Local sports briefs

December 3, 2013 

Baseball

Grizzlies add catcher to roster

SAUGET -- The Gateway Grizzlies have added former Missouri Baptist catcher Garrett Vail to their 2014 roster.

Vail, 23, is coming off a strong senior season with the Spartans. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound catcher batted .324 with four home runs and 30 RBI for a Missouri Baptist team that went 37-14 (24-4 in conference).

"Garrett played his college ball locally and will come into spring training and compete for a catcher spot on our team," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "He put up good offensive numbers in college and we hope that translates well to this level."

Vail played only one season at Missouri Baptist. He spent his junior season in 2012 at Division I Central Arkansas (Southland Conference) where he batted .280 in 18 games. Vail spent his first two seasons of college at Hill Junior College in Texas.

"I'm excited to have this great opportunity and look to take advantage of it," Vail said. "I can't wait to get going."

Grizzlies 2014 season and group tickets are on sale now. For more information call 618-337-3000.

Senior group

Former Cardinal to speak at meeting

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and Columbia native T.J. Mathews will be the guest speaker at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Belleville Area Senior Men's Sports Group at the PSOP Building at 201 N. Church St. in Belleville.

Anyone interested in attending the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. event can make reservations by contacting the Programs and Services for Older Persons office at 234-4410, ext. 7016.

Selected by the Cardinals in the 36th round of the 1992 amateur draft, Mathews reached the major leagues on July 28, 1995. On July 31, 1997, the right-hander was traded with pitchers Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein to Oakland for Mark McGwire.

Released by Oakland in 2001, Mathews was signed as a free agent by the Cardinals, and later completed his MLB career in 2002 with the Houston Astros. T.J. is a son of Nelson Mathews, an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs (1960-63) and Kansas City Athletics (1964-65).

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