Talent Shines In Action-Packed Cape League ASGSummer Baseball
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SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League Top Performers
ORLEANS, Mass. — After a full day of batting practice, autographs and a Home Run Derby, the Cape Cod All-Star game was settled on a walk-off base hit through the four-hole by Brett Auerbach (Alabama). His RBI single scored Brady Smith (Florida) from third base with the winning run and lifted the West over the East by a score of 6-5. Smith had reached base via a hit by pitch, advanced to second base on an RBI single by Ben Ramirez (USC) which tied the score at five, then advanced to third on a tag up from a deep fly ball to right field off the bat of Joey Wiemer (Cincinnati).
Pitching dominated the first three innings of the contest as Ian Bedell (Missouri), Franco Aleman (St John’s River CC, Fla.) and Logan Hofmann (Northwestern State) all threw zeroes for the West with only Wyatt Young (Pepperdine) and Riley King (Georgia) reaching base for the East. Bedell was his usual self, relying on his low-90s fastball and above-average changeup in his lone inning. Aleman sat 89-92 mph with his sinker and mixed in a 77-79 slider and 83 changeup. Hofmann struggled to locate his 90-92 mph fastball, but escaped damage with his above-average 83-84 changeup. He struck out two of the four batters he faced, while walking one.
Combining to go nine up/nine down on the bump for the East were Mason Black (Lehigh), Joe Boyle (Notre Dame) and Jared Shuster (Wake Forest). Black, a rising sophomore, easily sat down the West with three quick outs on five pitches. His fastball sat 94-95 mph. Next up was the big arm of Boyle. After touching 102 mph in the Northwoods League Prospects Showcase last summer, he again reached triple digits, throwing two pitches at 100 mph and two others at 99. Finishing off the perfect start was the lefty Shuster. He needed 11 pitches, 10 for strikes, to induce a pair of groundouts and one strikeout with a 91-92 mph fastball and an above-average 77-81 breaking ball.
The scoring began in the top of the 4th by the West on a Zach DeLoach (Texas A&M) RBI single, scoring Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State), who had drawn a leadoff walk and then stolen second base. The East countered quickly in the bottom half with an RBI single by Max Troiani (Bentley, Mass.) to score Daniel Cabrera (LSU), who had been hit by a pitch and stolen second base as well.
The East All-Stars then scored three unanswered to take a 4-1 lead on a Cody Pasic (Maine) home run in the 5th and Matt McLain (UCLA) two-run “Orleans Special” just over the 300-foot left field fence in the 6th. His pepper-shot scored Jared DeSantolo (Florida Atlantic), who had just walked after an outstanding nine-pitch battle at the plate. Pasic turned around a 91 mph fastball from Noah Skirrow (Liberty) for his round-tripper. McClain would add another RBI on a single in the 8th to give the East a brief 5-4 lead.
Besides the game-winning single in the 9th by Auerbach, the most exciting offensive play of the evening came in the bottom of the 7th. Gage Workman (ASU) fired up the East squad by smoking a long fly ball to deep center field (434 feet to the center field fence in Orleans) that was misjudged by the center fielder and sailed over his head. Workman used his 70-grade speed underway to quickly cut the bases and scored on an overthrow to the plate by the second baseman. The play was scored as an inside-the-park home run and also plated Noah Campbell (South Carolina) who had reached base on an error. Soon after in the 7th, Auerbach collected his first RBI of the evening on a hard single up the middle, bringing around Brady Smith from second base and tying the contest at four apiece.
Other notable pitching performances for the East were Harrison Rutkowski (Rutgers), Reid Johnston (NC State) and Trent Palmer (Jacksonville). Rutkowski and Johnston both worked a scoreless inning of relief and Palmer struck out both batters he faced with 93-96 mph smoke and a split change at 82. The lefty Rutkowski pitched at 89-91 mph and showed an average 81-83 slider while Johnston was up to 91 with his fastball, showing good bore at times. Also, Tyler Mattison (Bryant) faced two batters in the 9th, pumping gas at 92-96 mph with his heater.
Pitching standouts for the West were Matthew Mikulski (Fordham), who struck out a pair in his one inning of relief, and Kolby Kubicheck (Texas), who was the winning pitcher with a scoreless two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout. Mikulski sat 91-93 mph with his fastball and a nasty 84-85 slider. Kubicheck relied on a plus 82-84 mph changeup and a 92-93 fastball to record his outs.
Earning the MVP honor for the West was McLain (2-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI). For the East, both Workman (2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Auerbach (3-for-3, 2 RBI) took home the MVP hardware.
HOME RUN DERBY
Prior to the All-Star game, the Home Run Derby caught the crowd’s attention as Tyler Hardman (Oklahoma) slugged 11 big flies in each round to win the crown. He battled East teammates TJ Collett (Kentucky) and Niko Kavadas (Notre Dame) in the Finals. Collett swatted six, while Kavadas got ahold of four. Others who participated were Oraj Anu (Kentucky), Hunter Goodman (Memphis) and Baron Radcliff (Georgia Tech).