The future is today as 61 players represented their respective teams in the 51st Midwest League All-Star Game, held Tuesday night at Dozer Park in Peoria, Illinois.
Prior to the game, fans were treated to a reverse home run derby, in which home plate was placed in center field in an effort to give more fans a chance to bring home a souvenir. Lansing Lugnuts infielder Ryan McBroom edged Sandber Pimentel of the Beloit Snappers in the slugging competition.
Peoria Chiefs right-hander Luis Perdomo received the call to start for the West in front of his familiar home crowd. Perdomo (3-6, 2.55 ERA) threw one inning and yielded a run on one hit with one walk. He went on to take the loss.
Perdomo’s problems started with a leadoff walk to Lansing Lugnuts outfielder Anthony Alford. After Alford swiped second base with two outs, Home Run Derby champ McBroom brought in his Lansing teammate with a liner to left to make it 1-0.
The East tacked onto their lead in the top of the fourth. Lansing Lugnuts first baseman Rowdy Tellez reached first on a throwing error and moved over to third via a screaming double that nearly left the park from Bowling Green Hot Rods infielder Jace Conrad. Cubs outfielder Charcer Burks grounded out to second to bring in Tellez and make it a 2-0 game.
The West pitching staff settled in after giving up the early two runs but ran into some trouble in the top of the ninth as the East put the game away.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Bowling Green outfielder Grant Kay hit a high bouncer to the pitcher, but the only play was to first and the run came in to score to make it 3-0.
A single by shortstop Mike Ahmed of the Great Lakes Loons brought in the fourth run for the East All-Stars and as the play continued, the final run crossed the plate as the result of a throwing error.
South Bend pitcher James Farris entered in the bottom of the ninth and struck out both batters he faced. Bowling Green’s Chris Pike finished off the West with a groundout to short to give the East the 5-0 win.
Link to box score: East All-Stars 5 at West All-Stars 0
East starting pitcher Jeremy Null took home the win and the All-Star Game MVP award, striking out three batters and allowing just one hit in his inning of work.
On the night, the East pitching staff held the West offense to just three hits while striking out 16 hitters and walking only one. 11 of the 14 East hurlers to take the mound had at least one punchout.
There were plenty of swings and misses on both sides as West pitchers added 13 strikeouts of their own.
Total attendance was 5,858.
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