Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, June 24, 2012

St. Louis Gamers on a roll

Matthew Stokes        
Photo: Perfect Game

MARIETTA, Ga. – The St. Louis Gamers 15u Blue (4-0) continued their winning ways on Sunday afternoon, beating the Ohio Force (1-2) 4-3 at the East Cobb Complex in a Pool P matchup of the 2012 WWBA 15u National Championship.

In the early going, things looked less than favorable for the Gamers as the Force scored two first-inning runs, the first on a suicide squeeze which was followed by a towering solo home run over the left field wall by Noah Heard. Undeterred by this early deficit, the Gamers responded with a three spot in their half of the first to take the lead.

After surrendering that lead, the Gamers inched ahead and broke a tie game via a Brady Anderson bases-loaded walk in the fourth.

Right-hander Anthony Passante, who entered in relief of starter Cody Birdsong, earned the victory for the Gamers in spite of walking in the game-tying run in the second. He tossed six scoreless frames of three-hit ball with three strikeouts. Passante worked out of a two-out jam in the seventh by inducing a Ronnie Murphy groundout to third base to end the game.

Gamers head coach Dave Pregon said the team has been doing enough to win but still has room for improvement.

The team’s been playing well, Pregon said. “We’ve been doing what we need to do to get it done. We got a lot of guys starting to swing the bat a little bit so once we start putting a string of hits together we should do pretty well in this tournament.”

Pregon is in his first year with this group of players, but has been with the organization since helping found it in 2007. The Gamers call All-Star Performance in south St. Louis, Mo., their base of operations.

Traveling to give these young players exposure is nothing new for Pregon and the organization.

These players are going to be competing against a lot of these guys in the next three-four years at the college level,” Pregon said. “The point is to show this group what they got to go up against and how hard they got to work to get there.”

The Gamers will resume to action on Monday against Georgia Select 15u at North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga.

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