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Florida State League 2017 All-Star Game: Home Run Derby, Rain Delay, And Game

On Saturday, the 2017 Florida State League All-Star Game was held at Joker Marchant Stadium, the home of the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Legends on Deck was on-hand to capture the action.

As has been an annual event, the North and South divisions faced against each other for a pre-game Home Run Derby followed by the actual All Star game.

The participants for the Derby were Lakeland Flying Tigers catcher Arvicent Perez, Clearwater Threshers second baseman Drew Stankiewicz and right Fielder Herlis Rodriguez for the North against St. Lucie Mets third baseman Jhoan Urena, Bradenton Marauders outfielder Casey Hughston, and Palm Beach Cardinals outfielder Randy Arrozarena for the South.

After both Hughston and Stankiewicz batted in the second round, the skies opened up and it poured causing a 52 minute rain delay, causing the cancellation of the remainder of the Home Run Derby and pushing back the start of the game from the original time of 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm.  Prior to the game starting, Arozarena was named the winner of the event.

As for the game itself, pitching dominated for the North as Tampa Yankees manager Jay Bell used a pitcher an inning to keep the South off-balance most of the night. As for the North’s offense, they got going in the bottom of the first when Daytona Tortugas Gavin LaValley launched a two-run bomb over the left center field fence plating teammate Shed Long, who hit a one-out single ahead of LaValley.

Then in the bottom of the third, Long found himself on base again after a two-out single and scored ahead of LaValley’s second bomb of the game, that he sent flying over the left field fence to put the North up 4-0.

In the bottom of the sixth, the North added an insurance run on a sac-fly off the bat of Tortugas’ Chris Okey, scoring Florida Fire Frogs Tyler Neslony and extending the lead to 5-0.

In the top of the ninth, the South added two runs on an RBI single from St Lucie Mets J.C. Rodriguez, who then advance to second after a throwing error. Then next batter Jake Cronenworth, of the Charlotte Stone Crabs, reached base on another throwing error, which allowed Rodriguez to score. But the South wouldn’t get any closer, as the Threshers Jeff Singer shut the door and secured the North’s victory.

Game Notes

Three sons of former MLB ball players were 2017 All-Stars, Dunedin Blue Jays Cavan Biggio (son of Craig Biggio), Marauders Ke’Bryan Hayes (son of Charlie Hayes) and Fort Myers Miracle Dereck Rodriguez (son of Hall of Famer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez). There was a sighting of Pudge at the game.

Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez watching his son Dereck pitch during the 2017 Florida State League All Star Game. (Photo by David Conde/Legends on Deck)

Gavin LaValley was named the 2017 Florida State League All-Star Game MVP, with his two bombs on the night.

Top Performers

Shed Long – 2 for 2, 2 R
Gavin LaValley – 2 for 3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Jake Cronenworth – 2 for 5, Double
Logan Hill, 1 for 3, Double
Jake Brentz – 1 IP, 0 R, BB, 2 K

Great Moment of the Night

The best moment aside of the All-Star Game festivities came when Tampa Yankees pitcher Andrew Schwaab was on the receiving end of a pre-game pitch by girl friend Lauren Marie, then he met her at the mound and got down on one knee and asked her to marry him…. She said Yes!!


David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for, and Contributor for that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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