The NY-Penn League All Star Game saw the North play the South in a tightly contested affair. The North was comprised of players from Auburn, Batavia, Connecticut, Hudson Valley, Lowell, Tri-City and Vermont. The South was comprised of players from Aberdeen, Brooklyn, Mahoning Valley, State College, Staten Island, West Virginia, and Williamsport. Now that we know how the rosters were made up, let’s take a look at the game.
Nestor Bautista from the Batavia Muckdogs started for the North and Mitch Gueller from the Williamsport Crosscutters started for the South. Both starters only pitched one inning. Mitch Gueller’s performance in this game was not indicative of how great his season has been thus far. He surrendered three runs in the top of the first, putting the South in an early hole. Dexture McCall, 1B from the Tri-City ValleyCats, got the start at DH and delivered a two RBI double to put the North on top 2-0. Third basemen Bobby Wernes, another ValleyCat, grounded into a fielder’s choice making it 3-0 for the North.
In the top of the fifth, Brad Haynal, a catcher from the Batavia Muckdogs, singled in a run to extend the North’s lead to 4-0. The runs were charged to Juan Perez, who came out of the South’s bullpen representing the State College Spikes. The South would fight back in the bottom half of the fifth when Batavia’s Jordan Holloway threw a wild pitch allowing Michael Pritchard of State College to score getting the South on the board. West Virginia Black Bears’ Daniel Arribas would follow that by reaching on an error by Lowell Spinners’ third basemen Victor Acosta to make the score 4-2.
The score would remain the same, as Dario Agrazal of West Virginia would pitch the ninth. He held the South in check, picking up the save and giving the North a 4-2 All Star game win.
Second Half Preview
1. Will the Williamsport Crosscutters hold on?
It was only a week ago I wrote how the Crosscutters were the best team in the league and had a 5.5 game lead over State College. Since then State College has won nine of their last ten and cut the lead to 3.5. The way State College is playing right now, it could make for an interesting stretch run to see if they can catch Wiiliamsport. These two teams will play each other six times down the stretch, including the final series of the year (two in State College).
2. Who will win McNamara Division?
This is a division where all four teams still have a legitimate shot to win the division title. As of now the Staten Island Yankees have a 0.5 game lead over Aberdeen and Hudson Valley, with Brooklyn in last place, but only 2.5 behind Staten Island. Whichever team wins the McNamara crown will definitely have to earn it as these four teams will all play each other down the stretch.
3. Tri-City or Lowell?
The Stedler division appears to be a two team race between the ValleyCats and Spikers. Currently Tri-City has a 1.5 game lead over Lowell. Connecticut should not be counted out, as they are four behind Tri-City. Tri-Ctiy and Lowell do not play each other anymore, but Connecticut plays Tri-City six times, so Connecticut can take care of their own destiny if they continue to win.
As important as the team performances are, the development of the players is paramount to the future of the parent ball clubs. On the offensive side the development of Josh Tobias, Jose Pujols (both from Williamsport), Stone Garrett (Batavia), D.J. Stewart (Aberdeen), and Richie Martin (Vermont). On the pitching side the development of Mitch Gueller (Williamsport), Domingo Acevedo (Staten Island), Brett Lilek (Batavia), Gaby Almonte (Brooklyn), and Jefry Rodriguez (Auburn). The development of all the players in the NY-Penn League is important, but these are some players in particular to keep an eye on prospect wise.
Enjoy the second half of NY-Penn League baseball!