Travel Notebook: Uncommitted Players to Descend on Pfitzner for PBR’s Mid-Atlantic Challenge

October 9 - Some of the area’s top uncommitted high school players will take the field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge for the Prep Baseball Report Mid-Atlantic Challenge on Oct. 27.

The showcase event will pit players from Virginia and Washington, D.C. against uncommitted players from Maryland and Delaware at the home of the Single-A Potomac Nationals. The first game will consist of freshmen and sophomores, followed by a game consisting of juniors and the nightcap featuring seniors.

Players will have their measurables recorded by PBR staff, take batting practice and infield/outfield prior to each of the three contests. Several college coaches are expected to be in attendance for the three games.

“It will be exciting to see what side comes out on top in a battle for state and area pride,” wrote Jerry Shank, who is PBR’s scouting director for Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. “It looks to be a very exciting and competitive day with talented teams on both sides for what we hope to be an annual event.”

Top participating players from Northern Virginia include the following seniors: right-handers Magnus Ellerts (Woodbridge), David Setien (Riverside) and Matt Michel (Battlefield), catcher David Giorgis (West Springfield) and outfielder Craig Miles, Jr. (Battlefield); and the following juniors: righty Joe Vogatsky (Kettle Run) and infielder and pitcher Blake Fisher (Highland School).

Balsis, Bryant Named to 2019 USA Baseball Youth National Team Trial Rosters

Osbourn Park freshman catcher Mason Balsis was named to participate in the 2019 USA Baseball 15U National Team Trials next summer, and Herndon resident Bryant James was selected to the 12U national team trials roster after both players participated in the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) program.

Balsis and Bryant were chosen by a task force following the NTIS Champions Cup, which was held at the USA Baseball national team training complex in Cary, N.C. in August. Next summer, the two players will join their teammates for the youth national team trials in California. Should they be selected to the final roster, they would travel abroad for international tournaments.

"Our task force had a difficult job selecting just 68 athletes out of the incredible pool of talent from across the U.S. that participated in this year's NTIS," said USA Baseball’s senior director of baseball operations, Ashley Bratcher, in a release announcing the selections. "We are excited about the players chosen from the 2018 event and what they will bring to our 2019 national team programming."

Balsis and Bryant are both members of the Marucci Stars travel program. Additionally, Potomac Falls junior left-hander Nate Savino, a member of the magazine’s 2018 NOVA Nine Team, was one of 12 players to earn an invitation to next summer’s 17U National Team Development Program. Savino plays in the offseason with the Diamond Elite travel program.

USA Baseball fields nationals teams at the 12U, 15U, 18U, collegiate, women’s and professional levels.

Guerra’s 4 Homers Lead Stars 10U Colangelo to Tourney Title in South Carolina

Serf Guerra homered in all four games as the Marucci Stars 10U Colangelo swept its way to the championship over the weekend at the Top Gun Fall Zone Qualifier in Charleston, S.C. The four victories extends the team’s winning streak to 40 games dating back to mid-April.

The Stars, who improved to 10-0 this fall, scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the fifth inning en route to a 6-5 win in the championship game against West Raleigh 10U. Yogi Colangelo walked, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the winning run on a single by his cousin, Chase Colangelo.

Guerra hit a solo homer and walked twice in the championship game. He was 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI in a 10-8 semifinal win over North Carolina’s LKN Hurricanes 10U, and totaled six RBI in the Stars’ two pool play victories on Saturday. Guerra finished the tournament 6-for-8 with three walks and nine RBI.

Metro Senators 11U Extends Win Streak to 11, Claim 11U Title at NVTBL Columbus Day Tournament

Jack Halfhill homered twice as the Metro Senators swept its five games en route to the NVTBL Columbus Day Tournament 11U Division championship over the holiday weekend. The Senators defeated the Outlaws, 11-5, in yesterday’s final, their 11th consecutive victory.

Cole Scanlan and Nick Ferrara also homered over the weekend for the Senators, who reached double-digit run totals in each of their five games. After sweeping its two pool play games on Saturday, Metro defeated the Aldie Senators, 14-5, in the quarterfinals and the Byron Bombers, 14-6, in the semifinals on Sunday.

The annual tournament crowned eight age division champions, with 106 teams taking to fields throughout Northern Virginia.

Tournament Championship Game Results - 9U: Mount Vernon Mavericks 8, Mount Vernon Patriots 7; 10U: Game Changers 10, Loudoun South Eagles 1; 11U: Metro Senators 11, Outlaws 5; 12U: Loudoun South Eagles Gold 22, Burke Bulldogs 1; 13U: Mount Vernon Patriots 1, MVP Terps Blue 0; 14U: MVP Terps National 8, Arlington Senators American 3; JV: MVP Terps Black 3, MVP Royals Black 2; Varsity: Hillcats Prime 18, Bradley Eagles PSL Prep 0

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 Battlefield’s Craig Miles, Jr. by Fred Ingham