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J O I N U S O N L I N E S T L T O D A Y. C O M / S P O R T S

WEDNESDAY • 03.02.2016 • B

HARD WAY TO WIN

Reyes looks like good bet to move up Promising pitcher could make majors this year BENJAMIN HOCHMAN St. Louis Post-Dispatch

JUPITER, FLA. • This summer, he’ll fire his first major-league pitch, inevitably a fastball that’ll surely singe the commissioner’s signature. But for now, he’s over here, on a back field at the Cardinals’ complex, fielding a bunted baseball that reads: “OFFICIAL BALL – FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE,” with the stamped signature of one Chuck Murphy, the league’s president. Alex Reyes is far from the big league camp but not, I think, that far from the big leagues. He’s participating in the Cardinals’ “Spring Training Early Program” (STEP) camp, but I sense, be it from conversations, stat analysis or my own inclination, that the righthanded pitcher will crack the club’s big-league roster this summer. Ten years ago, it was also a Reyes — in fact, it was also A. Reyes. See HOCHMAN • Page B4

Lefthander Gomber develops curveball he can have faith in Cardinals’ prospect gets start against alma mater PHOTOS BY JUSTIN TANG • The Canadian Press

Patrik Berglund (21) reacts after scoring the winning goal against the Ottawa Senators during a shootout.

Blues surrender lead as time expires, prevail in marathon shootout

BLUES

4 > Reaves returns to lineup. B5

SENATORS

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> Up next 7 p.m. Sunday at Minnesota, NBCSN

BY JEREMY RUTHERFORD St. Louis Post-Dispatch

OTTAWA • Vladimir Tarasenko’s 30th goal of the season gave the Blues a three-goal lead midway through Tuesday’s game in Ottawa. The Blues appeared to be cruising to a win that would put them in a three-way tie for first place in the Central Division. But there seems to be no such thing as having a game in the bag against Ottawa. Three times in the past two seasons the Senators have rallied from two goals down against the Blues and won, including earlier this season at Scottrade Center. The Sens did even up the score — as time expired, no less — but in the 11th round of the shootout, after 21 straight shooters had missed, Patrik Berglund ended the longest shootout in Blues history for a 4-3 win at Canadian Tire Centre. “I think we deserved to get these two points,” Berglund said. “We played a good 57 minutes. We faced some tough minutes there and I think we stayed positive, stayed strong and we came out with the two points.” See BLUES • Page B5

CHRIS LEE • clee@post-dispatch.com

Cardinals pitcher Austin Gomber throws from a bullpen mound during spring training.

BY DERRICK GOOLD St. Louis Post-Dispatch

JUPITER, FLA. • When the Cardinals gave bud-

Blues goaltender Jake Allen lets in a goal by Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel as the Senators’ Mark Stone looks on during the second period Tuesday night.

MVC tourney provides relief for area fans With Mizzou, SLU and Illinois having miserable seasons, Arch Madness is a tonic INSIDE > MVC tournament bracket. B3 > Louisiana State holds of Mizzou rally. B3 Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet >

ding prospect Austin Gomber some homework for the ofseason a little more than a year ago, the lefty took it back to school. The Florida Atlantic University UP NEXT > 12:05 p.m. alum returned to the Boca Raton, Wednesday vs. Fla., campus and showed his for- Florida Atlantic mer pitching coach, Jason Jackson, (exhibition) the curveball the Cardinals wanted him to use. He had a new grip and a new intent — throw it with force and watch the movement happen, don’t force the movement and watch nothing happen — and Jackson had one response. See CARDINALS • Page B4

BEN FREDERICKSON St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Like an unusually warm late winter afternoon prompts the premature opening of windows throughout the city, the start of March has a way of breathing new life into college basketball fans. This year,we need more than sunshine and a nice breeze. A defibrillator might do the trick. After a seasonlong coma caused by the Illini, Billikens and Tigers, a dose of Shockers should do the body wonders.The 26th edition of Missouri Valley Conference tournament as we know it here in St. Louis, a total of nine games played Thursday-Sunday at Scottrade Center, couldn’t come at a better time. If anyone could use a reminder of what college basketball is all about, it’s us. Please save us, Arch Madness. See FREDERICKSON • B3

SPORTS

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