A team of local, high-school aged baseball players continued to run its way through the Big League World Series in Easley, South Carolina, earlier this week.
Playing as the tournament’s Southeast representative, the Clearwater-based squad of all-stars advanced to this past Tuesday’s U.S. final by beating the East representative Monday afternoon.
That put the team one win away from playing against an international opponent for the Big League World Series. The tournament’s culminating contest will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN Wednesday.
Clearwater beat the East team from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, on Monday, 4-3, boosted by a two-run homer from former Clearwater Central Catholic star slugger Brenden Overton in the top of the third inning.
The bomb was another big-time delivery at the plate from Overton in this prestigious tournament. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder mashed a walk-off shot to end the team’s opening game against the Southwest.
Clearwater was scheduled to play a rematch against the same Southwest team on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. for the chance to enter Wednesday’s World Series.
Two more wins would bring a fitting end for what’s been a stellar stretch of baseball played by this Clearwater team comprised primarily of North Pinellas talent. According to an email from Steve Auerbach, parent of team member and former Palm Harbor University pitcher Brian Auerbach, Clearwater got to South Carolina after two straight weeks playing throughout the state.
The team won the Florida State Championship in Tallahassee, then traveled to Fort Lauderdale to capture the southern region title. Steve Auerbach wrote that the team outscored its opponents in the regional tournament by an astounding 70-3 margin over four games.
Eleven teams from around the globe are invited each year to play for the Big League World Series. Six are from different regions of the United States and the other five are international.
Clearwater is coached by Matt Morrow and 16 players make up the well-balanced, potent roster. Seven different area high schools are represented on the team: five in North Pinellas, one in West Pasco and one in Bradenton.
The players on this year’s team are: Brian Auerbach (PHU), Cameron Churchill (East Lake), Brad Deppermann (East Lake), Derek Gibree (CCC), Justin Glover (Dunedin), Tyler Hawks (River Ridge), Trevor Jensen (Dunedin), Ian Lisle (East Lake), Tim Luth (Dunedin), Keegan Maronpot (East Lake), Ethan Olivero (PHU), Brenden Overton (CCC), David Paul (CCC), Jordan Pendleton (IMG Academy), Tyler Simmons (CCC) and Zach Taylor (Countryside).