The American Association combined with the Can-Am League in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, and the St. Paul Saints were well represented in the contest as 11-game winner Mark Hamburger picked up the win in the contest. However it was the Winnipeg Goldeyes David Rohm who stole the show, winning the MVP honors with a 2-4 day with 2-RBI and a double.
The South looked like they would jump out in front in the top of the first when the Wichita Wingnuts Harrison Kain led off the game with a single and moved to second when Junior Arrojo of the Rockland Boulders followed with a single to send Kain to third. There were runners in the corners with no one out, but Hamburger showed why he has been the league’s best pitcher this season, striking out Burt Reynolds before getting two fly outs to keep the South off the board.
In the bottom of the first the North took the lead. The Saints Alonzo Harris led off the inning by drawing a walk. The Sioux City Explorers Nate Samson followed with a single to move Harris to third and, like the South, the North had runners at the corners with no one out. Keury De La Cruz then drew a walk to load the bases. Ryan Beckman then hit Lincoln Saltdog Curt Smith to drive in a run and it was 1-0. He would then strike out the next two batters, but Rohm doubled to score both runners and suddenly it was 3-0.
Then began a steady stream of pitchers that worked just one inning each, keeping the game 3-0 through the first three innings of the game. In the bottom of the fourth the North squad would extend their lead. Goldeyes outfielder Willie Cabrera led off the inning with a walk and Rohm followed with a single to put two on. Two batters later Gary Southshore catcher Jose Gonzalez singled to left field scoring Cabrera to make it 4-0. He would later score in the inning on a base hit by Samson to make it 5-0.
Trailing 5-0, the South would finally get on the board in the sixth inning. Reynolds, Art Charles, and Denis Phipps started the inning with three straight singles to load the bases with no one out. Two batters later Rockford infielder Devon Rodriguez hit a single to center to score Reynolds and make it 5-1. That was all the offense that the South was able to muster.
The North would add one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Local star Blake Schmit of the Sioux Falls Canaries doubled with two outs, and Lincoln Saltdogs catcher Luis Alen followed with a double to score Schmit to make it 6-1. That is how the game would end.
Nine North pitchers combined to allow 9-hits and just 1-walk, while striking out 6. Saints closer Ryan Rodebaugh finished off the night with a perfect ninth, striking out the final batter of the game.
Besides the MVP night by Rohm, Samson was 2-4, with a run and an RBI. Harris walked twice and scored a run. Alen came off the bench to go 2-2. Arrojo was 2-4 for the South with a stolen base. Phipps was also 2-4.
By Robert Pannier