the next level with focus on his fastball-changeup combo. 

CLICK HERE FOR OUR INSTAGRAM FEATURE ON SDAO

Although his breaking ball is a clear third pitch, Sdao, perhaps unintentionally, showed a slider could be the best breaking ball option in the future, especially with his arm action and other stuff. Regardless, he looks like one of the state’s top pitchers in the 2022 class. 

 

Most Valuable Hitter – Unsurprisingly, Texas Twelve Maroon’s Justin Vossos helped set the tone for his team in the first inning by walking and scoring a run. Later, he added a sacrifice fly and flirted with a homer to right-center. He walked twice, scored two runs, drove in a run and proved he can impact a game offensively without getting a hit thanks in part to his aggressiveness on the bases. 

Across seven games, Vossos finished with a slash line of .500/.536/1.000. For those non-Math majors out there, that means he wrapped up the event with an 1.536 OPS. Frankly, Vossos was the best, most consistent position player in the AABC Mattingly World Series by a noticeable margin. While his bat, which showed contact skill, quickness, barrel feel and some intriguing pop, especially to his pull-side, stood out the most, Vossos also ran the bases very well and looked like he could play shortstop at the next level. 

 

Most Valuable Defensive Player – Among the most enjoyable things to watch at the AABC Mattingly World Series was the Hawai’i Elite 2G pitchers throwing to catcher Beau Sylvester. Named the Most Valuable Defensive Player of the event, Sylvester was a treat to watch work behind the plate, and he played a noticeable part in his talented starting pitchers throwing so successfully deep into starts. 

A high energy and athletic player behind the dish, Sylvester showed his catch-and-throw skill multiple times by catching runners trying to steal and even picked off a runner at second base from his knee. Sylvester moved around the plate quietly, received the ball well, and worked hard for his pitchers. At the plate, he showed some raw power as well and a competitive approach. Currently uncommitted, the Kamehameha Kapalama (HI) product can help a lot of college programs in the future and exuded leadership characteristics. 

 

More championship game notes…

 

— Paschal lefty JP Hinojosa Jr. received the start for Stix Scout 2022 and threw a fastball up to 85 MPH. He couldn’t land his breaking ball and changeup enough to keep a loaded Texas Twelve Maroon lineup off-balanced, but did show some changeup feel and some athleticism on the mound. 

— The lone run for Stix Scout 2022 came courtesy of Kayden Voelkel blasting a solo homer the opposite way. A commitment to Weatherford College, the big righty also touched 89 MPH with his fastball and a promising 12-6 curve that proved noticeably more effective than a very firm 81-82 MPH changeup. Voelkel looks like he could legitimately be a two-way player at the next level. 

— Wichita State commitment Jack Little kept his hands inside an inside fastball in the upper 80’s and ripped a solo homer to left field; it was an impressive swing considering it was not an easy pitch to keep fair and required some hand strength and bat speed to get to it. Before that at-bat, Little ran 3.88 seconds down the line on a bunt and showcased his tools throughout the title game. While Little played first base Saturday night, he could play all over the diamond with the speed especially profiling well in the outfield. 

— Speaking of outfield play, Rocco Garza-Gongora made the play of the game defensively with a diving catch in right field for Texas Twelve Maroon that resulted in a double play. An Oklahoma commitment, Garza-Gongora showed nice instincts and range defensively and a contact-based approach from the left side as a hitter. 

 

— Another Oklahoma commitment who stood out was Stix Scout 2022 infielder Jaxon Willits. The 2023 prospect made hard contact from both sides of the plate, and showed noteworthy athleticism when he charged a slow roller and threw across his body and on the move from shortstop to get a runner. He looks like one of the top players in the 2023 class. 

 

Oklahoma commitment and 2022 teammate Christian Smith-Johnson had some really bright flashes on the bases and in the batter’s box. Although the swing is more impact over contact currently, Smith-Johnson packs some noticeable bat speed and surprising pop for an outfielder his size. And while he’s a little slow out of the box getting down the line because of his aggressive hacks, once he gets going he looks like a plus runner at worst. 

 

— All Texas Twelve Maroon’s Kaden Kent did during the tournament was hit over and over and over again. As the left-handed hitting third baseman showed again last night, it didn’t matter if pitches were up, down, inside or away; he can cover the plate and get the bat on the ball. 

And even when he did strike out for the first time all event against a good outside fastball, his approach and swing were on point to drive the pitch the other way. A Lake Travis product and Texas A&M commitment, Kent looked like one of the top pure hitters of the event. He slashed .441/.481/.600 during the AABC Mattingly World Series.

 

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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