East Captures Second Straight All-Star Game

It’s definitely unusual to see a pitcher’s duel in which ten or more pitchers appear in the game for each team.  But that’s what happened at this year’s Patriot League All-Star Game, which pitted the best players of the Eastern and Western divisions against one another at Rocky Top Field in Knoxville.

The game vindicated the old adage that good pitching beats good hitting, as the elite arms largely shut down the bats on both sides.  Each team got their only runs via a single homer each.  As it turned out, Jackson Campo’s two-run tater trumped Eddie Nix’s solo shot, and the East walked away with its second straight win by a 2-1 margin.

“It’s official: the East is the beast,” said the winning manager, Snuff Wallace.  “Consider this a preview of this year’s Patriot Series.  It’s gonna be all us.”

Campo’s game-winning blast occurred in the 5th inning.  Up to that point, the East’s bats had been silenced.  They didn’t have their first baserunner until the 4th, when Jacksonville 3B Jake Kapoor stroked a two-out single.

Silver City closer Go Matsumoto took the mound for the 5th, and promptly allowed a walk and a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out.  West manager Eduardo Aponte called on Salt Lake ace Toshiie Maeda to put out the fire.  He got off to a great start, getting Jackson RF Omar Rodriguez to hit a two-hopper to third base, freezing the runner at third and allowing the West to turn a double play.

But then came Campo.  On an 0-1 count, Maeda fired a slider to the outside corner.  Campo jumped on the pitch, swinging so early that he almost pulled it foul.  But with the help of a little body English, he managed to keep it just fair inside the right-field pole, and the East had all the runs it would need.

“Thank God it stayed fair,” said Campo, who was named All-Star MVP.  “I don’t think I could have done it again.”  Along with the MVP trophy, Campo received a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup and a year’s supply of peanut butter M&Ms.

In fairness, the West had numerous scoring opportunities that failed to materialize.  In the 1st inning, the West had runners on the corners with two out, but California LF Kenneth Mader hit a foul pop-up to catcher to end the inning.  In the 3rd, they had runners on the corner with only one out, but Mader hit into a double play to snuff out the threat.  Orlando pitcher Nathan Nunb opened the 7th with back-to-back walks.  Wallace summoned Jackson closer Bobby Boniface, who promptly allowed a single to California 2B Palmer Strachan.  But Carolina CF Joe Jones, who had just been inserted that inning, came up throwing and cut down the tying run at home.  Salt Lake CF Daniel Slover then hit into a double play to end the inning.

The West had one final shot in the 9th against Knoxville closer Charlie Pasternak, when Kalamazoo’s Damian Mash and Las Vegas’ Brooks Defoor roped back-to-back one-singles to put runners on the corner again.  But Pasternak struck out Silver City’s Toby Watson and Milwaukee’s Richard Iddings to end the game and pick up the save.

Knoxville’s Jack Jacques, who got the last out of the 5th, was credited with the win.  Matsumoto was tagged with the loss.

“If we are to lose a game in such heartbreaking fashion,” said West skipper Aponte, “at least it was an exhibition.  Now we are ready to get back to business.”

 

6/15/2017, W16-E16, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2016 West All-Stars    0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0     1  8  0     8  1
2016 East All-Stars    0  0  0  0  2  0  0  0  x     2  4  1     4  2
 
All-Stars            AB  R  H BI   AVG    All-Stars            AB  R  H BI   AVG
Slover            cf  4  0  1  0  .250    Deason            dh  3  0  0  0  .000
 Canales          cf  0  0  0  0  .000     Larson           ph  1  0  0  0  .000
Smyth             ss  3  0  1  0  .333    Righter           2b  2  0  0  0  .000
 Petitt           ss  1  0  0  0  .000     Taliaferro       ph  1  0  0  0  .000
Brewmaker         3b  2  0  0  0  .000    Kapoor            3b  2  0  1  0  .500
 Oller            3b  1  0  0  0  .000     Fleitas          ph  2  0  0  0  .000
Nix               dh  3  1  2  1  .667    Lebow             lf  2  0  0  0  .000
 McAllister       dh  1  0  0  0  .000     Johnson          lf  1  0  0  0  .000
Mader             lf  3  0  0  0  .000    Soria             1b  1  1  0  0  .000
 Cardona          lf  1  0  0  0  .000     Bryant           1b  1  0  0  0  .000
Wason             rf  3  0  0  0  .000    Doyle             c   2  0  1  0  .500
 Mash             rf  1  0  1  0 1.000     Carpenter        ph  1  0  1  0 1.000
Mateo             1b  2  0  0  0  .000    Rodriguez         rf  2  0  0  0  .000
 Defoor           pr  1  0  1  0 1.000     Jones            cf  0  0  0  0  .000
Lockley           c   2  0  1  0  .500    Campo             cf  3  1  1  2  .333
 Watson           ph  1  0  0  0  .000    Moriarty          ss  2  0  0  0  .000
Strachan          2b  3  0  1  0  .333     Westerberg       pr  0  0  0  0  .000
 Iddings          2b  1  0  0  0  .000                         26  2  4  2
                     33  1  8  1
 
West All-Stars                   INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Conner                           2.0  0  0  0  0  1  22  12  0.00
Crusoe                           1.0  0  0  0  0  2  17   9  0.00
Tildon                           1.0  1  0  0  0  3  18  13  0.00
Matsumoto        L               0.0  1  1  1  1  0  10   4 99.00
Maeda                            1.0  1  1  1  0  0  16  11  9.00
Perriman                         1.0  0  0  0  0  1  12   7  0.00
DiPietro                         0.2  1  0  0  0  1   9   7  0.00
Arzola                           0.1  0  0  0  1  0   7   3  0.00
Almon                            0.2  0  0  0  1  0  11   5  0.00
Allen                            0.1  0  0  0  0  1   6   4  0.00
                                 8.0  4  2  2  3  9 128  75 
 
East All-Stars                   INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Hobbs                            2.0  3  0  0  1  1  39  24  0.00
Sircy                            1.0  1  0  0  0  1  13   9  0.00
O'Brien                          1.0  0  0  0  0  2  11   8  0.00
Quesara                          0.2  0  0  0  0  2  11   6  0.00
Jacques          W               0.1  0  0  0  0  1   5   3  0.00
Geis             H               1.0  1  1  1  0  1  11   7  9.00
Numb                             0.0  0  0  0  2  0  11   3  0.00
Boniface         H               0.1  1  0  0  0  0   1   1  0.00
Jackson          H               0.2  0  0  0  0  0   3   2  0.00
Wilkins          H               1.0  0  0  0  0  1  12   9  0.00
Pasternak        S               1.0  2  0  0  0  2  15  12  0.00
                                 9.0  8  1  1  3 11 132  84 
 
W  : Defoor ran for Mateo in the 7th
     Watson batted for Lockley in the 7th
     Canales inserted at cf in the 7th
     Petitt inserted at ss in the 7th
     Oller inserted at 3b in the 7th
     McAllister inserted at dh in the 7th
     Cardona inserted at lf in the 7th
     Mash inserted at rf in the 7th
     Defoor moved to 1b in the 7th
     Watson moved to c in the 7th
     Iddings inserted at 2b in the 7th
E  : Taliaferro batted for Righter in the 6th
     Fleitas batted for Kapoor in the 6th
     Taliaferro moved to 2b in the 7th
     Fleitas moved to 3b in the 7th
     Johnson inserted at lf in the 7th
     Bryant inserted at 1b in the 7th
     Jones inserted at cf in the 7th
     Campo moved to rf in the 7th
     Carpenter batted for Doyle in the 7th
     Carpenter moved to c in the 8th
     Larson batted for Deason in the 8th
     Westerberg ran for Moriarty in the 8th
     Westerberg moved to ss in the 9th
 
E-Moriarty. HR-Nix(1), Campo(1). RBI-Nix(1), Campo 2(2). K-Slover, Smyth, 
Brewmaker 2, Mateo 2, Lockley, Strachan, Watson, McAllister, Iddings, 
Deason 2, Righter, Kapoor, Lebow, Campo, Moriarty, Fleitas, Bryant. 
BB-Brewmaker, Mateo, Watson, Soria, Moriarty, Jones. SH-Taliaferro. 
GWRBI: Campo
Temperature: 83, Sky: clear, Wind: out to center at 11 MPH.

Rosters Set for 2017 PBL All-Star Game

The league has announced the rosters for this year’s All-Star Game, which will take place at Rocky Top Park in Knoxville.  The selections were voted on by the league’s owners.  Each team has at least one All-Star representative.

The All-Star rosters can be found below (starters identified in green):

Eastern Division

Western Division

C Clarence Doyle Jackson C Thaddeus Lockley California
Corky Carpenter Carolina Toby Watson Silver City
1B Miguel Soria Jacksonville 1B Felipe Mateo Milwaukee
Malcolm Bryant Orlando Brooks Defoor Las Vegas
2B Homer Righter Jackson 2B Palmer Strachan California
Emerson Taliaferro Jacksonville Richard Iddings Milwaukee
3B Jake Kapoor Jacksonville 3B Rusty Brewmaker Silver City
Kim Fleitas Jackson Johnie Oller California
SS Armand Moriarty Knoxville SS Rubin Smyth California
Octavio Westerberg Jackson Morris “Red” Petitt Milwaukee
LF Ryan Lebow Orlando LF Kenneth Mader California
Track Johnson Knoxville Damian Mash Kalamazoo
CF Jackson Campo Knoxville CF Daniel Slover Salt Lake
Joe Jones Carolina Justin Canales California
RF Omar Rodriguez Jackson RF Nathaniel Wason Silver City
Rob Hartley Jacksonville Javier Cardona Silver City
DH Damian Deason Jackson DH Eddie Nix Calfornia
Magnus Larson Orlando Robby McAllister Kalamazoo
SP Bryce Hobbs Jacksonville SP Kevin Conner California
Nathan Nunb Orlando Toshiie Maeda Salt Lake
Elicio Santana Knoxville Rob Tildon Silver City
Scott Green Knoxville Zack Perriman Milwaukee
Kiko Walton Jackson Jose Oro Las Vegas
Jack Jacques Knoxville Patrick McNorman Milwaukee
RP Charlie Pasternak Knoxville RP Go Matsumoto Silver City
Hilton Sircy Jackson Oscar Buenaventura Milwaukee
Erik Geis Orlando Jan Arzola California
Rick Wilkins Knoxville Olen Abernathy Milwaukee
Blueberry Jackson Jacksonville Steve DiPietro Kalamazoo
Bobby Boniface Jackson Nick Crusoe Salt Lake
Ruben Quesara Orlando Timmy Almon Milwaukee
Justin O’Brien New Orleans Chris Allen Las Vegas

 

East Prevails in First PBL All-Star Game

Before today’s inaugural Patriot League All-Star Game, Eastern manager Snuff Wallace gave his players a little pep talk.  “I told ’em that this may be an exhibition game, but that’s no reason not to take it serious,” said Wallace.  “I mean, sure, we’re just playing for pride.  But pride matters.”  It was a bit of an unorthodox speech, but it seems to have worked.  After falling into an early hole, the East relieved a sterling performance from its relief corps and mounted a late rally to claim a 3-2 win on a picture-perfect day at High Life Field in Milwaukee.

“When you’re an athlete, you just want to win,” said Smokies 1B Eddie Battin, who went 2-for-3 and scored the East’s winning run to capture MVP honors.  “You just have that competitive drive.”  Along with the MVP honors, Battin won a new Ford Mustang and a year’s supply of Cracker Jack.

Early on, it looked like the West might run away with the contest, as they jumped on the East’s Starter, Elicio Santana of Knoxville.  Santana has fooled a lot of hitters on his way to an 11-1 first-half record, but he wasn’t fooling the Western batter in the 1st inning.  Milwaukee Bear Claws 1B Felipe Mateo opened the scoring with a solo homer to center, to the delight of the home crowd.

“I wanted very much to make our fans happy,” said Mateo.  “I am grateful that I could.”

The next batter, Silver City Outlaws RF Nathaniel Wason, followed by lacing a triple down the right-field line.  California Sharks LF Kenneth Mader then singled Wason home to gave the West a 2-0 lead.

“After I’d given my little speech about pride, damned if I was gonna let one of my own guys make me look like a fool,” said Wallace.  “So I gave Elicio a little pep talk after the inning and told him to tighten it up.”

Santana responded and shut out the West in his second and final inning of work.  However, the East couldn’t score against the Western starter, lefty Pedro Rodriguez of Silver City.  The East finally got on the board in the 4th against Milwaukee righty “Stormin'” Patrick McNorman, as Jackson Hammerheads LF Track Johnson rapped a one-out double and Battin singled him in.

“That got the boys fired up,” said Battin with a smile.  “We needed a little something to get us going.”

Both teams went scoreless in the 5th and 6th.  In the 7th, Western manager Poss Horton brought in California right-hand Jan Arzola, who has been one of the surest things in baseball over the first half, compiling an 0.96 ERA to date.  Nonetheless, the Eastern hitters showed no fear and rallied to tie the game against him.  Battin led off the inning with a single.  One out later, Smokies CF Joe Blair punched a single through the right side and Battin, not a notably fast runner, motored all the way to third.  Wallace then sent Jacksonville Dragons DH Jake Kapoor up as a pinch hitter; Kapoor ground one back up the middle to plate Battin.

In the 8th, Horton sent Salt Lake Samurai closer Dean Gamble to the hill.  Gamble was named an All-Star despite a wobbly first half in which he posted a 2-6 record with a 5.35 ERA, converting only 12 of 18 save opportunities.  He nearly set down the East in order in the 8th, retiring the first two hitters and running up an 0-2 count on Orlando Calrissians LF Lauren Hartl.  But Gamble then tossed a pair of balls before Hartl smacked a single.  The next hitter, Battin, hung in and worked a walk, bringing up Jackson Hammerheads SS Octavio Westerberg.  The shortstop lined a long single down the left-field line, scoring Hartl with what proved to be the winning run.

After the game, Wallace was delighted by his team’s comeback.  “Wasn’t that a beauty?” the Eastern skipper said.  “That’s exactly what you’re gonna see out of my boys all the way through the second half.”

The manager was also quick to praise the work of the East’s pitchers.  Jacksonville righty Biggs McGee, Orlando lefties Ruben Quesara and Aron Fillippi, Knoxville righty Jerry Tile, Jackson righty Hilton Sircy, and Knoxville closer Charlie Pasternak combined to shut out the West over the final 7 innings, scattering three singles.  “If it weren’t for them holding the fort, our little rally wouldn’t mean squat,” said Wallace.

Tile, who pitched a hitless 7th, picked up the win for the East.  Pasternak worked the 9th in order to collect the save.

“Would have been nice if we could have taken this one at home,” said Horton.  “But I’m sure our fans would much rather see us clinch a championship here.  That’s where our focus is.”

7/15/2016, EAS15-WAS15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 East All-Stars    0  0  0  1  0  0  1  1  0     3  9  1    10  2
2015 West All-Stars    2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     2  6  0     4  1
 
East All-Stars       AB  R  H BI   AVG    West All-Stars       AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  3  0  1  0  .333    Smyth             ss  3  0  0  0  .000
 Blair            cf  2  0  1  0  .500     Petitt           ss  1  0  0  0  .000
Bryant            1b  3  0  0  0  .000    Brewmaker         3b  3  0  0  0  .000
 Filippi          p   0  0  0  0  .000     Suzuki           3b  1  0  0  0  .000
 Kapoor           ph  1  0  1  1 1.000    Mateo             1b  4  1  2  1  .500
 Tile             p   0  0  0  0  .000    Wason             rf  2  1  1  0  .500
 Sircy            p   0  0  0  0  .000     Martinez         rf  1  0  1  0 1.000
 Moriarty         ph  1  0  0  0  .000    Mader             lf  3  0  1  1  .333
 Pasternak        p   0  0  0  0  .000     Mealey           lf  1  0  0  0  .000
Righter           2b  2  0  0  0  .000    Nix               dh  2  0  0  0  .000
 Campo            2b  2  0  0  0  .000     Elliott          dh  2  0  0  0  .000
Larson            rf  1  0  0  0  .000    McGuigan          c   2  0  0  0  .000
 Campo            rf  2  0  0  0  .000     Lockley          c   1  0  0  0  .000
Teachout          c   3  0  0  0  .000    Barkan            2b  2  0  0  0  .000
 Doyle            c   1  0  0  0  .000     Iddings          2b  1  0  0  0  .000
Fleitas           3b  2  0  0  0  .000    Cosgrove          cf  2  0  1  0  .500
 Aceuedo          3b  1  0  0  0  .000     Maxwell          cf  1  0  0  0  .000
Johnson           lf  3  1  1  0  .333                         32  2  6  2
 Hartl            lf  1  1  1  0 1.000
Battin            dh  3  1  2  1  .667
Westerberg        ss  4  0  2  1  .500
                     35  3  9  3
 
East All-Stars                   INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Santana                          2.0  4  2  2  0  0  35  24  9.00
McGee                            2.0  0  0  0  0  1  23  16  0.00
Quesara                          1.0  0  0  0  0  2  11   8  0.00
Filippi                          1.0  1  0  0  1  0  18   8  0.00
Tile             W               1.0  0  0  0  0  1  14  10  0.00
Sircy            H               1.0  0  0  0  0  1  13   7  0.00
Pasternak        S               1.0  1  0  0  0  1   8   7  0.00
                                 9.0  6  2  2  1  6 122  80 
 
West All-Stars                   INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Rodriguez                        2.0  2  0  0  2  3  47  26  0.00
McNorman                         2.0  2  1  1  1  0  29  13  4.50
La Rue           H               2.0  0  0  0  1  2  31  18  0.00
Arzola           BS              0.1  3  1  1  0  1  17  11 27.00
Grace                            0.2  0  0  0  0  0   4   2  0.00
Gamble           L               0.2  2  1  1  1  0  20  11 13.50
Almon                            1.1  0  0  0  0  0  14  10  0.00
                                 9.0  9  3  3  5  6 162  91 
 
EAS: Blair inserted at cf in the 5th
     Campo inserted at 2b in the 5th
     Campo inserted at rf in the 6th
     Doyle inserted at c in the 6th
     Aceuedo inserted at 3b in the 6th
     Hartl inserted at lf in the 6th
     Battin moved to 1b in the 6th
     Kapoor batted for Filippi in the 7th
     Moriarty batted for Sircy in the 9th
WAS: Petitt inserted at ss in the 7th
     Suzuki inserted at 3b in the 7th
     Martinez inserted at rf in the 7th
     Mealey inserted at lf in the 7th
     Elliott inserted at dh in the 7th
     Lockley inserted at c in the 7th
     Iddings inserted at 2b in the 7th
     Maxwell inserted at cf in the 7th
 
E-Westerberg. 2B-Johnson(1). 3B-Wason(1). HR-Mateo(1). RBI-Battin(1), 
Westerberg(1), Kapoor(1), Mateo(1), Mader(1). K-Bryant, Larson, Teachout, 
Johnson, Battin, Westerberg, Smyth, Mateo 2, Cosgrove, Mealey, Elliott. 
BB-Righter, Larson 2, Fleitas, Battin, Wason. WP-Santana. 
GWRBI: Westerberg
Temperature: 79, Sky: clear, Wind: in from right at 15 MPH.

PBL All-Star Rosters Set

The league has announced the rosters for this year’s All-Star Game.  The selections were voted on by the league’s owners.  Each team has at least three All-Star representatives.

The All-Star rosters can be found below (starters identified in green below):

Eastern Division

Western Division

C Judson Teachout Jacksonville C Frances McGuigan Milwaukee
  Clarence Doyle Jackson   Thaddeus Lockley California
1B Malcolm Bryant Knoxville 1B Felipe Mateo Milwaukee
2B Homer Righter Jackson 2B Dominique Barkan Silver City
  Jeremiah Campo Knoxville   Richard Iddings Milwaukee
3B Kim Fleitas Jackson 3B Rusty Brewmaker Silver City
  Ronnie Aceuedo Knoxville   Ikaru Suzuki Milwaukee
SS Octavio Westerberg Jackson SS Rubin Smyth California
  Armand Moriarty Knoxville   Morris “Red” Petitt Milwaukee
LF Track Johnson Jackson LF Kenneth Mader California
  Lauren Hartl Orlando   Arthur Mealey Milwaukee
CF Damian Deason Jackson CF Lee Cosgrove Salt Lake
  Joe Blair Knoxville   DeRonde Maxwell Milwaukee
RF Magnus Larson Orlando RF Nathaniel Wason Silver City
  Jackson Campo Knoxville   Romeo Martinez Salt Lake
DH Eddie Battin Knoxville DH Eddie Nix Calfornia
  Jake Kapoor Jacksonville   Muzz Elliott Silver City
           
SP Elicio Santana Knoxville SP Pedro Rodriguez Silver City
  Nathan Nunb Orlando   Patrick McNorman Milwaukee
  Biggs McGee Jacksonville   Pierre La Rue Calfornia
RP Charlie Pasternak Knoxville RP Eugene Grace Calfornia
  Hilton Sircy Jackson   Oscar Buenaventura Milwaukee
  Jerry Tile Knoxville   Jan Arzola California
  Ruben Quesara Orlando   Timmy Almon Milwaukee
  Aron Filippi Orlando   Dean Gamble Salt Lake

 

The All-Star game will be held on July 1st at High Life Field in Milwaukee.

First PBL All-Star Game Goes to Milwaukee

Today, Commissioner Jeremiah Mills announced that the Patriot League’s inaugural All-Star Game will take place at High Life Field, home of the Milwaukee Bear Claws.

High Life FieldThe park offers an attractive venue for the game, one deeply steeped in the city’s history.  High Life Field was built as part of the redevelopment of the abandoned Pabst Brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee.  The park, which was designed as a tribute to Milwaukee’s beer heritage, fits in perfectly with its surroundings.  The exterior of the park was designed to resemble the faux-castle style of the old Pabst corporate office building.  The left-field wall backs up to the façade of the main factory building, which is decorated with a clock and a Pabst Blue Ribbon logo.  Fireworks shoot out of the top of the old smokestack every time the Bear Claws win.

Upon entering through the main gate, fans pass through the King’s Courtyard, in the middle of which is a statue of King Gambrinus, the unofficial patron saint of beer.  Surrounding the courtyard are multiple beer gardens, which are positioned to allow fans to watch the game while enjoying a cold one.

Although the Bear Claws have the league’s best record, Mills said the decision was not made on that basis.  Rather, he said that he intends to rotate hosting honors among the league’s charter cities.

“The Bear Claws are honored to host the inaugural Patriot League All-Star Game and look forward to welcoming you all to Milwaukee,” said Bear Claws owner Jennifer Petitt. “Join us in raising a cold Miller High Life in celebration of this great event. The Champagne of Beers is never better than when served ice cold on a prematurely hot day like today.”

The selection of High Life Field met with widespread acclaim around the league.  “Down in Jackson, we are all about the High Life,” said Jackson Hammerheads owner Steven Butler.

Snuff Wallace
Snuff Wallace

One dissident, though, was Knoxville Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  Unsurprisingly, he believes that Commissioner Mills, who also owns the Smokies, should have selected Knoxville’s Rocky Top Park for the honor.

“I mean, what the hell good is it to be the man in charge if you don’t pull strings for your own guys?” said Wallace.

In the end, though, Wallace isn’t too upset about the decision.  “Everyone will get a real good look at our park when we’re claiming the championship trophy,” said the Knoxville skipper.  Besides, he adds, “I like beer.”