Posted: 9:02 pm Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
By Matt Porter
PALM BEACH GARDENS — A large group of baseball professionals – one jokingly referred to it as “enough for a cocktail party” – crowded behind the backstop at Benjamin on Wednesday afternoon.
There were 12 major-league scouts, five current pro players and three advisors watching two of South Florida’s top pitching prospects. It was Benjamin junior lefthander Bennett Sousa against Jensen Beach right-hander Taylor Blatch, a Florida State signee expected to be a high MLB draft pick in June.
In the first inning, the scouts clocked both pitchers in the low-90s. But seventh-ranked Benjamin (1-0) sent everyone home shortly after, tagging Blatch for five runs and beating Jensen 10-0 in five innings.
Sousa (1-0) and his battery-mate, senior Brian Dolan, did much of the damage. With one out in the bottom of the first, Sousa tagged a 91-mph fastball to left center for an RBI single. Dolan (2-for-3, two doubles, three RBI) followed with a two-run double down the left-field line.
In the third, Sousa (2-for-3, triple, walk, RBI) mashed a triple to left-center. Dolan brought him home with a double to make it 4-0. Senior right fielder D.J. Paone was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, helping the Buccaneers put six more runs on Falcons relievers.
Sousa, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound Virginia commit, threw 60 pitches in three innings, allowing two hits and two walks. He struck out five. He gave way to freshman right-hander Matt Ellmyer, who closed with two scoreless.
Blatch (5-11, 170) threw 70 pitches over four innings. He allowed five runs on six hits, striking out four and walking two.
The pro players who attended: Miami’s Steve Cishek and Chris Hatcher, Tampa Bay’s Sam Fuld and Houston’s Jack Armstrong, a Jupiter alum. They are friends of Benjamin coach Brian Kaplan.
Step on up, Jensen Beach. Let’s see what you’ve got.
Love these. Four words: large teal wraparound bird. Do your uniforms not have one? You’re losing.
You have to like the nod to the 1980’s Astros, borrowing the stripes of their ‘tequila sunrise’ uniforms. The bird is in the ’90s style of LARGE. FREAKIN’. ANIMALS. on jerseys. Add in a white-panel cap and I’m all-in on these.
Step your game up, everyone else.