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Man donates money to save baseball team’s season

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ST. CHALRES, MO (KTVI)-- A Fox 2 viewer truly “stepped to the plate” for a troubled youth baseball team in St. Charles.  As we first told you last week, the team’s season was in jeopardy, with police investigating a former coach’s handling of team finances.

It seemed hopeless for the Missouri Gunners, a team of 15-18 year olds.  Parents discovered a negative balance in the team account, when they thought they had thousands of dollars in it, enough to pay for upcoming tournaments.

Someone none of them knew was watching the news that night – good thing.

Baseball mom, Ashlee Head, had a hug for a complete stranger at practice in O’Fallon, MO Wednesday night.

It was Brent Porlier, owner of Porlier Outdoor Advertising, a billboard company in Foristell.

Boyd morgan/parent, coach:

“Never heard of him, now I see his billboards all over the place.  I look down the highway and I see his name all over and I think that’s him.  There are good people out there,” said Boyd Morgan, a Gunners parent and coach.

The team was in danger of losing the rest of its season.  Parents said their records showed a $2300 shortfall in the team’s bank account; money the team needed to play in 3 upcoming tournaments.

St. Charles Police are now investigating the former coach for possible misuse of team funds.

The former coach and his wife said their records showed a shortfall of only about $270; he paid double that amount back into the account.

They denied wrongdoing, saying parents failed to completely account for fundraising expenses.

Porlier saw the story on Fox 2, and then wrote the team a check for $2400, saving the season.

“I did hear loud and clear on the piece that was on TV that they were in the final stretch; due to circumstances out of their control, they probably aren’t going to have the funds to complete what they wanted to do.  So I thought, we’ll help out, just step up,” Porlier said.

“He’s a blessing.  He’s a true, true blessing,” said parent, Pat Cashen.

“You know it was a little unbelievable at first.  I thought someone was playing a joke.  I think it’s amazing for the boys to restore their faith, in humanity,” Head said.

“It was just honorable.  People like that who give out donations, they do it for the kids.  They do it for us.  The whole team is grateful,” said player, Jared Cashen.

The team lined up to say thank you and shake Porlier’s hand at practice.

“You’re welcome, good luck, good luck,” he smiled.

There was no update from St. Charles Police on the status of the investigation; but no one's been charged with wrongdoing.

Porlier wasn’t concerned with that, saying it would take care of itself, but while it did, he just felt like the young men should still be playing ball.

Parents accuse St. Charles baseball coach of stealing money from team

Email: Andy.Banker@tvstl.com

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