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Demon Showcase drives baseball talent to Natchitoches
by LaMar Gafford
Jul 05, 2014 | 208 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Natchitoches Central’s Ethan Starks looks to get a hit during the Chiefs’ game against the Louisiana All-Star 17s. Photo by Kevin Shannahan.
Natchitoches Central’s Ethan Starks looks to get a hit during the Chiefs’ game against the Louisiana All-Star 17s. Photo by Kevin Shannahan.
For two days, Northwestern State’s Brown-Stroud Field and Natchitoches Central’s Chad Hargis Field were the homes to baseball talent of numerous travel teams.

The Demon Showcase was held June 28-29 in Natchitoches as several under-18 and under-16 teams squared off against each other in the hopes of impressing scouts for the next level.

“It’s a great experience for them,” Brookhaven Jays coach Robert Young said. “We try to tell them that they have to remember the moments that they get the opportunity to do something.”

The Jays were one of eleven teams who participated in the tournament and one of the showcase’s best games against the Shreveport Stickmen June 29 to close out the showcase.

After an inning of pitcher dominance on both teams, the Stickmen jumped out ahead and led 5-0 with three innings completed.

Yet, Brookhaven slowly began to chip away at the lead as the team scored a run in each the fourth and fifth innings to cut the deficit to 5-2.

The Jays would not get on the board in the top half of the sixth, but they would explode for four runs in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead.

However, Shreveport’s dormant offense woke back up in the bottom of the seventh, as Brookhaven could not preserve the lead and lost 7-6.

For Stickmen coach Bobby Gilliam, the game marked another chapter between the two squads.

“This was the fifth time that we played these guys this summer, so we had a familiarity with them,” Gilliam said. “We knew this was the last game of the tournament and we had been looking forward to playing these guys all week. It’s pretty much what I expected from them because every time we played all summer, they’ve played tough and they’re scrappy.”

While the object is to win the game and not look bad, Gilliam looks at the showcase as a chance to learn and grow.

“That’s what we’re trying to teach these players, to play one pitch at a time and take advantage of your opportunities.” Gilliam said. “The rest of the coaches and myself have played college ball and a little bit in the pros. You just never know when somebody’s going to see you. If you play uptight and try to impress somebody, it’s not going to work. You just have to play the game as hard as you can, if they like you, they like you.”

It also marked the end of the summer season for the Natchitoches Central baseball team as it dropped its only game in the showcase June 28 to the Louisiana All-Star 17s---a showcase team comprised of players from South Louisiana high schools---by the score of 6-2.

Despite having its June 29 matchup against the Louisiana All-Star 16s wiped out due to heavy rain from the day before, numerous Chief players also had a chance to catch scouts’ eyes, especially senior pitcher Brian Metoyer.

Metoyer was a first-team All-District selection in the 2014 season and has demonstrated good hitting and pitching skills.

The showcase teams will continue to play across the state and region throughout the summer, while NSU will continue to hold baseball camps in that time.

The Demons will hold a high school hitting camp July 7-8 and a pitching and catching camp July 9-10.
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