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Hart’s big summer provides stability, production for Missouri Gators

Cam Hart hit .332 for the Missouri Gators 14U-Hart this summer. [Vicki King photo]

Cam Hart has played pretty much all over the diamond, but this summer he’s provided stability and production in the infield for the Missouri Gators 14-U Hart team.

The Gators-Hart coached by Cam’s father Lin Hart Jr. spent the summer getting a good feel for high school baseball. Cam was a major contributor to the team’s solid 14-13-4 season.

Heading into last weekend’s final games of the summer, Cam was making plenty of noise at the plate with a .332 batting average and 17 runs batted in. He said the summer was “pretty good” with “a lot of shortstop.”

His father added that “Cam has been real strong with the bat, a run-producer and one of our top RBI’s guys and Cam’s a strong base-runner as well.”

After needing Cam to fill in at different spots in past years, Lin wanted to give him a chance to settle back into the middle infield at shortstop this summer.

Short is where Cam has done his best work defensively.

“Cam has played the past seven seasons,” Lin said. “This year, I wanted to make sure he was happy with the positions he was playing since he was always helping me as a manager. He said he wanted to move back to shortstop and the Gators had some really good infield instructors and they really shored up his shortstop game. He has a lot of range and a strong arm that he’s using as a pitcher and he just kind of gravitated there.”

Cam has been virtually flawless at shortstop with an over .900 fielding percentage and has been adept at making the routine plays and making the tough plays look easy.

“Cam made a lot of difficult plays. He still had a hiccup here and there, but he was able to make the routine play for the most part and he really stabilized the team,” Lin said.

When on the mound pitching, Cam has been strong as well. The righthander, pitching in relief, threw 23 innings with 20 strikeouts, nine walks and four recorded saves.

Lin noted that, at shortstop, Cam’s impact on the infield kept the club very sound defensively.

“I really feel like when Cam was in at shortstop, that our team had it’s best defense out there,” Lin said.

A strong offseason program working on fielding and hitting played a major role in allowing Cam to put up big numbers at the plate and be a major contributor for the Gators 14U-Hart.

Hart also was honored as an All-Star this summer and that was a pleasant surprise for the hard-working, easy-going infielder. “I don’t think I saw it coming at the beginning of the season but I can definitely hoped for it [to happen] in coming seasons,” Cam said. “…  this was the hardest I’ve worked in the offseason and it definitely paid off. Taking groundballs and working on my infield game and fielding was something I really wanted to get down, so I put in a lot of time on groundballs and drills and it definitely helped me this season.”

This fall, Cam will turn his attention to football as a freshman at Lutheran St. Charles.

He has done a couple of camps with the Cougars and Coach Arlen Harris and, after transferring from Timberland High, is looking forward to challenging for playing time at the quarterback spot this fall.

Cam is looking forward to playing and learning the game under the guidance of the former NFL running back and his skilled staff of assistants.

“I definitely think Lutheran St. Charles is a better fit [for me],” Cam said. “Better coaches and more experienced coaches.”



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