Northwest League Walk-Off With All-Star Win, 6-5
The Northwest League All-Stars wound up pulling out the victory in a close game with the Pioneer League All-Stars. The game, played in Spokane, Washington, was won in high fashion with Tri-City Dust Devil Peter Van Gansen booming a line drive down the right field line and into the corner to drive in the winning run. Jose Viscaino, Jr. of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, scored the run in the bottom of the tenth, as the NW League All-Stars won 6-5.
Neither team led by more than one run as the lead changed or tied nine times in ten innings. The NWL drew first blood in the first on a (Everett Aquasox) Drew Jackson stand up double, followed by a (Boise Hawk) Kevin Padlo double to drive him home.
The Pioneer League tied it one inning later when Taylor Ward of the Orem Owls sent a long fly ball over the left centerfield fence for a home run. The next inning, they took the lead on another Orem Owls RBI. Michael Pierson’s ground ball out to second brought home Daniel Suero of the Grand Junction Rockies for the first go ahead run.
The NW League tied it again in the fifth on some amazing base running by Spokane Indian LeDarius Clark. Clark got on base by walking on the 9th pitch of the at-bat. With Peter Van Gansen of the Tri City Dust Devils at the plate, Clark stole second then stole third. Clark admitted after the game he was thinking about stealing home. Before he could, Boise Hawk Kevin Padlo singled up the middle bringing Clark home.
The Pioneer League took the lead again in the following inning on a home run by Helena Brewer David Denson over the right field fence.
In the bottom of the seventh, the NWL tied it and took the lead back. With two outs, Kevin Padlo walked on four straight pitches. Boise Hawk Hamlet Marte singled through the right side infield. The Everett Aquasox’s Logan Taylor then walked to load the bases. With Vancouver Canadian Sean Hurley at the plate, a wild pitch by Missoula Osprey Cameron Smith allowed Padlo home and moved both runners into scoring position. Hurley walked to load the bases again and chased Smith. Hunter Brothers of the Grand Junction Rockies came on in relief. Jose Viscaino, Jr. sacrificed to left field to bring home the go ahead run.
In the next inning, the Pioneer League returned the favor. Pierson singled through the right center gap. With Blake Trahan of the Billings Mustangs at the plate, Pierson stole second with no throw attempted. Helena Brewers’ David Denson drove a ball to center field to bring home Pierson for the tying run. Denson slid into second on the throw home. Missoula Osprey Luke Lowry singled just over the out stretched glove of shortstop Peter Van Gansen to drive in Denson for the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the inning, the NW League would tie it one more time. LeDarius Clark led off with strong drive down the left field line and into the corner for a stand up double. A wild pitch by Hunter Brothers sent Clark over to third. Another wild pitch allowed him to score and tie the game, sending it into extra innings.
Before the game, both teams and the league agreed that the first all-star game matching these two leagues would go no more than ten innings. If there was a tie after that, the winner of the home run derby would be the tie breaker. The derby was won by Missoula Osprey Luke Lowry giving the Pioneer League the tie-breaker. Going into the bottom of the tenth, the NW League did not have a tie as an option. They would either win it by driving in a run or lose it if the game remained tied. With the heroics of Viscaino, Jr. and Van Gansen, the Northwest League took home the first inaugural All-Star win between the two leagues.
Eighteen pitchers threw pitches during the game. Luis Gohara (1-0) of the Eugene Emeralds took the win by pitching the last 2.1 innings allowing only one hit and striking out two. Dan Savas (0-1) of the Missoula Osprey pitched the last two-third innings allowing one run on three hits for the loss.
For the Pioneer League, David Denson went 2 for 3, scoring two runs with two RBIs and a home run. Taylor Ward of the Orem Owls went 1 for 2 and had a solo home run.
For the NW League, Kevin Padlo went 2 for 3, scoring a run and had two RBIs and a double. LeDarius Clark went 2 for 5 and scored two runs.
Petre Van Gansen, who hit the game winning RBI, was named MVP of the All-Star game.
By Greg Stoker