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Photo: Perfect Game

Tournaments : : Story
Patriots look like contenders
Matt Rodriguez        
Published: Friday, June 21, 2013

MARIETTA, Ga. – The Dallas Patriots 15U Stout got off to the fast start they were looking for in their first game of the 15U WWBA National Championship, defeating the Georgia Stars, 12-0.

“First game out of the chute you always wanna come out on top,” Dallas coach Logan Stout said after the game. “(Nick) Cheema did a great job on the mound. (Bryan) Seamster came in the last two innings and did great. Offensively, we took advantage of mistakes.”

Dallas RHP Nick Cheema came out firing a running fastball that topped out at 83 mph, complementing it with a knee-buckling curveball.

In his three innings of work he allowed just four hits. He also collected three strikeouts.

“This is my first time pitching in a Perfect Game tournament and its really good competition,” said Cheema. “I pounded the strike zone and got the curveball working later. I just threw strikes and let my defense play.”

It was the offense that provided Cheema with most of the support, crossing the plate for eight runs during his stint on the mound.

Everyone in the Dallas lineup seemed to be hitting. As a team, they collected six doubles and a triple.

Pacing the offense for Dallas was second baseman Ryan Choate, who went 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI.

“I wasn’t hitting well this whole season so I just went up there trying to relax and it worked out well and I crushed the ball,” Choate said.

This isn’t Choate’s first appearance in the tournament. “The first year I was really nervous, but now I’m just calm and playing the game.”

Last year, Stout’s team made a run deep into the playoffs last year, but came up short because of the lack of depth in the pitching rotation. This year, they came with 11 different possible arms.

Unfortunately, the injury bug has come around to get the Patriots once again and Stout has a lot of planning to do to try and make a deep run in the tournament again.

“We expect to win it all,” said Stout. “Pitching wise, my only concern is whether or not we are healthy enough to win 11 games here.”

Although the expectations for the banged up Patriots squad are high, they are not unrealistic. The Patriots put on an offensive clinic to open their tournament, collecting 13 base hits and reaching on six walks.

The 14-player roster won’t let the injury bug stop them from playing some of their best baseball. They will be a team to fear for whoever has to face them in this tournament.

Tomorrow the Dallas Patriots 15U Stout will play the DeMarini Stars 15U Blue at 11:30am and Team Elite 15U Grey at 2:00pm. Both games are at Roswell High School.

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