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Examiner
  • Area players get chance to showcase talent

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  • A trio of area high school juniors will travel to Iowa next week for one big baseball weekend.
    Truman’s Rorey Combs and Blue Springs South’s Tyler Clark and Will Hughes have been invited to participate in the Perfect Game Midwest Underclass Showcase, Aug. 22-24 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.
    Perfect Game is a national scouting service that also hosts numerous regional and national showcase events across the country. Combs, Clark and Hughes all played summer baseball for Midwest Heat, a Kansas City-based club team coached by William Chrisman teacher Nick Magnifico. Players were invited to participate based on recommendations from coaches.
    Combs, who will attend as an outfielder and pitcher, said he thinks he has prepared himself well for the event.
    “I hit right under or at .450 and had a lot of outings for pitching (with the Heat),” he said. “I’m definitely excited to be around a lot of talented players, to show what I have and see what they have.”
    Combs said the first day (Friday) of the showcase will be fielding drills, Saturday will start with batting practice and then have games running through the evening, followed by more games on Sunday.
    “He went through the usual sophomore ups and downs,” said Combs’ coach at Truman, John Eglich, “but he came around hitting-wise toward the end of the season and pitched a shutout against Chrisman.
    “He has a chance to be a really good player. Nothing but good things can come from this.”
    Clark and Hughes both started last spring on South’s junior varsity squad, as the varsity squad was loaded with seniors. Clark joined the varsity midway through as an extra pitcher and corner infielder and was along for the ride as the Jaguars made their first trip to the state final four and claimed third place.
    “It was good playing with all the seniors,” he said. “It taught me a lot about how to come together as a team. Austin (Simms) and Reece (Eddins) taught me about playing first base.”
    “It was good for him to be with those guys,” South coach Ben Baier added.
    Clark, who will attend as a pitcher and infielder, said he hopes to put his name out there for colleges and soak up anything he can learn from the showcase.
    “I was a little surprised by (the invitation), but happy it came,” he said. “I just want to get noticed by some scouts, just get better, be around good players and help myself improve.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hughes, who pitched and played center field on the junior varsity, will attend as a outfielder.
    “There will be lots of college scouts up there, so maybe I’ll get some looks,” he said. “I want to get on the radar a little but because I’m just going to be a junior next year. I want to step right in (on varsity).”

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