Lake Elsinore, Calif. - The California-Cal League All-Star Game turned into a showcase for the Cleveland Indians’ Lynchburg Hillcats as the Carolina team cruised to a 6-4 win Tuesday night.
San Diego native and SDSU Aztec Greg Allen fueled the offense from the leadoff spot, walking to open the game and quickly stealing second on third on the next two pitches before coming around with the first run on a sacrifice fly.
That run came against Storm righty Chris Huffman, who was added to the Cal League roster after presumptive-starter Dinelson Lamet was promoted to Double-A two weeks ago. Huffman finished off his frame with a strikeout of Hillcats slugger Bobby Bradley.
In the fourth, Bradley, the Indians’ third round pick in 2014, came back with a massive homer over the big wall in right field at The Diamond. The first baseman came in leading the Carolina League with 15 homers and has emerged as one of the top power prospects
The Cal League got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Allen lost a Bobby Boyd fly ball in the late twilight sky and the ball fell in for a triple. Boyd then scored on a CJ Hinojosa grounder.
But Allen came back with an infield single on which several scouts timed him just a hair under 4.1 seconds down the line. Potomac’s Andrew Stevenson followed with the first of his two RBI triples on the night. The Nationals’ second-rounder last year out of LSU earned game MVP honors with a 3-for-5 night and two runs.
“It was definitely an honor,” Stevenson said postgame. “They’ve got a bunch of good players out here, so it’s kind of special to be recognized.”
Stevenson was the one non-Hillcat with a big line on the night.
Bradley finished the night 1-for-4 with three runs scored in front of his family. In addition to his two stolen bases, he also scored from first on each of Stevenson’s triples flashing his impressive speed, and showed off his arm from center as well.
“It was a fun experience as a whole,” he said. “Obviously, some guys with some skills and talents really showed in the field today.”
The Cal League had an opportunity in the eighth when Storm infielders Luis Urias and Josh VanMeter led off the frame with back-to-back singles before yet another Lynchburg prospect, shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang snared a liner back up the middle and doubled Urias off.
The home squad finally made the game close in the ninth when Hinojosa, his Giants teammate Chris Shaw and Lancaster catcher Garrett Stubbs all had RBI doubles, but the game ended when Allen tracked down a James Harris fly ball.
NOTES: The Hillcats were truly everywhere Tuesday night. Starter Julian Merryweather worked a clean inning, including a leadoff strikeout. Justus Sheffield, one of four first-round picks to play in the game, gave up a single and a walk, but his Lynchburg catcher Daniel Salters, who entered the game with him, promptly threw out each runner trying to steal second. Chang also finished with an RBI single. … The host Storm’s strong bullpen was well represented Tuesday. Big lefty Brad Wieck worked a clean frame in the sixth and Colby Blueberg worked around a one-out groudball single in his scoreless frame. … Giants reliever Rodolfo Martinez had the best velocity of the night, hitting 98 on the stadium gun several times as he struck out two in a perfect ninth inning. … Allen was one of several Southern California kids on the Carolina League roster with strong support in the crowd. Cubs starting pitchers Zach Hedges, from Glendora, and Jake Stinnett of Vista each had 1-2-3 innings, much to the delight of groups of family and friends. … Oakland outfielder James Harris had two singles, and Boyd had a single and walk as the only two Cal Leaguers to reach base multiple times.
Kevin Charity provided additional reporting for this story.-->