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Player of the Week: William Stewart

It’s hard to deny that William Stewart is a different pitcher than he was this time last year. The evidence begins to present itself just in his appearance. Stewart hit a significant growth spurt and is considerably taller than he was a year ago. And in recent months, he has adjusted well to what his newfound heighth affords him.

But more than anything, William Stewart is a lot more confident than he was last year. That fact began to show around the edges during the Demopolis High School baseball season. When Ben Pettus, the Tigers’ No. 2 starting pitcher, found himself unable to pitch due to injury concerns, it was Stewart who emerged to fill the role. He scored major wins over rivals Chilton County and Selma down the stretch as Demopolis earned the area championship.

Then the season ended and Stewart, who pitched on a travel ball squad last summer, determined that he would continue his growth in the USSSA this offseason.

His progress is already starting to show through as he picked up wins in both of the West Alabama 16U team’s single-elimination games Sunday, helping them to clinch Lee-Scott Academy’s Travel Ball Challenge title.

Stewart came into the game in tight situations against both Northeast Alabama and Smiths Station, both times working scoreless frames to pick up the victory.

Already equipped with a considerable breaking ball, Stewart has the potential to become an extremely effective pitcher for the Tigers in 2011. But first, he will continue helping West Alabama’s 16U team win games this summer.