Legends On Deck

South Atlantic League All Star Game: North Edges South 7-5

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The North Division all stars backed by three, two run home runs built a 7-2 lead, and held on late for a 7-5 win over the Southern Division All stars. Ariel Jurado of the Hickory Crawdads got the win, Caleb Beech of the Rome Braves took the loss.

The South got on the board early picking up a run in the first without the benefit of a hit. Rome second baseman Jonathon Johnson led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, he stole second base, moved to third on a flyout and scored on a ground out.

After a booted ground ball allowed Greensboro Grasshoppers DH Austen Smith to reach with two outs in the second inning, Hickory Crawdads outfielder Luke Tendler followed with a two-run home run to right to give the North Division a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Delmarva Shorebirds second baseman Steve Wilkerson‘s two run home run to right center in the third inning stretched the score to 5-1.

The South got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on doubles by Greenville Drive infielders Rafael Devers  and Javier Guerra, which was one of two doubles for Guerra on the day.

With two outs in the fifth the North struck again, Grasshoppers outfielder K.J Woods hit a long home run to right scoring Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Rhys Hoskins who doubled. The Southern Division all stars got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Drives second baseman Mauricio Dubon  was hit by a pitch, Augusta GreenJackets outfielder Johneshwy Fargas followed with a double and Dubon scored on a ground out, which made the score 7-3 in favor of the North after five innings.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the sixth, seventh, and eigth but the score remained the same until the ninth inning. Crawdads lefty pitcher Brett Martin came in to pitch the ninth for the North, after a flyout, Greenjackets catcher Aramis Garcia lined a single to right. That prompted a pitching change and Crawdads left hander Yohander Mendez was summoned. After an error put runners on first and second with one out, Braves center fielder Joseph Daris doubled. An RBI goundout followed, cutting the lead to 7-5, with Daris still on second base, Fargas was up representing the tying run. After a lengthy at bat Fargas hit a soft grounder to third and was out on a bang bang play for the games final out.

BlueClaws shortstop Malquin Canelo  won the most valuable player of the game, after finishing with a single, double, walk and a run scored.

Before the game there was a home run derby. The four participants were: Austen Smith (Greenboro),  Rhys Hoskins (Lakewood), Conor Bierfeldt (Delmarva) and Ryan O’Hearn (Lexington). Also taking swings was Colorado Rockies legend Vinny Castilla. O’Hearn beat Hoskins in the final to take home the crown.

All in all a fun day/night at the ball field.

Top Performers

North
Miguel Canelo – 2 for 3. R, Double, Walk
Stephen Wilkerson – 1 for 2, R, HR, 2 RBI
K.J. Woods – 2 for 5, R, HR, 2 RBI
Luke Tendler – 1 for 4, R, HR, 2 RBI

South
Rafael Devers – 1 for 3, R, Double, 2 RBI
Javier Guerra – 2 for 2, 2 Doubles, RBI
Joseph Daris – 1 for 2, Double, RBI

John Calvagno

John is a staff writer for legends on deck. A Red Sox fan and Minor league enthusiast, he's usually writing about minor league baseball.John also loves Bruins hockey and Syracuse basketball.
John is married with two grown daughters and lives in Asheville, NC.
you can find John on Twitter @AshevilleSoxFan