Brandon Kaminer part of Cutters’ solid mound rotation

Williamsport Crosscutters Nemo Wright is tagged out at third in the bottom of the third by Nick Gile of the State College Spikes at Muncy Bank Ballpark, August 12, 2022. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a powerhouse amidst the high school baseball scene in Florida for years, but it couldn’t get over the hump.

That is, not until 2016. The Eagles flew out to a No. 1 Perfect Game national ranking after piling on win after win. At the team’s core was Brandon Kaminer, who was 11-0 and tied for third in the nation for most wins.

But the biggest highlight that year came in the form of a 3-0 Class 9A state title win over Miami Columbus at JetBlue Park. Then-ranked third in the nation by MaxPreps, it was the first state championship in the school’s history.

“It’s an experience you don’t forget. It was the first one for the high school, so it was cool getting that for the community,” Kaminer said. “They’d always be pretty close, always get to that regional final game and fall short, so it was good kinda pulling through that year.”

The southpaw threw 90 strikeouts that season and capped off his high school career with a 22-0 record, finishing with 190 strikeouts in 162 innings total.

Williamsport Crosscutters pitcher Brandon Kaminer watches from the bench as his team plays the State College Spikes at Muncy Bank Ballpark, August 12, 2022. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

He was a two-time All-Broward County selection, was named the 2016-17 Miami Herald Pitcher of the Year for Broward County, was a 2016 MaxPreps Underclass All-American and had a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America recognition in 2017.

“It was fun. It was a good experience. I played junior varsity my first two years, so that junior year for me was a lot to handle,” Kaminer said. “It was fun running into stuff like that at a young age. It kinda gets you ready for the college level.”

In his two seasons at LSU — including a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign — Kaminer went 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA.

Prior to transferring to LSU, he went 8-2 his sophomore year at Wallace Community College-Dothan in Alabama. Kaminer struck out 68 batters and walked nine.

After earning his degree in sports administration at LSU, he took up a grad program at Georgia State. In his 2022 college season, Kaminer pitched 41 1/3 innings, fanning 42 with a 3.74 ERA. He let up 47 hits and 19 runs with 26 walks.

“Going to school for a fifth year, I already had my degree so I didn’t really have to deal with too much on the school side of things,” Kaminer said. “It was fun just going out there and really focus on ball because it’s a lot when you got school and baseball to deal with, so it was very stress free.”

So far in the second half of the MLB Draft League season, Kaminer has started three games and has struck out 14 batters with eight hits and three runs allowed. Through 12 innings, he’s walked seven and holds a 2.25 ERA.

The Crosscutters have a .970 fielding percentage on the season, tied for the highest with West Virginia. Nick Meyer was recently named the league pitcher of the week after an 11-strikeout performance, followed by a win from Blair Frederick on the mound shortly after.

The club’s defense has been the highlight of the second half, and Kaminer is a part of that rotation on the bump.

“They go out there every day and it seems like they’ve just become an everyday thing. They make good plays, they make the plays when you need them,” Kaminer said. “Opposing teams have had a lot of errors, you have to take advantage of that and we’ve definitely been doing that.”

In its previous series against Mahoning Valley, Williamsport took the first two of three games. The Scrappers made seven errors and scored just two runs in that time. The Crosscutters have 59 errors this summer, the fewest in the league.

Williamsport enters the middle game of a big series against State College at the tail end of its homestead. While the Crosscutters remain in first place in the MLB Draft League’s second-half standings, both clubs are battling for a bid to the championship game at West Virginia on Sept. 6.

“It’s not like we’re playing 10, 11, 12, we only play two, three teams each week. We’re pretty comfortable with who we’re playing,” Kaminer said. “If we keep going out, doing what we’re supposed to do, we should have no problem. I think we’re in a pretty good position right now.”


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