Buckeye Division Bests Miami Division 7-5
The best MVABL players took to the field Sunday afternoon, July 15, at Fifth Third Field for the 2012 All-Star Game. The Buckeye Division, comprised of players from the Sox, Mariners, Athletics, Royals, Indians, and Fury defeated the Miami Division, which included members of the Rangers, Cardinals, Slammers, Bats, Redlegs, Shockers, and Thunder, by a score of 7-5. In one of the closest All-Star Games in recent memory, the reserve pitchers helped keep the bases clear for the most part as neither team scored over the final three innings of play.
Mariners ace Matt Klaus, pitching in his first All-Star Game since 2004, toed the rubber for the Buckeye Division to start the game. Klaus ran into a little trouble early on as Redlegs outfielder Jacob Robinson bounced a chopper through the left side for a leadoff base hit. After Cardinals second baseman Darren Himsworth sacrificed him over with a bunt, Rangers third baseman Ian Huss singled Robinson over to third. Shockers outfielder Matt Stiffler then reached on a fielder’s choice to plate Robinson with the first run of the game. Miami Division starter Josh Cornwell of the Miami Valley Bats allowed a walk in the bottom of the first but got out of the inning unscathed.
The Buckeye Division took the lead in the bottom of the second as Cornwell allowed the first batters to reach base. Royals outfielder Kevin Reynolds, who was a perfect 3-for-3 on the day, singled in Nic Watkins for the first run. Sox shortstop Brandon Ward flew out to deep left center field to score Indians infielder Paul Little with a sac fly to give the Buckeye Division a 2-1 lead after two innings.
The Miami Division rebounded with a three-run third inning to take the lead back at 4-2. With two outs, Himsworth doubled, and Huss reached on a throwing error. Stiffler then loaded the bases with a walk. Then the lone highlight of the night for the visitors came off the bat of the Thunder’s lone representative Ryan Callison, who cleared the bags with a double over the right fielder’s head. But the Buckeye squad had a highlight reel of their own to play out in the bottom of the third as rookie Paul Little smoked a hanging slider over the left-center field wall for a 3-run home run to give the Buckeyes a 5-4 lead. Shockers pitcher Ben Schlater relieved Cornwell in the fourth and was done in by a pair of walks and a two-run single by Little.
Klaus left the game after four innings handing a 7-4 lead over to the relief core. A’s lefty Zach Yike was impressive in his MVABL All-Star Game debut, striking out two in 3 innings of relief. Yike’s only blemish came in the bottom of the sixth as Slammers’ first baseman Micah Wilson drove in a run with a double to cut the Buckeye Division lead to two runs at 7-5. The Miami Division bullpen gave their squad an opportunity to get back in the game as Sean Casey of the Slammers, Nick Hansman of the Cardinals, and Shawn Schmitt of the Rangers each tossed scoreless frames. However, the Sox lefty duo of Ryan Carter and Jon Venters stymied the Miami batters over the final two innings to wrap up the game.
The Miami Division was led offensively by Micah Wilson who doubled twice in four plate appearances. The Buckeye Division was led by Paul Little who went 3-4 with a double and 5 RBIs. Kevin Reynolds had 3 hits and Joey Everhart of the Fury added a pair of singles. Matt Klaus picked up the win and Josh Cornwell suffered the loss. Jon Venters earned the save.
NOTES from the Game:
- Rangers shortstop Jonmarc Lippincott was selected to his 8th All-Star Game. Jacob Robinson of the Redlegs made his 6th in the last 7 years. Veterans Shawn Schmitt (Rangers) and Rick Anderson (Slammers) each appeared in their 5th ASG.
- 22 of the 40 players on the All-Star rosters played in the event for the very first time.
Paul Little took home Offensive Player of the Game honors with his 3-for-4 night including a home run and an All-Star Game-tying 5 RBIs.
The Defensive Player award was awarded to Matt Klaus who picked up the win, pitching four innings, and for a quick reaction snag of a liner off the bat of Micah Wilson in the second inning.
Previous All-Star Award winners: MVP – Matt Stiffler (Shockers) 2011; David Moss (Thunder) 2010; Taylor Hause (Shockers) 2009; Brennan Glass (Sox) 2008; Chris Tabler (Sox) 2007; Gabe Thomas (Woodpeckers) 2005; Ron Runyon (Royals) 2004
Defense – OF Jacob Robinson (Redlegs) 2011; SS Brian Duffy (Royals) 2010; Steve Dunlap (fan) 2009; P Dustin Lacy (Sox) 2008; SS Jacob Robinson (Rangers) 2007; P Toby Stewart (Woodpeckers) 2005; SS Mike Leach (Astros) 2004
Results of the 2012 HR Derby:
29 participants took their shot at the title of HR Derby King. Only 7 players hit home runs in the first round, but four hit multiple HRs, so they advanced to Round 2. In the second round, Joey Everhart (Fury) went on a tear, launching 5 longballs to go along with the 2 he hit in the first round for an impressive total of 7 home runs to win the Derby. And let’s not forget the blast off the bat of Ian Huss which richocheted off the scoreboard in left-center field! Here is the list of those players that hit home runs during the Derby with their totals: Joey Everhart (Fury) 7, Brandon Howard (Redlegs) 3, Nic Watkins (Mariners) 3, Ian Huss (Rangers) 2, Joey Watson (Athletics) 1, Matt Spradlin (Indians 1), Jake Wilson (Royals) 1.