VYPE DFW INFO
VYPE DFW MEDIA
VYPE DFW SITES
VYPE USA SITES
Wakeland sets up Heath Region I final showdown
May 29, 2012By David McNabb of VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
FRISCO _ Frisco Wakeland gave up just one run in 14 innings to sweep a double-header over Waxahachie and win a Class 4A Region II semifinal series at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Wakeland defeated Waxahachie, 7-1, in Game 3 as junior pitcher Cam Brockhoff allowed just four hits and also drove in two runs.
Wakeland senior pitcher Willie Schwanke threw a one-hitter in a 2-0 victory in Game 2. Wakeland (29-11) will play Rockwall-Heath (33-8) in the Region II final in a best of 3 series on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at McKinney Boyd. Heath has reached three consecutive regional finals without advancing to the UIL state tournament while Wakeland defeated Heath to reach the 2010 state tournament.
Wakeland started Brockhoff in the deciding Game 3 against Waxahachie and Brockhoff responded with his third Game 3 decision of the playoffs. He came in to relieve for the Game 3 victory over Highland Park last week and he picked up the win in relief in the first round while also hitting a walk-off grand slam home run to eliminate McKinney North.
“Cam has had the hot hand so I went with him as the starter this time,” Wakeland coach Barry Rose said. “He’s throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes and keeps them off-balance. I told the team before the game that in these playoff double-headers, the team that wins the first game can ride that momentum into the second and that’s what we did.”
Brockhoff helped himself again as a hitter by giving Wakeland a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Brockhoff hit a single to drive a run after consecutive singles by freshman first baseman Johnny Gonzales and sophomore shortstop Grant Devore. Wakeland led 2-0 as Devore scored on an error. Brockhoff added an RBI double as part of a 4-run fourth inning which gave Wakeland a 7-run lead.
Waxahachie (25-16), which upset Corsicana in a best of 3 regional quarterfinal, only scored three runs in 21 innings against Wakeland.
Wakeland evened the series with a 2-0 victory in Game 2. Just as Wakeland relied on hard-throwing senior right-hander Willie Schwanke to even its series against Highland Park last week. Schwanke retired the first Wakeland batters in order before giving up a walk in the fifth and didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the seventh. Schwanke struck out seven. In giving up two runs to Highland Park last week,
Schwanke (9-0) allowed only two other Highland Park base-runners off one hit and an error. In nine of his last 14 innings, Schwanke has retired the side in order.
Wakeland used a squeeze bunt from DH Ryan Perry to take a 1-0 lead over Waxahachie in the third inning. Wakeland, which squeezed home two runs in its last series, got its first run across after junior lefthander Dan Harrington reached on an error. Senior centerfielder Hayden Nixon singled in a run for a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
SCOUTING REPORT: Wakeland playing great defense, throwing strikes and bunching together hits. Bottom of order with junior Cam Brockhoff and Dan Harrington actually being more productive. Hayden Nixon and Willie Schwanke have their moments but haven't gotten carry-the-team hot. Wakeland excellent outfield with Nixon in center, Harrington left and B rockhoff right. Soph SS Grant Devore growing leaps and bounds through playoffs. Really like the sweet swing of freshman first baseman Johnny Gonzales, if he adds some more pop over next couple years, could move into very top prospect category. Very good first baseman. Schwanke, Rockwall-Heath's Jake Thompson and Lake Highlands 3B baseman Michal Ketchmark are plus-fielder on any kind of scouting grades and my set the standard for quality 3B basemen in a season for North Texas.In Wake's outfield, Nixon is an excellent CF. Once Nixon is all OF at Panola JC, he could really blossom.
Wakeland pitching staff looks like Mike Maddux coaches them.. Pound,pound pound the strike zone. Schwanke can hit 90 but it's a cutter, control and confidence that makes him effective. Love his old-school Nolan Ryan windup. Elbows over the head.
Nixon, Brockhoff good stuff, but not overpowering at all. Soph Austin Gehle is a very good fourth pitcher as well. Very live curve. Wake coach Barry Rose aggressive with runners on basepaths, putting in pinch runners and, oh yes, WATCH the SQUEEZE. Wake has 3 runs the last two series on squeezes. Nixon and DH Ryan Perry excellent bunters.
Heath is Heath. Hard to bet against Jake Thompson-Jovan Hernandez duo not making a state tournament in three tries. Wakeland has a key in that it isn't intimidated by Heath, which many are. Whitehouse had a very good team, some talented sophmore with Patrick Mahomes (very fluid, athletic, 3-sport star son of former MLB reliever Pat Mahomes) and RHP Ryan Cheatham. But Whitehouse also watched youtube video of Thompson's HR over the leftfield fence at Hawks Nest and hitting indoord practice facilty behind it. Thompson then delivered major bomb at Whitehouse to solidfy reputation in Game 1.
Hernandez is one a terrifc clutch player. He had leadoff single to set up bottom of seventh game-winning hit by Bret Boswell. Hernandez and Thompson can carry teams and Heath rarely needs to be carried. Boswell is a fluid shortstop who is a 2013 commit to Texas. He's very much liker former Rowlett/UT SS Brandon Loy. Very refined, lots of tools. Boswell terrific left-handed hitter. Not fazed by facing lefthanders. Game-winning hit vs. Whitehouse was against a pretty good lefty throwing 3/4 and jumped ahead of Boswell 0-2 but Boswell came back to pull 3-2 pitch to right which scored winning run.
Heath defense can be very good but was not great against Whitehouse. Hernandez dropped ball twice at catcher before throws to second on steals. Boswell made two routine errors. Likely that won't happen again. No. 3 pitcher likely is hard-throwing freshman Tyler Ivey who came in for 7th inning after Thompson finished 6 with 104 pitches. TCU signee Thompson can come across as a little too confident for some but he's been a productive star since a soph and, hey, he's got youtube video with 6,000 hits with his home runs.
Second baseman Cade Flory is a very good defender along with first baseman Timbo Duncan (Coast Guard Academy.) Heath outfield has had some injuries and it's OK but with Heath pitching, OF doesn't have to be Mays, Aaron & Mantle )Baby Boomer reference.)
Love that Heath coach Greg Harvey took Thompson out in a tie Game 3 and didn't try to ride him. Thompson certainly could have pitched the 7th but Harvey showed great confidence and no-panic by putting in a freshman who hadn't pitched much lately. Terrific message to Hawks. Harvey has handled disappointment of Heath not yet making state tournament as well as anyone.He's not putting pressure on them to play perfect games.
My pick Heath vs. Wake. Like Wake's confidence and style. But going with the Hawks.