South Dominates American Association All-Star Game 7-0
The American Association played their first All-Star game since 2014, and it was quite a show…if you were routing for the South. The North could hardly muster any kind of offense against the South pitchers and after the game was close for eight innings, the South scored five in the top of the ninth to put the game away and coast to a 7-0 win.
The South All-Stars got on the board in the top of the fourth when Laredo Lemur SS Devin Goodwin led off the inning with a home run off of Matt Rusch, who was added to the North squad from Trois-Rivieres of the Can-Am League. This was really all the offense that the South would need, as their pitchers controlled the North hitters all game long.
In the top of the sixth David Espinosa of the Kansas City T-Bones pinch hit for Wichita Wingnut outfielder Brent Clevlen and took Fargo-Moorhead left-hander Jake Laber deep to make it a 2-0 game. This was a very surprising moment in the game, as Espinosa has just one home run this season, but he added his second of the season on the league’s biggest stage.
The South All-Star pitchers had dominated the North through the first five innings. They held the North to no hits and just one walk through five, but with one out in the sixth LF Donnie Webb of the hometown Winnipeg Goldeyes doubled. He would be left stranded, and the game would remain 2-0.
In the bottom of the seventh the North mounted their best attack of the game. With one out DH Henry Wrigley of the St. Paul Saints singled against Laredo right-hander Tyler Pearson, and then Pearson walked Ronnie Bourquin of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. South manager Kevin Hooper (from Wichita) decided to stay with Pearson and he was rewarded for his faith. Saints outfielder Evan Bigley struck out, and Home Run Derby winner Craig Maddox would fly out to left field to end the threat. Those would be the last base runners that the North would have.
In the top of the ninth, clinging to a 2-0 lead, the South put the game away. They would get five hits and two walks, plate five, and make the game a 7-0 lead. The first three hitters of the inning, Jake Kahaulelio (Wichita), Abel Nieves (Grand Prairie) and Vince DiFazio (Grand Prairie), singled, with DiFazio getting an RBI. Ryan Khoury (Wichita) then hit a sacrifice fly scoring Nieves. After two walks Lincoln Saltdogs slugger Ian Gac singled scoring two more, and that would end the scoring.
Marquis Fleming was the winner, going 1.1 innings and not allowing any base runners. Goodwin was named the MVP of the game after going 2-5 with a double and a home run. He also scored two runs and drove in one.
Senior Baseball Editor
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