On Sunday evening in San Diego, USC commit Drew Finley stood out despite playing with the country's best.
Fifty-two of the best high school baseball players in the nation laced up their spikes and battled for East Coast/West Coast bragging rights in the Perfect Game All-American Classic. The annual event at Petco Park features some of the top prospects in high school baseball every year and showcases a number of players that will hear their names called in the early rounds of the next MLB Draft.
But in a game that featured a ton of great pitching, including half of the 18 pitchers throwing 95+ mph, Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego) right hander Drew Finley saw his name flashing on the scoreboard at the game's conclusion.
Thanks to the West Team's sixth inning offensive explosion for five runs in a game that had featured only two baserunners prior, Finley was the winning pitcher after having pitched a 1-2-3, scoreless top half of the sixth inning.
Finley topped out at 92 mph, sitting at 88-91. He also used a 76 mph curveball with good downward tilt to finish off the inning with a strikeout.
Trojan fans and USC head coach Dan Hubbs will now have to play the waiting game. Finley can not officially commit until November, but the waiting game doesn't stop there. Drew Finley will have to spurn the overtures and allure of professional baseball as he will likely be selected at some point in the 2015 MLB Draft. Nearly all of the Perfect Game All-Americans are picked at some point in the 40-round draft each year.
While high-profile players, such as Drew Finley and the rest of the All-Americans, do not typically make it to college campuses rather than signing with an MLB club, it does happen. USC had four participants in the 2012 PGAA Classic at Petco Park.
While USC commits Dominic Smith (No. 11 overall to the New York Mets), J.P. Crawford (No. 16 to the Philadelphia Phillies) and last-minute signee Rowdy Tellez (a 30th round selection who received second round money) all turned the opportunity to become Trojans, fellow PGAA Classic alum Jeremy Martinez turned down the Chicago Cubs' offers and was a fixture in the USC lineup becoming a Freshman All-American this season.
USC's only commit in the 2013 PGAA Classic was Jacob Gatewood, who ended up signing with Milwaukee after being drafted No. 41 overall.
After the game, Drew Finley talked about the opportunity to play in the PGAA Classic, being the winning pitcher, the possibility of him ending up in cardinal and gold, what he liked about USC and mixing it up with the three UCLA commits that were also on the West Team.
Check out the interview with Rancho Bernardo High School RHP Drew Finley: