Editors Note: All attempts were made to accurately report coverage of the 2014 Nicewonger All-Star Classic. Please send any corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American All-Stars manager Kyle Madej (Twins) took advantage of stingy pitching, including three Ettare Division Orioles, to shutdown the heavily favored National All-Stars 3-1 in the lowest scoring All-Star game in SJMSBL league history. The National All-Stars were loaded with players from four of the six 18+ Nicewonger Division teams and the two top clubs from the Dunn Division but they never put up much of a fight.
Robert Reid (Astros) got the start for the National side and he quickly made work of the American hitters. Ray Montez (Twins) grounded to third and was tagged out at first by Jim Bellew (Braves) on a nice scoop and play up the baseline. Mitch Labbie (Twins) was retired on a called third strike and Greg Shepard (Twins) ended the inning with a ground out to short.
Starting American pitcher Brooks Tamone (Twins) matched counterpart Reid with a quick three up three down inning of his own. Matt Anderson (Astros) led off with a soft line out to first. Raj Sud (Pirates) hit a two-hopper to second for the second out and Derek Rodrigues (Marlins) struck out swinging.
Game tied 0-0 after one inning.
Reid returned to the mound for his second inning of work and again had an easy time of it. Ryan Dequin (Indians) was robbed of a hit by Nick Caravelli Jr on a nice play deep in the hole at short. Jim Bellew made another nice scoop at first of Caravelli's throw to get Dequin. Hanlan McCaskey (Yankees) was retired on a first-pitch ground out to short. Gilbert Ramirez (A's) hit a slow roller to second base for the third out.
Tamone started his second inning of work striking out Mike Jaramillo (Brewers). Daniel Lopez (Nationals) delivered the first base hit of the game when he drilled one between first and second. Lopez was stranded on base as Andy Evert (Braves) popped to second and Jeff Cargill (Pirates) grounded to third to end the inning.
Game tied 0-0 after two innings.
Ray Torres (Reds) kept the perfect game going for the National team as he struck out the side! Frank Grengo (White Sox), Ben Hartshorn (Red Sox), and Justin Baker (Mariners) all were victims of the "K".
Ryan Erickson (Yankees) continued the pitcher's duel with his own one-two-three bottom of the third. Jimmy Carlton (Astros) grounded to third for the first out. Ken Strouse (Brewers) hit a first-pitch check swing grounder back to the pitcher for out number two and Vince Cabada (Phillies) grounded to short for the final out.
Game tied 0-0 after three innings.
Paul Codiga (Braves), a longtime all-star pitcher, took to the mound for the Nationals in the top of the fourth. Mike Ferracane (Angels) led off the inning with a one-hopper to third for the first out. Chris Smith (Angels) was robbed of a hit as his ripped grounder to third was snagged by a diving Andy Evert who made a strong throw to nail Smith at first. Codiga walked Mike Northcote (A's) and as the saying goes, "walks will kill ya". What should have been an easy inning turned into the first run of the game. After Northcote's walk, Ryan Erickson (Yankees) grounded to second but Raj Sud (Pirates) threw it past first with Northcote advancing to third and Erickson to second on the error. Dave Smith (Tigers) then lashed a base hit past third to drive in Northcote for the first run of the game. Erickson was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on the single to end the inning.
The American All-Stars turned to Craig Doleshel (Mariners) to protect the lead. Doleshel's first victim was Andrew Hennessey (Marlins) who hit a one-hopper to third for the first out. Doleshel walked Jared Berrier (Giants), but Berrier was forced out at second when Jordan Romero (Reds) grounded to third for a fielder's choice. Romero stole second and Steve Goldberg (Reds) walked to put men on first and second, but the rally quickly ended when Nick Caravelli Jr (Giants) hit a slow roller back to Doleshel to end the inning.
American All-Stars lead 1-0 after four innings.
Jeff Jovel (Pirates) was next on the hill for the National All-Stars. Marcus Pollard (Colt .45s) popped out in foul territory to a sliding catcher José Rodriguez (Reds) near the backstop. Jovel then plunked Michaeldan Hernandez (Rays) to put a man on first. Chris Cooper (Orioles) hit a grounder into the hole at short but was thrown out on a nice play by Derek Rodrigues (Marlins). Hernandez moved to third on Kevin Angelinovich's (Red Sox) infield hit to the same hole at short. Andrew Sarratore (Orioles) ended the rally by stranding both runners when he hit a first pitch groundout to short.
John Pardo (Orioles) was the next American pitcher to shut down the much hyped Nationals. Pardo breezed through a one-two-three inning as Jim Bellew (Braves) grounded to third, Paul Croghan (Mets) popped to first, and Travis Bearden (Mets) went down swinging.
American All-Stars lead 1-0 after five innings.
Danny Lopez (Nationals) was on the bump for the NL All-Stars in the top of the sixth. Tim Wat (Indians) became the first out when he was tossed out on a nice barehanded play by shortstop Derek Rodrigues (Marlins) on a slow roller over the pitcher's head. Jamal Fulton (Rays) got the AL offense moving when he drilled an opposite field base hit down the right field line. Kris Kamperman (Tigers) then popped to second for out number two. Lopez plunked Craig Doleshel (Mariners) to put runners on first and second. Ray Montez's (Twins) big two out base hit to center scored Fulton from second. Mitch Labbie (Colt .45s) ended the inning flying out to right.
Pierce Precht (Colt .45s) was the next American pitcher in the bottom of the sixth. Precht's first pitch jammed David Gutierrez (Phillies) who hit a roller right back to the mound for the first out. The National team finally got some base runners when Chris Urtiz (Nationals) and José Rodriguez (Reds) delivered back-to-back opposite field hits to right. Urtiz got a huge jump and stole third then scored the National League's only run on a Matt Anderson's (Astros) grounder to short. Rodriguez was forced at second but the throw to first was thrown wide allowing Anderson second base. Raj Sud (Pirates) was retired on a high hopper to second to end the National rally.
American All-Stars lead 2-1 after six innings.
Jared Berrier (Giants) took over pitching duties in the top of the seventh. Greg Shepard (Twins) quickly got things going with a base hit to center. Berrier walked Ryan Dequin (Indians) moving Shepard to second. Berrier snuffed out the AL rally by striking out Harlan McCaskey (Yankees), getting Gilbert Ramirez (A's) to pop out foul to third, and striking out Frank Grengo (White Sox).
Pierce Precht put in a second inning of work for the Americans in the bottom of the seventh. Derek Rodrigues (Marlins) flied to center for the first out. Mike Jaramillo (Brewers) had a base hit to center and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Precht then struck out Daniel Lopez (Nationals) for the second out of the inning. Andy Evert (Braves) reached on an error by the shortstop allowing Jaramillo to move to third. Evert then stole second but both runners were stranded when Jeff Cargill (Pirates) grounded to short to end the National rally.
American All-Stars lead 2-1 after seven innings.
National All-Stars manager Brian Feduk (Mets) took the mound in the top of the eighth. Feduk started strong as Ben Hartshorn (Red Sox) struck out and Justin Baker (Mariners) grounded to short for the first two outs. Mike Ferracane (Angels) popped a base hit to center and then the National defense fell apart. Ferracane stole second and moved to third when the catcher's throw went into center field. Ferracane scored when Chris Smith's (Angels) grounder to third was thrown over the first baseman's head. Smith advanced to second but was stranded there when Mike Northcote's (A's) one hopper to first ended the inning.
Ryan Fulton (Orioles) pitched the eighth for the American League. Jimmy Carlton (Astros) led off with an opposite field hit to right. Carlton moved to second on Ken Strouse's (Brewers) sac bunt. Vince Cabada (Phillies) walked putting runners on first and second. Andrew Hennessey (Marlins) hit a one-hop smash to Erickson at short who made a nice pick at his feet and then threw to third to force out Carlton for a big second out. Jared Berrier (Giants) ended the inning with a one-hopper back to the pitcher.
American All-Stars lead 3-1 after eight innings.
Paul Croghan (Mets) was given the ball to hold the American All-Stars in the top of the ninth. Croghan breezed through the inning. Ryan Erickson (Yankees) struck out, Dave Smith (Tigers) flied to center, and Marcus Pollard grounded to third.
Pascual Del Real (Orioles) came in to close it out for the American All-Stars in the bottom of the ninth. Jordan Romero (Reds) started the inning with a soft liner to short for the first out. Del Real struck out Steve Goldberg (Reds) but Goldberg reached first as strike three was a wild pitch. Goldberg quickly stole second. Nick Caravelli Jr (Giants) struck out swinging for the second out. The fleet footed Goldberg stole third, but was stranded when Jim Bellew (Braves) struck out to end the ball game!
American All-Stars win 3-1.