Kissimmee, FL - There was not a lot of sunshine for Game 1 of the Mizuno Sunshine State Challenge on Thursday afternoon in Kissimmee. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of hits either as PW 18U fell 2-1 to the South Florida Titans.
"I was surprised," said Coach Paul Giambalvo. "I thought we would start out slow being that it was the first time we have swung wood this summer. I was surprised at how many of our kids hit the ball solid today. We just could not get much to fall in. I think we stranded at least 12 baserunners today. I tip my cap to their pitcher. He had us off balance all game."
PW 18U only mustered a few hits, but one stood out to all that were in attendance. Rising Senior Roche Woodard (Hillsborough HS), after arriving just before the game started, hit the first pitch he saw for a leadoff HR that hit the "fair" pole. "That ball was gone in about 2 seconds," remarked Giambalvo. Despite the HR on the 1st pitch, Prospectwire could not come up with the timely hits when they needed them.
On the other side of the ball, Prospectwire continued to flourish. Lake Brantley HS's Joey Hall (2011) went four innings, yielding only 2 hits. "Joey was solid," Giambalvo said. "He hit his spots very well. He kept them off balance and pounded the strike zone. He was awesome!"
Devin Lee (Hillsborough HS) went 2 innings, giving up his first run of the summer on a "Texas League" blooper over 1st. His run was unearned. Umatilla's Brandon Meadows gave up an run in the 7th that made it 2-1 in favor of the Titans. "Our pitching has been great all summer. Doesn't matter who we throw, they just keep us in the game. Brandon (Meadows) had a bit of trouble out of the gate, but he really settled down. Once he adjusted to the mound, he was fine. They all threw well today. In that sense, I cannot complain," said Giambalvo.
Tomorrow is another day for Prospectwire 18U. They will be in action at 12:00 pm & 7:45 pm as they try to position themselves as one of the top seeds. Check back for updates tomorrow, as well as results from PW 16U's double header (8:00 am & 2:45 pm).