Earlier this summer Scott Christy was named the head coach for Team Illinois for the 2013 USSSA Jr. All State Games. The state of Illinois was eventually divided into 2 teams and a Northern and Southern Illinois team attended the event. This past weekend Christy and his Northern Illinois squad headed up to the Woodside Sports Complex in Mouston, Wisconsin, to see how the boys stacked up against teams from Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska.
Team Northern Illinois finished the weekend with a 5-3 record and lost the championship to Indiana 4-3 in a tightly contested game. The whole weekend saw an incredibly high level of play by these 13U teams.
“This was hands down the best competition I’ve seen all year. I don’t think we saw a pitcher under 72-73mph the whole weekend. Every coach there really put together quality rosters.” Christy said of the competition.
Team Illinois featured 6 players who will don the Elite uniform in the 2014 season. Andy Lopez, Tim Hasto, Frank Dixon, Troy Jones, Ty Christy, Ryan Surin and Kevin Garcia all represented the state of Illinois in the competition.
“Andy Lopez and Kevin Garcia both had phenomenal weekends for us. Andy was at one point 7-7 against the quality pitching that we were seeing and Kevin was a stud on the mound for us in the championship.” Christy said.
Advancing to the championship was only half the highlight of the trip for Christy’s bunch as they swept the skills competition portion that took place on Thursday.
Of the 4 finalists in the Home Run Derby, 3 were members of Christy’s squad and they were all part of the Elite contingent. Andy Lopez was the eventual Home Run Derby champion beating out teammate Frank Dixon who took second. Kevin Garcia ended up taking 4th in the competition. The team from Northern Illinois also took home the Fastest Man, Fastest Team and won the Around The Horn competition as well.