Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Ballwin Standouts Shine with Legion Stars Baseball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Ballwin Standouts Shine with Legion Stars Baseball

Article excerpt

Four Ballwin players will participate in the American Legion District 10 North-South All-Star Game July 13 at ABC Field in St. Ann.

First baseman Steve Wedemeier and outfielder Greg Ramsbottom will be in the starting lineup. Shortstop Vince Castaldo will be the backup at second base, although he tied starter Kev Eberhardt of Arnold in coaches' votes. A coin flip decided the starting berth.

Ballwin also will be represented by pitcher Gary Cooper, whom manager Dick Watner calls the team's most valuable player. In league play, Cooper is 3-0 with an earned run average of 1.93. When he's not on the mound, Watner has him in left field. Cooper is batting .396 with five extra-base hits andnine RBIs.

Castaldo has played second base and shortstop. Other than a rough fielding game last week, he has been strong defensively. He's also hitting .441 with a team-leading four doubles and 10 RBIs.

Watner describes Wedemeier as being "very smooth around first base." The all-star first sacker also is hitting .455 and has driven in eight runs. T.A. McGuire's potent offensive attack is giving opposing pitchers recurring nightmares and is the primary reason why T.A. McGuire is well ahead in theConference III standings in the District 10 American Legion Baseball League.

A gaudy team batting average of .382 as of Saturday had paved a 7-2 record. The assault was led by Rosary sophomore Bob Geary, hitting a sizzling .528.

"We're playing well right now," manager Lee Basso said. "But we've got to get some pitching. That's the name of the game. The hitting can't hold out like this for long."

Up and down the lineup, though, there doesn't appear to be a weak link. Geary, the leadoff man, had hit safely in all nine games as of Friday, stolen seven bases and driven in seven runs.

Eddie Ross from Jennings was hitting .444 and had stolen nine bases in eight games. He also had 12 RBIs.

Cleanup hitter Jeff Whitling had a healthy batting average of .387 and shared the team RBI lead with Ross.

Steve Range spent several days in the hospital after suffering a minor concussion during the recent high school soccer all-star game. But Range also has been producing, as evidenced by his .458 batting mark.

Also getting on base with regularity have been shortstop Dan Drury of Rosary, hitting .467 with nine RBIs, and Frank Catanzaro, batting .412.

Basso has reaped dividends with two players from Riverview Gardens who didn't play high schoolbaseball this season.

Alvin Smith was batting .375 with 10 RBIs. Derrick Johnson was batting .344 with 10 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

"That Derrick Johnson can run," Basso said. "I know that kid (Vince Coleman) the Cardinals have is fast, but I'd sure like to race him and Derrick together."

T.A. McGuire has utilized its speed to upset the opposition, too. The team had stolen 46 bases in nine games. …

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