Private Baseball Lessons in St. Louis - Rick Strickland Baseball

ST. LOUIS - The 2014 13U Pirates team led by Warren Long started fast this season by winning 3 of their first 4 tournament championships, including a 16-team event at Lenz Field in Jacksonville, IL that featured some of the best USSSA major level teams in the Midwest. Early season highlights included victories over powerhouse teams Wheatland Ducks Gold, Prospects Academy, Champaign Tribe and Vision Baseball.

The 13U team returns 11 players from last year’s team, most of whom have played together since 8U. After winning 40 games in 2013, the 2014 Pirates are building momentum for a schedule that includes 17 tournaments and 5 trips out of state for major invitational events.

After two long weekends on the road, the Pirates now return home for a BPA Platinum level event that will combine 13U major teams with 14U select teams from Missouri and Illinois.

Coach Long provided a quick look at the 2014 squad:
#2 James Myer – “James has been out with a broken ankle since January, but is set to return to the lineup in April. James is a line drive hitting OF with top-of-the-order potential. James is known for his acrobatics in the OF and tremendous ability to hit in the clutch.”

#4 Collin Turnbeaugh – “Collin may be the best defensive shortstop in the State of Missouri. His range and baseball instincts take away the left side of the infield. Collin has been limited on the mound after fracturing a growth plate in fall 2013, but will likely return to a closer role once fully recovered. At the plate, Collin has served as the team’s leadoff hitter and set a scorching early season pace with a .429 BA, .571 OBP and 23 runs scored.”

#8 Blane Morris – “Blane is a dominant RHP with an electric fastball / knuckle curve combo that projects beyond high school. Blane has blown away opponents this season with 40K over 19 innings pitched. His 3 victories on the mound are tied for the team lead with Logan Dunn. Blane is an all around baseball player, distinguishing himself at the plate and in the field. He is the prototypical 5-tool baseball player that features speed and power. Blane loves to work at his game and demonstrates all the physical tools for a very bright future.”

#11 Carson Whiteside – “Carson is a strong-armed RHP/OF who is talented enough to play all over the diamond. Carson is a ‘cage rat’ who never gets tired of doing the work. Carson is coming off a solid tournament at Lenz Field that featured some clutch run-producing hits that helped the team win the championship. His dedication to the team and game will pay off as he projects to play the game beyond high school.”

#12 Brendan Kuhlmann – “Brendan is another power RHP with tremendous command and composure. After posting a 2-0 record in 2013, Brendan suffered a broken growth plate that set him back for nearly a year. After working hard through rehab, Brendan is back throwing bullpen sessions and ready to re-join the staff. When not on the mound, Brendan plays both infield and OF, providing a power-run producing bat.”

#15 Logan Dunn – “Logan is a first year Pirate who seems like he’s been a part of the team forever. Logan is a poised, front of the rotation LHP who can dominate opponents with tremendous command, change of speed and deceptive velocity. Logan leads the pitching staff with 3 wins and a 0.46 ERA over 15-1/3 innings so far this season. Logan is an excellent defensive player with great instincts reminiscent of a young Jim Edmonds in the OF. At the plate, Logan is a gap-to-gap hitter with a tremendous understanding of the strikezone.”

#18 Nick Lang – “Nick is a power hitting 3B who can flex around the diamond and play multiple positions. When not at 3B, Nick is a strong-armed RHP who can light up the radar gun. Nick missed some time early in the season and is playing catch-up, but had a great tournament at Lenz Field and was the winning pitcher in the tournament championship game.”

#21 George Williams – “George is a 6th grade 12-year old playing up at 13U major. George is a great natural athlete with tremendous instincts for the game. As a 2B, George is an excellent compliment to his double-play partner Turnbeaugh, whose reliable glove has won us a lot of ball games. George is coming off a big tournament performance at Lenz Field where he delivered big hits and timely pitching to help the team to another early season championship.”

#22 Carson Buddemeyer – “Carson is a strong-armed LHP/OF/1B with front of the rotation stuff who is relied upon every week to deliver big performances on the mound. At the plate, Carson features gap-to-gap power that can change a game with one swing. Carson is a disciplined hitter who understands the strikezone and works pitchers deep into counts. His command at the plate have led to a .360 BA and .448 OBP over his first 11 games.”

#23 Kurtis Byrne – “Kurtis is a power-hitting C/3B/RPH with a smooth swing and tremendous discipline at the plate. After leading the Pirates in all offensive categories in 2013, Kurtis is right back in the swing of things with a .500 BA, 1.248 OPS and 15 RBI over the first 17 games. Kurtis is a hard worker who lives in the cage.”

#34 Jack Williams – “Jack is a power-hitting LHP/1B/OF who has exploded early in the 2014 season. Jack is among the team leaders in all offensive categories with a .400 BA, 15 RBI and 1.095 OPS. His 3-RBI double with 2-outs in the 7th let the Pirates to their 3rd tournament championship of the season at Lenz Field. On the mound, Jack has blown away opponents with a 0.66 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 10-2/3 innings.”

#44 Michael Long – “Michael is a power-hitting C/RHP/OF/3B who is beginning to come into his own at the plate and on the mound. Michael features a 2-0 record on the mound with 2 saves and an ERA of 0.62 over 11-1/3 innings. At the plate, Michael has shown some gap-to-gap power with a reliable ability to drive in runs.”

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