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Photo: Perfect Game

Tournaments : : Story
Gravel Baseball making a run
Matthew Stokes        
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SMYRNA, Ga. – For the second time in as many days, Gravel Baseball (7-0) rallied to win a game in their final turn to hit.

On Wednesday morning, the Chicago, Ill.-based organization mounted a comeback against the Richmond Braves 2015 American (0-7) and emerged 6-5 winners as Chris Botsoe grounded the game-winning single to center field, scoring Jake Surpaenant from third.

Gravel head coach Sam Sorce, in his 18th year with the organization, said pitching in large part has carried the group to its unbeaten finish in pool play at the 2012 WWBA 15u National Championship.

I was able to throw our top four guys,” said Sorce, referring to Botsoe, Charlie Donovan, Nelson Munoz and Ako Thomas. Munoz and Thomas have pitched complete game shutouts.

Sorce helped begin the organization’s youth teams in the early 1990s.

Prairie Gravel was the first name,” Sorce explained. “That was founded in the late 1970s. It was a semi-pro team, combining college players and ex-pro players. Then when my two boys were about 10, I started the younger teams.”

Sorce said there used to be four Gravel teams, but has now settled for one team at a time.

Now I just keep the same team and go 10u-17u,” Sorce said.

The Gravel will advance out of Pool G and continue playing as one of 32 playoff teams in the event, which begin Wednesday evening. Please visit the WWBA 15u National Championship schedule page for information on playoff seeding and matchups.

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