Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sawyer Steele(s) the show

Matt Rodriguez        
Photo: Perfect Game

MARIETTA, Ga. - The Georgia Roadrunners 15U showed up to play on Day 2 of the 2013 15U WWBA National Championship, shutting out the St. Louis Gamers 15U Gray, 13-0, and increasing their record to 3-0. When you thought the headline would be the offense, it was the pitching that stole the spotlight.

Sawyer Steele tossed the game of his life, throwing his first ever no-hitter on just 61 pitches. Steele went six innings and allowed just two walks, while striking out seven. He stayed around the plate the entire game, throwing first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 19 batters he faced and hitting the strike zone on over 75 percent of his pitches.

“It’s like working a video game with him pitching today and hitting his spots,” said Roadrunners pitching coach Bob Howard.

“The pitching’s been fantastic and I hope we can keep it up.”

One of Sawyer’s teammates and a member of the rotation watched the performance from behind home plate, taking notes for his team. He was impressed with what he saw out of Steele.

“Being a fellow PO (pitcher only), I’m really proud of the way Sawyer pitched; hitting his spots, changing speed, and keeping the hitters off balance.”

“We hooked our pitcher up today. We fought for him,” said second baseman Cobie Vance. “We were working in the field. We just took advantage and made the plays.”

Vance and shortstop Jahmai Jones made some tough plays to preserve the no-hitter, including a 6-4-3 double play.

“(We) just went out there and played defense behind him and there’s not much more to be said,” Jones commented. “He pitched a great game.”

Steele kept it simple, saying, “It was good. I just went out there and threw.”

He got more than enough run support to back him up for the win. The Roadrunners scored 13 runs on 15 hits, 7 walks, and a hit batter. The lineup hit from top to bottom. There was not really any standout player on offense.

The Roadrunners collected five doubles, some of which looked like they were going to leave the ballpark.

Kevin Strohschein collected two singles and an RBI and is 4-for-5 in the tournament. Michael Curry hit his second double of the tournament, batting in the cleanup spot.

Curry is the No. 84 ranked prospect in the class of 2015 and Junior National Showcase attendee who tied for the third best pop time (1.87 seconds) and had the second best catcher velocity (82 mph).

Curry isn’t the only standout players on this loaded Roadrunners squad. The team excels throughout the lineup and on the mound.

In their three tournament games so far, the Roadrunners have outscored their opponents 26-0. They have tallied 25 base hits, including 11 extra-base hits and have walked 16 times.

No strangers to the WWBA National Championship, the Roadrunners project to be one of the better teams in the tournament this week.

The Roadrunners have four games remaining in pool play and will play the Frederick Rangers at 1130am today at Pinecrest Academy.

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