The 2014 Area Code Showdown was an incredible experience for aspiring college players, featuring coaches from seven different colleges - USF, UC Santa Barbara, Menlo, University of Nevada-Reno, Cal St Monterey Bay, St. Mary’s, Cal St. East Bay. The winningest college coach in attendance, Coach McIntire from UNR, commented, “The Showdown takes the typical “showcase” and turns it upside down to allow college coaches to see how much of a “team player” the individual is, in addition to their talent. Overall it was a lot of fun for the kids, even more for the coaches, and I look forward to coming in 2015.”
UNDERCLASS SHOWDOWN HIGHLIGHTS
The Underclass Showdown featured rising Frosh and Sophomore players, meaning many of these players got the opportunity to play for college coaches before even entering high school! Each of the two teams were coached by three college coaches and the baseball was superb on Sunday’s Championship Game, with a 0-0 score into the 8th inning. Tristan Tucker (Dougherty Valley) and Sam Novitske (Foothill) hit key doubles to lead their team to victory. Players came from a staggering 23 different high schools to compete in the Underclass event and held a cumulative GPA of 3.5!
Coaches selected the top players/performers to the “All Showdown Team” and were very interested in the young talent. Dillon Shackley (Foothill) was the hardest thrower at 82mph. The top pitcher was LHP Jack Nielsen (Dublin), the top overall player was Lucas Abbas (Benicia) and the top prospect was Novitske. The Luke Huerta Award went to Jesse Chan (California), recognized as the hardest working player.
UPPERCLASS SHOWDOWN HIGHLIGHTS
With teams were divided into the 510, 925 and 650, the undefeated Champion of the 2014 event was the 510 team, who could do no wrong in each of the three games they played, particularly facing the 925 in the final game. In addition to the dominant play from the 510, Showdown highlights included a grand slam by Alex Cupps (Granada) in the semi final, exciting overall play by Tyler Toland (Deer Valley), a breakout performance as a pitcher and lefty hitting catcher for Kevin Gregersen (Las Lomas), explosive batting from both sides of the plate from Jalen Bustos (Bishop O’Dowd) and on the mound from Jordan Chriss (De La Salle).
Jake Cruce (Heritage) as named the top overall prospect with impressive offensive displays from the left side in the games and in live batting practice. The top player went to Toland and the top pitcher to Chriss. Cupps was the recipient of the Luke Huerta Award for outstanding hustle and defense to go along with his first career HR. Three pitchers tied for the hardest throwers at 86 MPH, Llewelyn Slone (Granada), Jamie Kruger (Woodside) and Gregersen.