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New Balance Players of the Day: Aug. 7

New Balance Baseball 

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Michael Hoard sparked the Reds' 4-3 win over the A's with a two-run home run over the right field fence in the first game at the Area Code Games on Tuesday.

Hoard, a 6-foot lefty hitter from Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.), launched a drive that easily cleared the wall around the 360-foot mark and staked the Reds to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

The rising senior went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. The home run was the third in as many days at the Long Beach State's Blair Field, usually a tough park in which to hit a round-tripper.

Hoard is committed to Arizona and hit .460 with 49 RBI, 17 doubles and eight home runs this spring for his high school team.

Off the field the infielder helps at the Marana Food Bank. He also has a brother who is a member of the Army Special Forces and has served two tours in Afghanistan.

Yankees vs. White Sox

The White Sox reached double figures in runs, including eight in the first three innings and went on to defeat the Yankees, 10-4.

Accounting for three of the runs was pitcher/first baseman A.J. Puk, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound lefty from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Puk went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

Coming from a family of athletes — his mother was a gymnast at Missouri and his father played football at Minnesota — the rising senior hit .500 for his high school team despite being hindered with a thumb injury.

Puk has committed to play baseball at Florida.

Rangers vs. Nationals

The key to the Rangers 6-4 win over the Nationals was the all-around play of table setter Nicholas Buckner.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound outfielder went 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles, a double, three RBIs and two steals.

The Houston commit from Pearland, Texas, also shined for his North Shore High team this spring as he hit .500 with 10 home runs.

Speed runs in the Buckner family: his older brother, Cameron, ran the first leg of North Shore's state-title-winning 4x400 relay.

Brewers vs. Royals

Stephen Gonsalves showed why he’s one of the top high school pitchers in the nation as he threw three scoreless innings to start the game in the Brewers 5-4 win over the Royals.

Gonsalves, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound southpaw from Cathedral Catholic (San Marcos, Calif.) allowed only a bunt hit, a walk and a hit batter while striking out five and topping out at 91 mph on the radar gun.

This spring he went 10-0 with a 1.91 ERA for Cathedral. He’s committed to San Diego.

New Balance honors the players who “Grind and Shine” and know how to play the game the right way … every play