|10U Quad City Heat (IA)|
This time of year can be hard on elite travel teams from the North, but not even the cold and snow of winter in Iowa can dampen the enthusiasm of the Quad City Heat 10U players and coaches, all of whom are eagerly awaiting spring and the return of baseball. Manager Daniel Bedell and Coaches Shayne Lebeau and Mitchell Proehl have put together an extremely competitive team. As such, the team intends to play a rigorous, travel-filled slate that includes Battle in the South along with the USSSA Super NIT’s in Michigan and Ohio. This big step up in class has been earned by the returning core members of the 2009 team (55-14-2 overall record) that won five tournaments, finished second in three more, including the MI Super NIT, and finished tied for 13th at Elite 32 in 2009.
Pitching and hitting are strengths of this team. Offensively, the top half of the line-up is about as good as they come in 10U baseball. Lead-off hitter, Cherokee Lebeau, hit over .600 in 2009. Ian Bedell, a contact hitter who hit right at .500 in 2009, can be counted on to move Cherokee around the bases. Connor Bedell, another .500 hitter last year, is looked upon to be a RBI leader in 2010. Newcomer, Antonio Dominguez, figures to be the clean-up hitter this year. Last year, playing up, he hit over .500 in 10AAA for the Heat’s 10U team. Three other returning players, Ray Thrapp, Rickey Proehl and Tony Barreca all hit over .400 in 2009. Newcomers Will Christopherson, Aaron Gross and Zach Roering round out the team. The coaches believe that all three have the talent and drive to succeed at the 10U Major level.
Defensively, the team is strong up the middle. Shortstop, Cherokee Lebeau, is an incredible talent. He makes the routine plans look simple and often making difficult plays look easy. The Bedell boys provide an exceptional big-game battery and it doesn’t matter which of them is on the bump and which is behind the plate because both are extremely hard to hit and both do an excellent job of limiting stolen bases and cheap runs. Zach Roering and Tony Barreca will share time at 2nd base and centerfield. Both are capable fielders, so hits up the middle should be in short supply.
Pitching depth, a must for a high-level team, is another major strength for the Heat. All ten players can pitch effectively, but the Bedell twins, Ray, Cherokee and Antonio figure to get most of the Sunday innings early in the season. Tony, Will, Zach, Aaron and Rickey will be relied upon to get the job done in order to get them to Sundays. If this plan gels as conceived, the Heat will be contenders week-in and week-out.
But no matter how things play out on the field in 2010, everyone associated with the team is proud to be part of the first Iowa-based team to be classified 10 Major. Hopefully, the team will win a State title and earn a third consecutive berth to Elite Nationals!
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 09:03|