Arizona Senior Fall Classic gets underway

Chrisitan Rooney is a righty from Green Mountain (Colo.) High School. He pitched in the 2011 Arizona Senior Fall Classic All Academic Game in Peoria, Ariz. Andrew Drennen/ESPNHS

The Arizona Senior Fall Classic is a national baseball tournament held annually in Peoria, Ariz., at the Seattle Mariners/San Diego Padres complex. This year 61 teams will compete on 12 fields in front of numerous college coaches and pro scouts.

An unique event within the event is the All-Academic Game.

“The goal is to get all the academic players in front of college coaches at the same time and place,” noted Arizona Fall Classic Director, Ted Heid. All the players in the game are unsigned seniors who possess high academic marks.

It was actually Ted’s wife, Tracy, who got this game up and running.

“She (Tracy) talked and listened to college coaches about getting these players on the same field together,” added Heid. This mantra is the overall idea behind the Fall Classic, getting players exposure, however, the All-Academic Game takes it a step further.

According to Heid, the most important part to the event is the tryout process, which happened earlier on Thursday. The game is the icing on the cake for these players.

“The tryout is important because all the players will be on the same field with one another working out with other players of the same position,” added Heid.

This will allow the college coaches to see them in context with other players of similar academic standing.

A game such as this is a great idea. When you think about it, college baseball programs are limited in the number of scholarships they can hand out to players. If college coaches can get the players in with academic scholarships then it saves a baseball scholarship.

The game required all players to carry a minimum 3.5 gpa, 27 ACT and 1700 SAT. If a played did not possess the board scores yet, he had to carry a minimum of a 3.7 gpa.

All-Academic Standout Players

Reid Meyer, is a left-handed pitcher out of Fort Worth Country Day (Fort Worth, Texas) and holds a 3.6 GPA and earned an 1880 on his SAT. In his outing he retired five of his six batters and allowed one walk. Of his five outs, he recorded three strikeouts and two fly balls.

Mason Novak is a well built infielder. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he suits up for El Camino Real (Los Angeles, Calif.). In the game he hit an impressive RBI triple and showed good power and solid speed. In school he carries a 4.2 GPA and scored 1870 on his SAT.

Hailing out of Green Mountain (Lakewood, Colo.) Christian Rooney is a 6-foot-0, 150 pound, right handed pitcher who has a smooth overhand delivery. In Rooney’s appearance he fared well in his six batter faced. He struck out three, walked one and had one ground ball and a liner to second. In the classroom he holds a 3.7 GPA and score an impressive 31 on the ACT.

Brendan McCarthy is a well built outfielder/first baseman and attends school at Cedar Community Secondary School in Nanaimo, British Columbia where he owns a 4.0 GPA. In the game the power swinging slugger roped a single in the second inning and followed that up with a smoke double in the fourth.

Jeremy Witt, one of the bigger players, stood on the mound with an imposing 6-foot-5, 210 pound frame and threw from the right side. Playing for Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Witt is looking to help his ball club after a reported 7-19 season last year. In the classroom Witt is an absolute stud posting a 4.14 GPA and an mindboggling 2010 on the SAT.