Archive for Thursday, July 1, 2010

Showcase tournaments give chance for local baseball players to shine

July 1, 2010

They’re not billed as the Kaw Valley League All-Stars, but the A’s might as well be.

A summer baseball team loaded with KVL standouts from Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, Tonganoxie and Lansing — as well as one player from non-league Spring Hill — is in the midst of a sizzling summer.

The team travels to tournaments and college showcase events, and one of its top performances so far took place June 17-20 at Wichita State University where the team battled through four close games at the Wichita Shockers College Showcase Classic and posted a 2-2 record.

The tournament was an opportunity for players to see top competition, and also for them to perform in pressure situations.

Basehor-Linwood’s Nathan Quigley did just that in the team’s second game when he smacked a two-run homer off the top of the fence that helped the A’s eventually overcome a 3-0 deficit.

“We had key hits in some key situations,” coach TJ Burgess said. “Quigley goes yard to start a really good inning for us that got us back in the game. It pulled everybody’s spirits up, and then we started scoring some runs.

Later, Quigley drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 5-4 victory.

Quigley hit another home run the next day.

“It was kind of a breakout for him, because he was struggling through high school ball coming off of last year where he was hitting around .400,” Burgess said. “I put him in the lower part of the lineup so he could start getting more fastballs and get used to swinging well, and he’s doing the part.”

Two other local players also have turned in stellar performances this summer: Basehor-Linwood’s Jared Patton and Bonner Springs’ Dalton Vitt.

Patton has spent part of the summer catching, but he’s spent all of it crushing the ball, Burgess said.

In addition, Vitt has reprised the role that he thrived in this spring at BSHS as a versatile utility player.

“He likes to be able to play different positions,” Burgess said. “He’s played outfield, third base, second base, shortstop, that whole thing. The only places he hasn’t been are center field, first base and catcher. He’s a big asset to my team, and on top of that he gets the job done at the plate as well. He doesn’t strike out much, and he puts the ball in play pretty much every time.”

The A’s next play Friday through Sunday at a tournament in Oak Grove, Mo.

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