Recruiting Notebook: Stafford’s Lambros Joins Hokies’ Talented ‘21 Class

August 13 - Virginia Tech continued to add to an already impressive 2021 recruiting haul with last week’s addition of Stafford outfielder Elijah Lambros. 

As a sophomore this spring, Lambros earned first-team Class 5 all-state honors after helping the Indians go 24-3 and win the program’s first state championship. He hit .427 with a team-high 41 hits - including five doubles and four triples - and 18 RBI. He led the Indians in steals (17) and runs scored (25) and struck out just eight times in 108 plate appearances.

The day after winning the state title, Stafford coach Tommy Harrison said Lambros was back at the field, hitting in the batting cage. 

“He put up some great numbers and he’s getting better and better,” Harrison said. “He’s got speed, an arm, range in the outfield. He goes gap-to-gap and he can throw guys out at the plate.”

Lambros joins a Virginia Tech class that includes Page County left-hander T.R. Williams, Ocean Lakes infielder Carson DeMartini and Amherst infielder Christian Martin. All three are rated among Prep Baseball Report’s top 10 recruits in the ‘21 class in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The Indians’ 6-foot-1, 190-pound leadoff man, who plays in the offseason with the Richmond Braves travel program, has been reportedly clocked as low as 6.40 in the 60-yard-dash and as high as 90 MPH on throws from the outfield. Harrison credits the Hokies coaching staff for landing a talent that had begun to garner the attention of Top 25 programs and he feels could one day be a draft pick. 

“He’s got tools that you can’t teach,” Harrison said. “He finds the barrel no matter what the pitch is, and that impresses me and I think it’s impressed everybody else. 

“He’s a great kid and he wants to perform at a high level.”

Savino’s Busy Summer Continues in California

Nate Savino started and struck out two in his scoreless inning at the Perfect Game All-American Classic on Sunday at Petco Park in San Diego. 

The Potomac Falls left-hander had his fastball reach 95 MPH and his slider “was one of the better pitches of the night, getting a number of swings and misses on the offering,” Perfect Game wrote on its game recap. 

Savino’s busy summer has also included appearances in Major League Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline League in Florida, the High School All-Star Game as part of MLB’s All-Star festivities in Cleveland, and the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. He is now in Irvine, CA for the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials. 

A two-time NOVA Nine Team member, Savino is Perfect Game’s No. 4-rated recruit nationally in the Class of 2020. The southpaw, who has committed to Virginia but is expected to be taken early in next year’s MLB Draft, has totaled 180 strikeouts to 32 walks and compiled a 0.73 ERA in 86.1 innings over the past two seasons at Potomac Falls. 

Savino plays in the offseason with the Diamond Elite travel program. 

George Mason Lands 1st ‘21 Recruit in Battlefield’s Baird

Battlefield pitcher Jackson Baird became George Mason’s first commitment from the 2021 class, as the 6-foot, 170-pound right-hander announced his decision via Twitter on Aug. 3. 

Baird was 3-0 with a 1.68 ERA and had 27 strikeouts to seven walks in 20.1 innings as the Bobcats went 18-5 and won the Cedar Run District championship before falling to Westfield in the Region 6D semifinals. He also hit .268 with 12 RBI. 

“[He] really pitched well and a lot towards the end,” Battlefield coach Jay Burkhart wrote this morning. 

This summer, Baird’s recruiting stock quickly rose while with his Marucci Stars travel team and he had his fastball clocked as high as 88 MPH on the showcase circuit. He recorded nine strikeouts to just one walk over 7.2 scoreless innings in his two outings at the Perfect Game WWBA 16U National Championship last month. 

At George Mason, his pitching coach will be Shawn Camp, who served in the same capacity at Battlefield from 2015-19. The Patriots went 19-35 overall and 5-19 in the Atlantic-10 Conference this past spring under longtime coach Bill Brown. 

Photos, clockwise from left, of Stafford’s Elijah Lambros by Kurt Steigerwald, Potomac Falls’ Nate Savino courtesy of Perfect Game, and Battlefield’s Jackson Baird by Fred Ingham

Pro Notebook: Royals Prospect Lee Racing Through Texas League

August 7 - Khalil Lee is second among all minor leaguers in stolen bases as the former Flint Hill standout continues his rise through the Kansas City Royals’ farm system. 

The 2016 third-round pick is healthy after he was limited last year by a back injury, and the dynamic left-handed hitting outfielder is posting his best professional season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Lee, 21, entered the day hitting .263 with a .372 on-base percentage, 27 extra-base hits, 47 RBI and his 43 steals are second only to teammate Nick Heath among all minor league players. 

"I've always been a base stealer," Lee told last month. "I think just this year I really figured out when good times are to run, and being able to pick up on little, key things from pitchers and being able to get a good jump and run."

The 2016 NOVA Nine Team member is ranked No. 4 among Royals prospects by MLBPipeline. 

Rizzo Continues Best Pro Season, Records 10th 3-Hit Game

Joe Rizzo (Oakton) is having his best pro season at Advanced-A Modesto, and on Thursday the former Seattle Mariners second round pick had his 10th three-hit game of the year. 

Rizzo, 21, entered the day hitting .283 with 47 RBI in 105 games. He had a 13-game hitting streak in June and was batting over .300 as recently as July 7. Currently rated as Seattle’s No. 20 prospect by MLBPipeline, the left-handed swinging third baseman has shown the most improvement with his power - he’s tied for fourth in the California League with 25 doubles and has a career-high eight homers. 

A two-time NOVA Nine Team member, Rizzo was our Player of the Year in 2015 when he hit .606 with seven homers and 25 RBI. He was taken 50th overall by Seattle after his senior year in 2016.

Zombro Continues Impressive Campaign at Double-A Montgomery

Tyler Zombro wasn’t drafted out of George Mason University, and he’s been out to prove everyone wrong since. 

Signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2017, the right-hander fared well enough to be invited back for a second professional season last year. He impressed, going 8-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 76 innings over 33 relief appearances at Single-A Bowling Green. 

This year, Zombro has been one of the top relievers in the Double-A Southern League and earned a brief promotion to Triple-A Durham. He entered the day 2-0 with eight saves, a 1.79 ERA and 31 appearances at Montgomery, continuing to be one of the biggest surprises in one of baseball’s top farm systems. 

Zombro, a native of Staunton, is one of the most-decorated pitchers in George Mason history. He ranks first in program history in innings (318.1) and walks per nine innings (1.47), second in starts (46), victories (23) and strikeouts-per-nine-innings (4.35), and third in strikeouts (226).  

Photos of, clockwise from left, Khalil Lee courtesy of, Joe Rizzo courtesy of, and Tyler Zombro courtesy of Bowling Green Hot Rods

College Notebook: Thomas’ Homer Caps Big Summer With Big Train

August 5 - Matt Thomas hit a three-run homer to spark a late rally in last week’s deciding Game 3 of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League championship series as the Bethesda Big Train won its fourth consecutive title. 

Thomas, a member of the 2018 NOVA Nine Team as a senior at Lake Braddock and a rising sophomore at William & Mary, launched a one-strike offering over the left field wall to draw the Big Train to within 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning against the visiting Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Bethesda would score three more times to provide the final 6-4 margin. 

The homer came in the final at-bat of a productive summer for Thomas, who hit .370 with 51 hits, nine doubles and 48 RBI in 41 games. During the regular season, he led the CRCBL in RBI (43), was second in hits (45), third in average (.366) and tied for eighth in doubles (7). The Big Train (34-8) are tied for sixth in the Collegiate Summer Baseball Record Top 25 ranking of the top teams from the country’s 32 summer collegiate leagues. 

Also finishing among the CRCBL offensive leaders was Alexandria Aces outfielder Scotty Morgan (Woodbridge), who connected on a league-high nine home runs while hitting .314 with 29 RBI. FCA Braves right-hander Jack Cone (South County) went 3-2 and led all qualifying pitchers with a 2.70 ERA in 36.2 innings. His 44 strikeouts ranked third, just behind Aces righty Jared Lyons (West Springfield), who finished second with 45 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA in 28.1 innings. 

McDyre Helps Charlottesville Reach VBL Championship Series

Trey McDyre (Loudoun Valley) had eight RBI over six playoff games to help the Charlottesville TomSox reach the best-of-three Valley Baseball League championship series against the Strasburg Express. 

A rising senior infielder at Liberty, McDyre hit .325 with 39 hits, five doubles, three homers and 19 RBI in 32 regular season games. In Charlottesville’s semifinal series with the Staunton Braves, he had three hits in a 9-7 win in Game 2 and drove in two runs in a 10-2 win in the deciding Game 3. 

The championship series opened tonight in Strasburg. Game 2 is tomorrow in Charlottesville, with a Game 3 if necessary back in Strasburg on Thursday. 

Trio of Ludowig, Menendez, Stewart Hope to Get Harwich to Championship Series in Cape Cod

The Harwich Mariners are one win from reaching the Cape Cod League championship series, and three area players have played a role during the postseason run. 

Michael Ludowig (Briar Woods), the 2017 NOVA Nine Player of the Year, drew a walk and had a stolen base in Harwich’s 5-1 win over Yarmouth-Dennis last night in Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinal series. The outfielder is hitting .256 with 23 hits in 28 games. 

Ludowig’s teammate at Wake Forest, sidearmer Antonio Menendez (Herndon), struck out seven over six scoreless innings as the Mariners completed a two-game sweep of Chatham with a 4-2 win on Saturday. Menendez has posted a 3.09 ERA with 32 strikeouts to 10 walks in 35 innings this summer. 

Nick Stewart (Rock Ridge) pitched two innings of relief behind Menendez on Saturday, and the James Madison right-hander has posted a 4.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts to nine walks in 27 innings. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s College Notebook is sponsored by the R&D Baseball Academy in Herndon. For more information on the academy, visit

Photos of, clockwise from left, Matt Thomas by Mark Briscoe, Trey McDyre courtesy of Charlottesville TomSox and Antonio Menendez courtesy of Harwich Mariners

Recruiting Notebook: Mason Adds Stieg, Miles to 2020 Class

August 3 - George Mason doubled its 2020 recruiting class this week, adding McLean outfielder Drew Stieg and Woodgrove infielder Wyatt Miles. 

Stieg was a second-team All-Region 6D selection after hitting .408 with 31 hits, eight doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI while helping the Highlanders win the Liberty District championship. His younger brother, Griffin, committed to Virginia Tech this spring and earned first-team all-region honors as a freshman. 

Both brothers play in the offseason with the Marucci Stars travel program. Miles, who hit .286 with six extra-base hits and six RBI for the Wolverines this spring, plays with the EvoShield Canes.

Stieg and Miles join a Patriots class that includes Centreville outfielder Thomas Trinca and Kellam outfielder Jordan Smith. George Mason was 19-35 overall and 5-19 in the Atlantic-10 Conference this season under longtime coach Bill Brown. 

Eikhoff Commits to Coastal Carolina in Busy Final Week of Recruiting Period

Ryley Eikhoff (Patriot), who decommitted from Virginia earlier this summer, announced via his twitter handle on Thursday that he will play at Coastal Carolina. 

The commitment of Eikhoff concludes a busy final week of the NCAA’s summer recruiting calendar for area players. 

Virginia Tech, which has committed over a dozen players in both the 2019-20 classes and has eight recruits already in its 2021 class, added two area rising sophomores in Woodbridge infielder Carter Newman and Colgan right-hander Ryan Kennedy. They join a Blacksburg-bound class that also includes right-hander Bryce Dolby (Paul VI Cathoic) and outfielder Griffin Stieg (McLean). 

Four other area rising seniors also made commitments to Division I programs this week: West Potomac lefty Adam Fischer to William & Mary, Brentsville District righty Vince DiMauro to High Point, Heritage righty Dylan Saale to Longwood and Loudoun County catcher Sean Garvin to Mount St. Mary’s. 

Stafford’s Lambros Shines at PBR’s Futures Games in Georgia

After helping Stafford win the Class 5 state championship in June, first-team all-state outfielder Elijah Lambros has posted a successful campaign on the summer recruiting circuit. 

That has continued this week at Prep Baseball Report’s Futures Games in Georgia. 

Lambros, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound rising junior who plays with the Richmond Braves travel program during the offseason, posted a 6.69 60-yard dash and was clocked at 90 MPH on a throw from the outfield during the event’s first day of showcasing on Wednesday. Games started on Thursday and right-hander Nathan Knowles (Yorktown) flashed a fastball that topped at 88 MPH. Yesterday, catcher J.T. Carter (Fredericksburg Christian) homered and Lambros turned heads with a running catch in the gap and also had a hit. 

Lambros, Knowles, Carter and outfielder Ryan Cuadros (Lake Braddock) are playing for Team Mid-Atlantic, while right-hander Wyatt Shenkman (Riverside) is playing for Team Select. 

Over 200 colleges are reported as being represented at the four-day event, which is being held at the LakePoint facility in Cartersville, GA.

NCAA’s Condensed Fall Recruiting Period to Debut Next Month

After a quiet period from Aug. 19 to Sept. 12, the NCAA’s fall recruiting contact period will run from Sept. 13 to Oct. 13. 

The adjusted window for Division I and Division II college coaches to travel to watch potential recruits and have contact with those players is more than three weeks shorter than in previous years. It comes as part of changes implemented to relieve stress placed upon college coaches, who are also with their teams for practices and scrimmages during the fall. 

During a contact period, players are able to take unofficial and official visits and coaches are able to have home visits or other in-person meetings off campus, evaluate players at high school and travel/showcase competition, make phone calls and send letters and emails. 

Following the four-week contact period, there will be a quiet period through February with short dead periods in the middle of November and early January. During a quiet period, players are able to take visits and coaches are able to make calls and send letters and emails but not attend competition for evaluation. That is also the case during a dead period, when only calls, letters and emails are allowed and campus visits can occur but without a meeting with a coach.

The same rules don’t apply for Division III coaches, who are unable to offer athletic scholarships.

Photos of Drew Stieg, left, by Joey Kamide and Riley Eikhoff, right, by Fred Ingham

Pro Notebook: Snyder Among Minor League Leaders in Home Runs

July 30 - While the Washington Nationals make their push for a fifth postseason appearance in eight seasons, former Westfield star Brandon Snyder is across the country putting together his best professional season at the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Fresno, CA. 

Snyder, 32, homered for the second straight game and for the fourth time in seven contests in the Fresno Grizzlies’ 10-6 loss to Reno on Sunday and he enters the day tied for ninth among all minor leaguers in home runs this year. The third baseman is hitting .278 with a .330 on-base percentage, 21 doubles, 26 homers and 68 RBI in 88 games. Three players are tied with 29 homers to lead all minor leaguers. 

As he eyes an opportunity to suit up for his hometown team - Snyder has appeared in the Major Leagues with Baltimore, Texas, Boston, Atlanta and Tampa Bay - the versatile 6-foot-2, 225-pound former first round pick is closing in on former Chantilly and University of Virginia standout Joe Koshansky for the most minor league home runs among Northern Virginia natives. Snyder has 182 career homers, 173 coming in the minors.

Koshansky hit 189 homers from 2004-11 with three organizations, mostly with Colorado. Of those, 186 came in the minor leagues, most of them while relegated to Triple-A behind the Rockies’ All-Star first baseman, Todd Helton. Koshansky had three minor league seasons in which he topped 30 homers and 100 RBI. 

Sborz Recalled by Dodgers, Records 1st Career Strikeout

Josh Sborz (McLean) was recalled by Los Angeles yesterday and pitched the final two innings in the Dodgers’ 9-1 loss in Colorado. 

Sborz made his Major League debut last month with the Dodgers, but was sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City after just one appearance. Sborz takes the spot in Los Angeles’ bullpen previously held by Jaime Schultz, who was sent down after surrendering four runs on five hits in two innings in an 11-4 loss at Washington on Sunday. 

After pitching a scoreless seventh in which he recorded his first career strikeout, the 25-year-old right-hander surrendered three runs in the eighth on a two-run homer to David Dahl and an RBI double to Daniel Murphy. Sborz is 3-3 with two saves, a 4.54 ERA and 51 strikeouts to just nine walks over 37.2 innings in 34 relief appearances at Oklahoma City.  

Scrubb Traded to Houston, Assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi

Andre Scrubb (C.D. Hylton) was traded last week from Los Angeles to Houston for first baseman Tyler White. 

The move was made after Kiké Hernandez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a hand injury, and White will be utilized as an option off the bench against left-handed pitchers. He was hitting .225 with three homers and 21 RBI in 71 games with the Astros after hitting .276 with 12 homers and 42 RBI in 66 games last year. 

Scrubb, 24, had compiled a 2.45 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 23 walks in 47.2 innings over 29 outings at Double-A Tulsa. Since the trade, he’s made two scoreless relief appearances at Double-A Corpus Christi. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s Pro Notebook is sponsored by the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. For more information on the Blue Crabs, visit their website at

Photos of, clockwise from left, Brandon Snyder courtesy of Fresno Grizzlies, Josh Sborz courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers, and Andre Scrubb courtesy of Tulsa World

Travel Notebook: Local Trio Help Canes Win Perfect Game WWBA 15U National Title

July 24 - Three area rising sophomores helped the EvoShield Canes National sweep 12 games en route to the Perfect Game WWBA 15U National Championship last week in Florida. 

A.J. Shepard (Osbourn Park), a catcher committed to Indiana University, along with left-hander Bradley Gagen (Paul VI Catholic), a Virginia recruit, and right-hander and infielder James Triantos (St. John’s), a McLean resident committed to North Carolina, played key roles as the Canes won each of their seven pool play games and were one of the 39 pool winners at then 312-team tournament. 

The Canes then allowed just four runs over five elimination games played over a two-day period on Thursday and Friday. Many of the team’s players also helped the Canes win the Perfect Game WWBA 14U National Championship last summer. 

Shepard swung one of the tournament’s hottest bats, hitting .500 (13-for-26) with a .629 on-base percentage, three doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI. He was 6-for-10 with four walks in bracket play. Gagen tossed two scoreless innings in an 11-1 semifinal win over North Carolina’s Dirtbags 15U Tap Out and finished with seven strikeouts in five scoreless innings over his two appearances.

Triantos, meanwhile, hit .387 (12-for-31) with a homer and seven RBI while making two short relief outings. He recorded the final five outs in a 12-2 win over Georgia’s Star National 15U Dobbs in the final. 

Stars 10U Colangelo Advances to Semifinals at USSSA World Series in Florida

Marucci Stars Colangelo won its first seven games before falling, 8-1, to California’s MVP Hustle Garcia on Saturday at the USSSA Wilson DeMarini Elite 10U World Series in Sanford, FL. 

The Stars outscored their opponents, 48-18, to advance to the semifinal round on Saturday morning, earning wins against teams from Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Alabama. They’d beat Florida’s FCA Blueclaws, 10-2, in the semifinals before having their run end against the eventual tournament champions. 

The Prince William County-based team has a 30-4 record while winning six tournaments over the spring and summer seasons.

Diamond Elite, D.C. Cadets to Meet in NVTBL’s PSL Championship Game Tonight

Diamond Elite and the D.C. Cadets each posted lopsided shutouts last night in the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League’s Premier Showcase League semifinals.

The two teams will meet tonight at 7 p.m. in the league’s summer championship game at South Lakes. 

In Diamond Elite’s 12-0 drubbing of the Metro Senators, Ryan Brokaw (Riverside) went 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBI while Joe Vogatsky (Kettle Run) and Matt Weber (Potomac Falls) added three hits apiece and combined to drive in five runs. Thomas Haller (Woodgrove) went 5.2 innings, striking out seven to earn the decision. 

The Cadets then dispatched of NOVA Premier, 9-0, in the second semifinal as David Michael Jefferson (St. John’s) and Thomas Kresina (St. John’s) combined to drive in five runs and Xan Wojie (St. John’s) went 2-for-2 with an RBI and tossed three-plus scoreless innings. Justin Riemer (St. John’s) tossed the final four innings in relief. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s Travel Notebook is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League. For more information on the NVTBL, visit its website at

Photo of Bradley Gagen courtesy of EvoShield Canes

Recruiting Notebook: Forest Park’s Boone to Play at VCU

July 17 - Forest Park infielder Griffin Boone committed yesterday to play at Virginia Commonwealth University, announcing his intention via Twitter. 

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound shortstop helped the Bruins advance to the Region 6C semifinals before falling to West Springfield this past spring after playing a key role in Forest Park’s run to the Cardinal District championship in 2018.

Boone is a two-time first-team all-district selection, hitting .449 with 31 hits, 20 runs and eight RBI as a sophomore and .326 with a .545 on-base percentage, 15 hits, 20 runs, and 11 RBI despite missing four games with a knee injury this year. He was hit by a pitch 10 times and drew 13 walks.

He will follow two area players, right-hander Hunter Bell (Centreville) and catcher Nick Ericsson (C.D. Hylton), who were part of VCU’s 2019 recruiting class. This past season, the Rams rostered three players from Northern Virginia schools - third baseman Brett Norwood (Chantilly), right-hander Sam Ryan (Fairfax) and catcher Matt Stallings (West Springfield) - who helped them go 39-19 under coach Shawn Stiffler. 

Boone’s commitment continues a busy recruiting period for members of the Marucci Stars travel program. Six Stars players have committed to Division I programs this summer, including rising seniors Boone as well as Colgan left-hander Everett Catlett (Georgetown), Potomac catcher/pitcher Braden Mack (Cornell), McLean right-hander Teddy Merritt (High Point) and Osbourn Park infielder Jed Barrett (Virginia Military Institute) and one rising junior in Madison outfielder Collin Tuft (Virginia). 

Freedom’s Cook, Rock Ridge’s Clarke Among PBR’s Top ‘21 Recruits

Two-way standout Casey Cook (Freedom-South Riding) and left-hander Brandon Clarke (Rock Ridge) are among the state’s top 10 players in Prep Baseball Report’s latest Class of 2021 rankings, released last week. 

Cook is ranked No. 3 and Clarke is No. 5 in the updated rankings. Jay Woolfork from Richmond’s Benedictine is PBR’s top-rated player from schools in Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

Cook, a shortstop and right-handed pitcher who has committed to North Carolina, hit .465 with a .545 on-base percentage, 20 hits, 14 RBI and 10 stolen bases before an injury cut his season short. He plays with the Marucci Stars travel program during the offseason. Clarke, who has reportedly had his fastball clocked as high as 89 MPH, remains uncommitted. He is playing this summer for the North Carolina-based Dirtbags travel program.  

Local Players Invited to PBR’s Futures Games in Georgia

Four area players have accepted invitations to attend Prep Baseball Report’s Futures Games at the LakePoint facility in Cartersville, GA, an event that drew over 250 college coaches last summer. 

Stafford outfielder Elijah Lambros, Yorktown right-hander Nathan Knowles, Lake Braddock outfielder Ryan Cuadros and Fredericksburg Christian catcher J.T. Carter will be among the uncommitted rising juniors and select rising sophomores invited to attend the event. 

From July 31 to Aug. 3, the four players will play three games and participate in a showcase workout that includes a 60-yard-dash, batting practice and defensive evaluations. 

Photos of, clockwise from left, Griffin Boone by Joey Kamide, Freedom’s Casey Cook by Joey Kamide, and Lake Braddock’s Ryan Cuadros by Gregg Zelkin

College Notebook: Harwich's Menendez Hits Stride in Cape Cod League

July 15 - After a rough first outing in the Cape Cod League, Antonio Melendez rebounded and has posted consecutive quality starts for the Harwich Mariners. 

The Herndon graduate, a rising junior at Wake Forest, scattered five hits and allowed one run over 6.1 innings in Harwich’s 2-0 loss to the Cotuit Kettleers on Thursday. In his previous start, he scattered two hits while striking out eight and walking one in six innings in a 6-4 win over the Brewster Whitecaps on July 4. 

Menendez enters the day having compiled a 3.43 ERA with 18 strikeouts to five walks in 18.1 innings. The right-hander, who throws from a sidearm angle, has surrendered just three runs over 17.1 innings after surrendering four in one frame in his debut on June 10 against the Falmouth Commodores. 

Two of Menendez’ teammates with Harwich, James Madison right-hander Nick Stewart (Rock Ridge) and Wake Forest outfielder Michael Ludowig (Briar Woods), have had mixed results this summer.  

Stewart has flashed the ability that has enabled him to post a 2.79 ERA in 135.1 innings over his two seasons with the Dukes - recording 19 strikeouts to just two walks - but two rough outings has ballooned his ERA to 6.75 in 14.2 innings. Ludowig cooled off after a fast start, but the 2017 NOVA Nine Player of the Year may be heating up again after going 3-for-7 in two games over the weekend. He’s hitting .250 in 64 at-bats. 

Three other pitchers from Northern Virginia, William & Mary’s Wade Strain (Lake Braddock) and Chris Farrell (Flint Hill) and Virginia’s Kyle Whitten (Osbourn Park) have struggled in the nation’s premier summer collegiate league. Strain was released by Harwich after just one outing, permitting four runs (three earned) on seven hits over four innings in a 4-1 loss to Bourne on June 17. Whitten is 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA and eight strikeouts to 10 walks in 11.2 innings with Hyannis, and Farrell is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA and 11 strikeouts to 17 walks in 15 innings with Cotuit. 

Big Train’s Colangelo Inducted With Inaugural Cal Ripken League Hall of Fame

Sal Colangelo, a 1991 graduate of Potomac who later played at Virginia Tech, was inducted last week as one of the five members in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s inaugural class. 

Since being hired as the manager of the Big Train in 2005, he has guided the league’s premier club to five outright championships and a share of two others. He entered the day with a 430-176 record as Bethesda’s manager. 

Colangelo, who set a Potomac single-season record with 52 stolen bases en route to second-team All-Met honors by The Washington Post in 1991, served as an assistant at Christopher Newport University and then with the Panthers and Big Train from 1999-2004. 

Also inducted were the league’s two co-founders, Bruce Adams and Dean Albany, as as well as current Major Leaguers Brett Cecil and Brian Dozier. Cecil, who attended Maryland, played with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts in 2005 and was a first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007. He’s currently in his 10th year in the big leagues as a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. Dozier, the Washington Nationals’ second baseman, played with the Big Train in 2006 following his freshman year at Southern Mississippi. 

Madison Grad Cassady Hired as Assistant at Roanoke

Cam Cassady, a 2009 graduate of Madison, was hired earlier this month as an assistant coach at Roanoke College. 

Cassady has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Richmond’s Benedictine, which has won the pasty two Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state championships. He played for two seasons at Roanoke, hitting .307 in 65 games in 2013-14. 

Roanoke was 21-18 this spring under coach Matt McGuire, fielding a roster with 16 players from Northern Virginia schools. The Maroons won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the Division III College World Series in 2018. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s College Notebook is sponsored by the R&D Baseball Academy in Herndon. For more information on the academy, visit

Photos of, clockwise from left, Antonio Menendez courtesy of Harwich Mariners, Sal Colangelo by Mark Briscoe and Cam Cassady courtesy of Benedictine Baseball

Travel Notebook: Snyder Bucks Runner-up at Diamond Nation World Series 

July 13 - The Snyder Bucks 17U won their first six games before falling in last night’s championship game at the Diamond Nation World Series in Flemington, N.J. 

Ed Wagner (Highland School) struck out five over 4.1 innings and Adam Dressler (Highland School) and Jakob Dudley (Culpeper County) combined for 2.2 scoreless innings in relief in a 5-2 win over Pennsylvania’s LVBA Prospects in the semifinals yesterday afternoon. The win was the team’s eighth straight. 

In the final, the Bucks fell behind early against All Out Baseball when the New Jersey club reached starter Blake Fisher (Highland School) for five runs before chasing him with two outs in the second inning. Evan Evans (Highland School) and Tyler Kaltreider (Highland School) pitched well in relief to keep the Bucks in the game, but they were unable to rally. 

Andrew Yoon (Jefferson) reached in all seven games at the tournament, hitting .517 (8-for-14) with two walks, four doubles and three RBI. In pool play, Jacob Lawler (Battlefield) went the distance in a 4-3 win over the Northtown (N.Y.) Nationals, Tanner Ray (Colgan) struck out six while allowing one unearned run in 6.1 innings in a 4-1 win over New Jersey’s Hustle Baseball Academy. Declan Downey (Kettle Run) pitched five scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over New York’s Crusaders Baseball Club in the opening round of bracket play on Thursday. 

Locals Help Molina Stars to Quarterfinals at Perfect Game WWBA 16U Championship

Several area players helped the Molina Stars advance to the quarterfinals at the Perfect Game WWBA 16U National Championship in Georgia this week. 

The Stars, who had 12 players from Northern Virginia on their 20-man roster, went 7-0 in pool play and beat New Jersey’s Tri-State Arsenal Scout Team, 3-2, on a two-run walk-off single by James Triantos to begin bracket play on Thursday. They would use a five-run fifth inning to beat Memphis (TN) Tigers Griggs, 6-2, before having their run end on Thursday evening with a 2-0 loss to Georgia’s Team Elite 16U Scout Team, the eventual tournament champion. 

Triantos, a rising sophomore at Washington, D.C.’s St. John’s who has committed to North Carolina, hit .320 (8-for-25) with three doubles and 11 RBI and recorded 11 strikeouts while allowing three runs in 8.2 innings over his two outings. Warren Holzemer (Robinson) hit .417 (10-for-24) with three doubles, a triple, seven RBI and scored 10 runs, while Evan Smith (Briar Woods), a West Virginia recruit, hit .389 (7-for-18) with eight runs and four RBI. Connor Hale (Broad Run) hit .320 (8-for-25) with a double, three triples, six RBI and eight runs and Danny Salisbury (Annandale) hit .350 (7-for-20) with four RBI. Collin Tuft (Madison), a Virginia recruit, added seven hits. 

On the mound, Hale struck out 10 while walking five and permitting two runs (one earned) over 11 innings. He went the distance in Thursday’s quarterfinal, taking a hard-luck loss after allowing two runs (one earned) in six frames. Dean Kampschror (Justice), a Virginia commit, fanned 10 with six walks while allowing four runs (two earned) in 10.2 innings. Salisbury and Nathan Williams (Forest Park) also pitched well, combining to allow just one unearned run while striking out 13 in 12.1 innings. 

Marucci Stars’ Jensen Swings Hot Bat in Georgia

Max Jensen (Lake Braddock) had hits in all seven games for Marucci Stars Thompson at the Perfect Game 16U WWBA National Championship in Georgia. 

The leadoff man finished the tournament 9-for-15 with three walks, a home run, five RBI and six runs as the Stars finished 3-4. He had two multi-hit games. The Stars had three teams at the event, with the program going a combined 8-10-3. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s Travel Notebook is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League. For more information on the NVTBL, visit its website at

Photo of Andrew Yoon courtesy of Snyder Bucks

Travel Notebook: Balsis, Eldridge Selected to USA Baseball 15U National Team Trials

July 5 - Two area players, Mason Balsis and Bryce Eldridge, were among the 72 who were named by USA Baseball to participate in Phase I of the 15U National Team Trials in Cary, N.C., from July 26-28.

Balsis, a catcher who has committed to the University of Virginia and who lettered as a freshman this spring at Osbourn Park, earned an invitation after participating in USA Baseball’s National Team Identification Series last fall. Eldridge, a 6-foot-6, 184-pound rising freshman pitcher and corner infielder at Madison, was invited after participating in an identification event last month. 

Balsis and Eldridge will be competing to be among the 34 players selected for Phase II of the Trials beginning on July 29 and ultimately to be selected for the final 20-man roster. The 15U National Team will train in Houston, TX, from Sept. 6-10 before participating in the COPABE U-15 Pan-American Championships from Sept. 13-22 in Mexico. 

Both players are members of the Marucci Stars travel program during the offseason. 

Carroll’s Loaded Stars Club Opens With Win at Perfect Game 16U National Championship

Longtime area travel and showcase coach Carson Carroll has one of his deepest Marucci Stars teams this summer, and his club opened the Perfect Game WWBA 16U National Championship with a 9-4 win over New Jersey’s Sportika Gallagher Elite earlier today in Georgia. 

The team is headlined by two-way standout Nick Lottchea (Westfield), the lone sophomore member of this year’s NOVA Nine Team. Another two-way threat is Casey Cook (Freedom-South Riding), who has committed to play at North Carolina and was 2-for-3 today in his first game back from an injury suffered in the spring. Oakton’s Nick Morgan, the team’s leading hitter this summer, was also 2-for-3 in today’s win. 

Three players who helped key Lake Braddock’s run to the Class 6 state championship - outfielder Ryan Cuadros and left-handers Andrew Schaeb and Mike Weidinger - will also play big roles should the Stars make a run at the week-long tournament. Other pitchers to watch include right-handers Nathan Knowles (Yorktown) and Connor Kolarov (Freedom-South Riding) and lefties Casey Bach (Centreville) and Everett Catlett (Colgan), the lone rising senior on the team. 

Each of the 392 teams at the tournament play seven pool play games, with the 49 pool winners advancing to elimination play. The Stars’ biggest competition in their pool will likely be tomorrow’s opponent, the West Florida Scorpions Select, as well as Team Georgia National, who they will face on Sunday night. 

Eikhoff Helps Canes Win Perfect Game WWBA 17U National Title

Riley Eikhoff (Patriot) earned the win in yesterday’s quarterfinals and his EvoShield Canes National team went on to win the title earlier today at the Perfect Game WWBA National Championship in Cartersville, GA. 

The right-hander scattered three hits and surrendered one run over four innings in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Rawlings Arkansas Prospects Menard yesterday and finished the tournament with nine strikeouts while allowing one run in eight innings over his two starts. 

Earlier today, the Canes beat Florida’s Ostingers Baseball Academy, 15-0, in the semifinals and Dallas Patriots Stout, 8-3, in the final. They went 12-0 at the tournament and are 29-2 this summer. 

Two teams with several local players, the EvoShield Canes North and Richmond Braves National, advanced through their pools to elimination play before losing in the opening round. 

Rostered with the Canes were Kristian Asbury (Robinson), Justin Bassett (West Potomac), Nathan Cmeyla (Briar Woods), Paul Glenchur (Bishop O’Connell), Wyatt Miles (Woodgrove), Shane Saunders (Osbourn Park), Joey Thomas (Flint Hill) and Aidan Vanvickle (Riverbend). And playing with the Braves were Jake Berry (Bishop O’Connell), Thomas Latham (Chantilly), Vince DiMauro (Brentsville District), Chris Polymeropoulos (Madison), Tucker Sullivan (Stafford) and Jacob Weaver (Briar Woods). 

Photo of Mason Balsis by Bethany Balsis