The 2009 SJMSBL All-Star Game was a little bit of everything on a summer night at San José Municipal Stadium. There was good pitching, a powerful home run, doubles off the wall, defensive meltdowns, and the shock of a loud crack as a teammate went down with a snapped arm.
A sad note before moving on to game highlights. Pitcher Jesus Gaona (Brewers) broke his arm in the seventh inning. Read a short article...
What started as a pitching masterpiece quickly turned into an error-laden All-Star Game that resulted in less than half the runs scored being earned. Joey Kies(Cubs-18) started the game on a solid note striking out the first two hitters, Ben Mayberry (Blue Jays-18) and Xavier Rodarte (A's-18). After an error on the third basemen put Tony Anderson(Red Sox) on first, Kies got Max Childress(A's-18) to fly out to left.
The game quickly took a turn for the ugly in the bottom of the first as the American team commited four errors in giving the National team four unearned runs of the five runs they scored.
With Casy Juhl(A's-18) pitching, Marcos Siaca(Reds-18) led off the inning hitting an opposite field double to left. Siaca stole third and scored the first run of the game when catcher Rodarte commited the first error of the inning bouncing his throw past Jamez Nuñez(Rays) into left field. Next up Miquel White(Cardinals) walked and stole second. Mike Smith(Giants) reached on the second error of the inning, this one on the shortstop, moving White to third. Smith proceeded to steal second setting up Danny Dyer's(Phillies-18) two-rbi blast off the left field wall for a double scoring White and Smith and making the score 3-0 National.
Jordan Bergstrom(Mets-18) got on courtesy of error number three when he dribbled a grounder to the first baseman and the throw to the pitcher covering didn't quite do it. Dyer moved to third on the play then scored when Greg Hancock(Cardinals) beat out an infield single.
The Nationals scored their fifth and final run of the first inning when Bergstrom (now on third) scored on Rob Born's(Brewers) fielders choice. The American team commited their fourth error of the inning when the third baseman booted Reggie Woodard's(Astros-18) ground ball, but it didn't enter into the scoring. The damage was already done.
National All-Stars lead 5-0 after one inning.
The second inning saw another solid National pitching performance as Steve Chase(Giants) made it a quick one-two-three inning striking out Matt Frandsen(Orioles), Kevin Mosley(Mariners), and Neil Homer(Mariners).
Rich Valencia(Indians) threw the second inning for the American team. After getting Eric Ivers(Cubs-18) to fly out to center, Valencia walked Siaca. Siaca moved to second base on a passed ball. White beat out a grounder to third for a single. Siaca moved to third after tagging on Smith's flyout to center. The Nationals scored their only run of the inning when Siaca scored as the catcher tried throwing out White stealing second.
National All-Stars lead 6-0 after two innings.
The third inning was a pitchers duel between Kyle Hartz(Mets-18) and Michael Hernandez(Rays). Hartz got John Culbertson(Rays) to fly to center, Nuñez to ground to second, and Frank Grengo(White Sox) to strikeout for a quick one-two-three. In the bottom half of the inning Hernandez got Greg Hancock(Cardinals) to pop to second and David Lesniak(Brewers) to fly to left before giving up a single to Born. Hernandez closed out the inning getting Woodard to ground out to short.
National All-Stars lead 6-0 after three innings.
The American team finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. After Kris MacKellar(Yankees) and Raliegh Nielson(White Sox) both grounded out, Mayberry blasted a solo home run over the left-center field fence off Adam Paredes(Reds-18).
The National team looked like it was going to extend their lead in the fourth with leadoff singles by Tommy Christian(Astros-18) and Ivers. Andy Sanchez(Blue Jays-18) settled down striking out Johnny Ramirez(Braves). Christian then overslid third base attempting to steal and was tagged out for the second out. Sanchez closed out the inning getting Fish to pop to second.
National All-Stars lead 6-1 after four innings.
The fifth inning saw the American team closing the gap. Jon Norris(Cardinals) was pitching. Jamie Ybarra(Indians) led off with a single to right-center but was forced out at second on Jeff Arroyo's(Yankees) fielders choice. Singles by Mike Smith(Indians) and Frank Melendez(Tigers) loaded the bases. Arroyo scored when Melvin Souza's(Tigers) grounder to third was misplayed for an error. Smith and Melendez scored when Andy Sanchez's(Blue Jays-18) fly to right was booted for another error.
Pete Madden(Mariners) threw a solid bottom of the fifth allowing a lone single to Dominic Bejerano(Braves). The defensive play of the game saw Chris Wallinger(Blue Jays-18) save Jerry Hoffman's(Blue Jays) butt. Hector Esparza(Reds-18) hit a major league popup to Hoffman at second. The ball bounced out of Hoffman's glove and into Wallinger's for the 4-6 out.
National All-Stars lead 6-4 after five innings.
The sixth inning saw the American team draw as close as they'd get. Nick Taylor(Phillies-18) was pitching. Mayberry led off with a tough-sky double that dropped between the center fielder, right fielder, and second baseman. After Hoffmnan struck out Mayberry scored the American's last run of the night on Jeremiah Chavez's(Orioles) single between first and second. James Steinle(White Sox) reached on a fielders choice and Ybarra closed out the inning striking out. Nationals 6-5.
The bottom of the sixth saw the National team score another unearned run and start spreading their lead again. With Chris Jensen(Red Sox) pitching, José "Choco" Rodriguez(Reds-18) started the inning with a solid line drive single to left. Chad King(Padres) walked moving Rodriguez to second. King was then doubled off first base as pitcher Jensen made a defensive gem catching Gary Colvin's(Astros-18) line smash up the box and tossing over to first for the double play. Rodriguez scored on Gabe Barrientos'(Giants) hard hit one-hopper that the shortshop couldn't handle.
National All-Stars lead 7-5 after six innings.
The seventh inning took a chilling twist. Jesus Gaona(Brewers) was throwing a gem after walking Arroyo. He struck out Smith and Melendez and was throwing to Souza when he snapped his arm with a spiral fracture. Paul Codiga(Braves) came in to finish the inning getting Souza to pop out to third.
The bottom of the seventh saw the final scoring of the game. Chris Cooper(Orioles) was pitching. The inning started off nicely for Cooper as he got Ramirez on a called third strike and Justin Fish(Pirates) on a groundout to third. However, things quickly fell apart as Cooper walked Bejerano, gave up a double to left by Brad Davis(Phillies-18), and walked Jeremy Hernandez(Mets-18) to load the bases. Cooper then hit Esparza, scoring Bejerano and moving all the runners up a base. Cooper's bad luck continued as he wild pitched Davis home for the final run of the game. After walking Rodriguez, Cooper finally got out of the inning getting King to groundout to third.
National All-Stars lead 9-5 after seven innings.
The American team tried mounting a rally in the top of the eighth with Codiga still pitching. Sanchez got on when the shortstop threw the ball away at first. Wallinger then hit a towering fly that the left fielder couldn't quite get to after a long run. With runners on first and second Codiga knocked the wind out of the attempted rally by striking out Rob Johnstone(Red Sox) and Mayberry (looking). Still hoping to score, American manager Bobby Straight(Indians) had Valencia pinch-hit for Jerry Hoffman(Blue Jays), but Valencia flied out to center.
Dan Evert(Yankees) pitched a scoreless, yet spastic eighth inning for the American team. Colvin started by grounding out to the pitcher. Barrientos reached on another error by the American team, this one on the shortstop. Evert then threw a pitch behind Steve McLean(Cubs-18) moving Barrientos to second. Evert eventually walked McClean before settling down and getting Landon Jacobs(Padres) to pop to second and Siaca, re-entering the game, to strike out.
National All-Stars lead 9-5 after eight innings.
The American team, down 9-5, didn't put up any fight in the top of the ninth as Erik Ehlers(Padres) pitched a perfect one-two-three inning to close out the game.
National All-Stars win 9-5.