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Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2018: MLB starting program to identify top prospects

   Leading off today: Major League Baseball will start a program next summer to identify and highlight the country's leading junior prospects, which could have an effect on both college recruiting and the handful of for-profit services and camps that typically cater to families that can spend thousands of dollars to showcase players.

   The Prospect Development Pipeline League announced on Tuesday will be run in conjunction with USA Baseball. Approximately 80 high school players will participate in the invitation-only event, which will take place from mid-June to early July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. USA Baseball will use the PDPL to identify candidates for the under-18 national team competing in the U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea.

   Players will be split into four teams coaches by personnel from MLB teams.

   It's likely the size and scope of the PDPL could grow in subsequent years, which would put a dent in services and camps that players and college coaches spend substantial money to attend in hopes of landing scholarship money or moving up in the annual MLB draft.

   Weekend follow-up, part I: Three defending champions will return to Glens Falls next weekend for the NYSPHSAA girls volleyball championships. Owego (Class B), Portville (C) and Bainbridge-Guilford (D) all advanced in regional play this past weekend.

   In all, nine of the 20 teams that have advanced also competed a year ago at Cool Insuring Arena.

   The complete field:

   Class AA: Pine Bush, Shenendehowa, Long Beach, Victor.

   Class A: Cornwall, Burnt Hills, Wantagh, Niagara-Wheatfield.

   Class B: Owego, Broadalbin-Perth, Bayport-Blue Point, Westhill.

   Class C: Millbrook, Voorheesville, Mattituck, Portville.

   Class D: Bainbridge-Guilford, Panama, Mount Academy, Mayfield.

   Weekend follow-up, part II: Chazy's 3-0 win over Mount Academy on Sunday for the NYSPHSAA boys Class D soccer championship broke a tie with Pittsford Mendon for most trophies in the sport.

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  •    All nine Chazy championships have come in Class D since 2004, and they've all been under the eye of coach Rob McAuliffe, whose teams have played in the state final 12 times in 23 years.

       "At times I do have to pinch myself to think we have won this nine times," McAuliffe said.

       The latest final was a rematch of the 2017 title game in which Chazy and Mount Academy played to a tie to share the title.

       Weekend follow-up, part III: Nassau County will probably need to take another look at the way it does power seeding after Valley Stream South made a mockery of Class A girls soccer this fall.

       After having started the season projected as the 18th-best Section 8 squad, Valley Stream South went 21-0 and outscored its foes 92-7. The finale was a 1-0 win over Jamesville-DeWitt as Kayla Camacho heading in the winning goal off a corner kick from Bryana Pizarro with 27 seconds to go in the first overtime.

       No surprise really: It's a given that drama and the Ball family always go hand-in-hand in the world of basketball.

       Now, LaMelo Ball will not be make his debut for Ohio post-grad program SPIRE Institute on Tuesday because La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere has backed out of the contest.

       In a statement released Friday, La Lumiere officials said that they are not comfortable playing against Ball because he played basketball professionally this summer in Lithuania.

       Oak Hill Academy in Virginia reportedly is also considering canceling its game against SPIRE for the same reason.


      
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