Five Represent Bowie in Eastern ASG.

TSR recaps ASG performances from Schoop, Britton, Widlansky, Clark and Viola.

Though the Western Division was shown up by the Eastern Division in Wednesday evening's Eastern League All-Star game by virtue of a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, the 2012 Eastern League All-Star game was a great success for all involved.

The Bowie Baysox (43-46) of the Western Division were well-represented, with three of the team's 13 batters coming from its starting lineup-one of whom played all nine innings.

Infielders Jonathan Schoop (.250 BA, 8 HR, 30 RBI) and Buck Britton (.284 BA, 5 HR, 29 RBI), left fielder Robbie Widlansky (.309 BA, 5 HR, 54 RBI), starting pitcher Zach Clark (7-4, 3.82 ERA) and relief pitcher Pedro Viola (3.34 ERA, 4 saves) were the five to represent the 'Sox this season.

In a combined eight plate appearances, the 'Sox hitters went 1-for-7 with a run scored and a walk.

Clark, who just recently started for Bowie this past Monday, took the mound for Akron's Steve Wright and became the third Western pitcher of the game. Entering with a 1-1 tie, Clark surrendered two earned runs off four Eastern hits, including three consecutive one-out base hits.

Clark exited the game in a 3-1 hole, but didn't seem phased by his performance. When asked about his reaction to hearing the news that he was named to the All-Star team, he said he was very surprised.

“Honestly, I was like 'ah I probably won't pitch.' I didn't think I'd get in the game because I just pitched during Sunday's game.”

Clark, again, was surprised to learn he would, in fact, get the chance to show off his talents to the rest of the Eastern League by participating in the game. “I was excited. It's nice to be recognized by everyone and I'm really appreciative to get to hang around all these guys.”

Clark's mindset towards the game, held in Reading, PA (home of the Reading Phillies of the Eastern Division), seemed to be a common theme amongst his teammates as well.

“Obviously it's an honor (to be here),” said Widlansky, also named the Eastern League's Player of the Month for June. “We've worked hard all year, so it really feels good for all five of us to be here to enjoy this game.”

It's not the accolades or idea of achievement that these players feel that will take away from the All-Star experience. It's more of just the enjoyment and relaxation of competing with some of the guys they have been playing against all season that will be taken home from Wednesday's 5-4 loss.

“I tried to just have fun and relieve some stress and stay relaxed,” explained Viola, who pitched a flawless 0.2 innings in relief in the top half of the ninth. “During the regular season it's so stressful and hard on our bodies that it's just nice to go out there and have fun and play with some of the League's best players.”

With the fun and games out of the way, however, the Baysox are now ready to turn up the heat and enter the second half of the regular season the way they went through the month of June (league-best 19-8 record during June). The entire roster has the same goal in mind: get in to the playoffs and win the championship.

“That's the number one thing,” Schoop said. “We're just focused on winning games and hopefully a championship.”

Despite back-pedaling into the break with six losses of the final seven games, Bowie has been playing as strong as they have all season and have the ability and firepower to easily string together seven or eight victories.

“I just wanna build on the first half and make the adjustments that we need to make as a team,” Britton said. “If we can continue what we've been doing lately I think we'll be fine.”

Clark seems to think the 'Sox are on the brink of being great and, if the bullpen continues doing what it's been doing and bats are more consistent, that may be exactly what happens in Bowie this August and September.


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