02 03 SoCal High School Baseball: Game Thoughts: Vista Murrieta v Aliso Niguel 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Game Thoughts: Vista Murrieta v Aliso Niguel


Had a chance to see Vista Murrieta play Aliso Niguel last night in a Lions Tournament game at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.

This was the second time in a week I’ve seen Vista Murrieta and the third time since the fall ball season that I’ve seen Aliso Niguel.

While the game was a pitchers duel for the first five innings, Vista Murrieta broke it open in the fifth before adding a couple more runs in the sixth eventually winning 5-1. The Broncos proved to be too much for the Wolverines bullpen after starter, Ryan Randel, had pitched a gem for Aliso Niguel.

Below are some thoughts on individual players.

Vista Murrieta:

2016 RHP Jack Moberg: Moberg was the starter last week when I saw VM against Tustin. While he looked average in that start, he looked incredible against Aliso Niguel. The sophomore was dialed in from the outset. Sitting 83-85 with the FB, 73-76 CH, and 67 CB, it was his command that stood out the most. Working quickly, Moberg’s off speed stuff got better as the game wore on as he began using the fastball as a secondary pitch. He’s listed at 6’0” but appears shorter than that. Also hammered a 2 RBI double to left field that one-hopped the wall.

2014 C Ryan Lillie (UCR): Absolutely impressed with Lillie again. The UC Riverside signee does so many things well behind the plate – frames, moves laterally, blocks, catches & throws (1.89 best pop). At the plate he is aggressive but in control and shows very good pitch recognition – also had a 2 RBI double. An absolute steal for the Highlanders in this class!

2014 OF Coltin Gerhart (ASU): The right handed hitting outfielder is an impressive physical specimen. Aggressive at the plate with a lot of power, the Arizona State signee also possesses a lot of speed (4.56 with a turn). In the outfield he didn’t get a chance to show off the arm although last week he gunned a runner at first base from right field. A scout told me last night that he’d be shocked if he continues with football after one year in college.

2014 1B/RHP J.T. McLellan: A broken leg his sophomore year and an injured wrist last year are the only things keeping McLellan from being committed. A clear D1 player, his future is likely at 1B although he’s playing 3B for Vista Murrieta at the time. A big powerful bat, McLellan shows a patient approach along with very good pitch recognition. On the mound last week he touch 87 with a very effortless and repeatable delivery.

Aliso Niguel:

2014 RHP Ryan Randel: The big righty was on his game early and often. Sitting 84-86 with the FB, 73-76 with a deep changeup, and 69-71 with a tight spinning, late breaking, two-plane curveball, he was masterful in his five innings pitched. His off speed pitches got better and better as his outing wore on while his curveball was unhittable from the outset. His command of all pitches was impressive and left one scout to tell me “on any other team, this guy is the dude.”

2015 RHP/OF Kyle Molnar (UCLA): The UCLA commit saw two pitches in his first two at-bats and place both in the same spot, center field for base hits. In his third at-bat he grounded out to shortstop flashing his speed (4.33) down the line. In the outfield he is as graceful as he is intimidating on the mound. Shows great awareness and takes great routes to the ball although he didn’t have an opportunity to throw anyone out.

2014 OF/RHP Anthony Sommer: One of the captains for the Wolverines was impressive at the plate in that he laid off bad pitches and was aggressive with good ones. His RBI single led to the only run on the evening for Aliso Niguel. Came in to pitch in relief and showed some good stuff. Sitting 84-86 FB he flashed a very sharp, late breaking CB that was 67-69.

2016 1B, C, OF Blake Sabol: Although he’s off to a slow start offensively, the sophomore catcher has not let that affect his defense. Flashing pop times in the 1.97 – 2.09, Sabol has demonstrated that his skills behind the plate have improved enough that he may be able to stay back there at the next level, something which hasn’t always been considered until recently.

--Les Lukach
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