Santa Cruz”s Javier Felix — the 2013 Travelball Select Player of the Year — has been invited to compete in USA Baseball”s 14U National Team Development Program, which runs from Aug. 4-8 in Cary, N.C.

A 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed pitcher and third baseman for Lamorinda Baseball Club, Felix is one of 40 players nationwide to earn a spot in the developmental program after shining at the 14U West Championships in Arizona on June 20-July 4.

NTDP selections were announced during an online broadcast on on July 8.

Twenty players were chosen from the 14U West Championships and 20 players were also selected from the 14U East Championships held in Florida.

“I want it real bad,” Felix said of making the Team USA”s 14U squad. “Real bad.”

Lamorinda went 4-2 and finished ranked No. 8 in the 14U West Championships. Lamorinda’s Xavier Carter and Gavin Shipp, both pitchers and infielders, were also invited to compete at the NTDP.

“The won’t have an actual travel team until 15U, which would be announced late next summer,” Lamorinda manager Rick Rider said of Felix’s chances, “but I’d think he’s an odds-on favorite to make that team.

“He’s an outstanding competitor. He has tremendous makeup and drive. But I think the number one thing, and I’ve been doing this a long time, is what a great leader he is. He leads by example and the sheer force of his will.”

Felix, whose fastball has been clocked at 84 mph, also throws a curveball and slider. He has been working on developing his a changeup, too.
Rider said that while hitters struggle with Felix”s fastball, his slider may be his best pitch.

“He’s difficult to hit with that arsenal,” Rider said. “And I think the thing that maybe goes unnoticed is that he’s an outstanding run producer. He’s our number three hitter and he’s super productive. He’s got great power and he’s learned to go the other way with it, too.”

On Saturday in a game broadcast on ESPN3, Felix struck out nine batters in four innings in a 6-5 win over Los Angeles’ Diamond MVP in the Louisville Slugger Major Baseball Championship title game at Big League Dreams in Chino Hills.

“It’s an effortless delivery,” said Watsonville’s Mark Eichhorn, a MLB pitcher who watched Felix throw a perfect game for Santa Cruz American’s 11-12s All-Stars in the District 39 championship last summer. “It’s smooth, it’s long and it’s sneaky.”

Felix was also 3-for-4 and scored the winning run in a walk-off victory Saturday.

“It’s a big summer,” said Hector Felix, Javier’s father. “He’s more excited about it that I am. It’s stressful. But he’s worked hard for this.”

Prior to competing in North Carolina for the NTDP, Felix and the Spartans will participate the Travelball National Championship Series at East Cobb Baseball Complex in Atlanta.

Four Former Lamorinda Players Named Among the Top 50 Sophomore Players in the Nation!

Congratulations to the four Lamorinda Alumni players who made Max Preps’ list of the Top 50 Sophomore Players in the Nation!

#3 –  Joe DeMers
#7 –  Lucas Herbert
#19 – Nico Hoerner
#25 – Nick Madrigal

Keep up the hard work boys!

MaxPreps Top 50 baseball sophomores for 2013

Young talent abounds, especially in California, as Kyle Molnar and Joe DeMers lead the way.

Two of Lamorinda’s former aces and longtime friends faced each other in an incredible pitching duel on Wednesday night.

Take a look at the picture of the boys as Lamorinda Cougar teammates four years ago and the one taken Wednesday night’s game:


Here is the article from the Contra Costa Times:

Longtime friends DeMers, Slominski square off in pitcher’s duel to remember

By Damin Esper Correspondent San Jose Mercury News

PLEASANT HILL — Daniel Slominski knows he’s going to hear about Wednesday’s first round North Coast Section Division II baseball game all summer long.

Not just because his good friend Joe DeMers and the College Park Falcons bested Slominski and the Livermore Cowboys 1-0. But because DeMers started a seventh-inning rally for the game’s only run with a leadoff double. That inning — and the game — ended with Austin Garcia’s walk-off single.

“I’m playing with him in summer, I’m not going to hear the end of it,” Slominski said, adding.
Said DeMers, “Probably. Just as he would do if he won. I was pumped and I wasn’t going to let him beat me.”

The Falcons (19-5-1) advanced to Saturday’s second round against Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa. The Cowboys finished the year 11-14.

The game lived up to its billing with two of the top pitchers in the area squaring off. The matchup was made even more delicious by the fact that Slominski and DeMers have known each other since they were 9 years old, playing on travel ball teams every summer.

“It’s just hard looking at him on the mound, just laughing,” Slominski said. “I pitched against him a couple of times. But not in high school. It’s a mix of emotions, I don’t know what to think about it. It’s fun, it’s weird, it’s exciting, it’s everything.”

This was their first matchup in a high school game of the right-handers. DeMers, a sophomore, allowed three hits and struck out nine against no walks. Slominski was not quite as sharp, also allowing three hits (two in the seventh) while striking out two and walking six (one intentional).

DeMers retired 14 in a row at one point, striking out seven of those — including five consecutive strikeouts in the fourth and fifth.

However, DeMers was touched for a leadoff single in the top of the seventh by Austin Hall. Ryan Ruley was asked to sacrifice pinch-runner Scott Chapeta to second, but DeMers fielded the bunt quickly and threw Chapeta out. Ruley was caught stealing with Slominski at the plate, and Slominski then was caught looking on a fastball to end the inning.

DeMers led off the bottom of the seventh with a booming double to right-center field.

“I just went up there to try to go the other way with something,” DeMers said. “He was working outside all game, hitting his spots real well. I was just trying to get something started. It turned out a good little hit to right.”

Trevor Larnach was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Scott Hroza was asked to sacrifice, but ended up bunting foul with two strikes for a strikeout. Anthony Baleto then popped to second. Willie Maciver drew a walk to load the bases. Garcia then came up and quickly fell behind 0-2.

“We put somebody on first to get out of it and we got two outs right away,” Livermore coach Gabe Gutierrez said. “(Slominski) did a great job coming through in the clutch. You get him down two strikes and you’re down to the last batter, it’s one of those things, either the guy hits it or he doesn’t. And he happened to hit it.”

Yes, Garcia did. He lofted a deep fly ball to left field. Sean Amaral turned left, then right but the ball was well over his head.

Slominski said there’s not much to say about a game like Wednesday’s.

“It comes down to that one thing,” he said. “A couple of pitches, that’s what will decide the game. I just couldn’t get out of it. Came close. Just that one pitch.”

Slominski added that he was impressed with how DeMers pitched.

“Wonderful like always,” he said. “Whenever I see that guy pitch, he’s on his game. Can’t wait to play with him this summer.”


Former Lamorinda Player Joe Demers Voted Youth1’s 2012 Male Athlete of the Year!


(Youth1) – One of Lamorinda’s finest baseball players, pitcher Joe Demers, won a very close race for Male Athlete of the Year, gaining 37.9% of the votes. The California native is arguably the No. 1 baseball player in the country after a very successful 2011 season with the prestigious Lamorinda National team, where he is the starting pitcher. At 14 years old, Demers was selected to play for the 16U USA National Team that won gold in Mexico. This marked his second invitation to the national team after being selected one year prior to compete in Nicaragua. His stellar play awarded him Travel Ball Select Player of the Year honors in both 2010 and 2011. His 2012 is off to a great start so far now that he can add a Youthee for Male Athlete of the year.