Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Houston Heat on cruise control

Matthew Stokes        
Photo: Perfect Game

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – The Houston Heat (2-0) have been rolling of late, allowing a total of two hits in 16 innings of tournament play at the 2012 WWBA 15u National Championship.

The team’s dominant pitching showed a small crack in its armor on Satruday afternoon against the Kennesaw Rays as Houston right-hander David
Petrinsky surrendered a first-inning run. But the Houston, Texas-based team came roaring back with a four-run fourth after Petrinsky struck out the side in the previous half inning.

Ultimately this matchup at the Cartersville Baseball Complex was suspended due to heavy rainfall in the top of the fifth.

Houston Heat head coach Chris Burton said he sees several strengths in this team.

I think the strength of this club is that the majority of them played varsity baseball as freshmen, which gives them a lot of confidence,” said Burton, who is in his fifth year with the organization.

Also another one of their strengths is that this team seems to come together as one pretty quickly. If a kid’s not playing, it’s not like he’s hoping that the starter does bad so that he can play. Everyone’s pulling for each other so I think it’s a good, tight unit.”

In his team’s opening game on Friday afternoon, Cameron Kremers, a six-foot-six left-hander, threw one of six no-hitters on the day, facing the minimum number of batters in six innings. One Perfect Game scout noted that Kremers did “a great job of changing speeds to keep hitters off balance.”

He’s from Beeville, Texas, which is a small town in South Texas,” Burton said. “He travels three hours up to Houston to be a part of this team.”

In the Heat’s second game on Friday afternoon, rising sophomore Shane Kallman continued the team’s hot streak on the bump, using a mid-80s fastball, a breaking pitch and a changeup to mow down 12 batters in a 1-hit blanking of Alabama Baseball Academy.

You go out the first day and throw a couple goose eggs out there, and it gives you confidence,” Burton said.

Tournaments like these are important because players have the chance to figure out where they stand on the national level, Burton explained.

It’s an opportunity for these guys to be put on a platform to get to the next level,” Burton said. “It’s an opportunity for some of these talented guys to see other players from around the country. A lot of times you’ll get pigeonholed just looking at the guys around you.

Now you can take a look at the big picture. ‘Alright. Who am I competing against not for high school jobs but college and professional jobs?”

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