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East loses All-Star Game to the West

by Peter Warren, 07-23-2018

East loses All-Star Game to the West

HARWICH — The rain continued to pour.

It was 6:05 p.m. Sunday — the designated start time of the 2018 CCBL All-Star Game at Whitehouse Field in Harwich — and there was not a player standing near the infield. Most, if not, all the players were huddled in the dugouts, sheltered away from the downpour. It was the second significant rain storm of the day.

“When it started raining, it started raining pretty hard,” Blake Sabol (Southern California) said. “I thought for sure they were going to call it.”

After a rain delay that officially lasted one hour and 34 minutes, the East and West All-Stars finally faced off. The West scored two early runs and were able to hold on for a 4-3 win despite the efforts of Chatham’s Tristin English (Georgia Tech) and John Rave (Illinois State).

In the sixth, English and Rave sparkplugged the East’s rally. English led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second when Bourne's Jared Triolo (Houston) made a bad throw from third base. After a groundout, Rave hit an infield single of his own, and again the West committed a throwing error. The throwing error from Falmouth’s Cameron Cannon (Arizona) allowed English to score the East’s first run. Rave later scored when Y-D’s Christian Koss (UC Irvine) reached on another throwing error.

An inning later, English knock in the East’s third run of the game, driving a single up the middle to score Y-D’s Quin Cotton (Grand Canyon). Rave had a chance to tie the game later in the inning with English on base. On a 1-0 pitch, Rave smoked a ball to center, but Jeremy Ydens (UCLA) drifted over and made the catch.

“I thought I did alright,” Rave said. “I hit a good ball, couple of hits. I didn’t hit the ball very hard on my hits but that’s baseball.”

Both English and Rave finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored. They contributed four of the East’s six hits.

Sabol started the game at catcher for the East. A finalist in the Home Run Hitting Contest earlier in the day, Sabol finished the All-Star Game 0-for-2 and was replaced behind the dish by Brewster’s Joe Donovan (Michigan) in the sixth inning.

Greg Veliz (Miami) pitched a perfect seventh inning. Needing only seven pitches — the least amount of pitches thrown by a pitcher during the game — Veliz retired Cannon via a popout, struck out Falmouth’s Steven Williams (Auburn) and forced Cotuit’s Zach Humphreys (Texas Christian) to ground out.

“It was fun being around these guys,” Veliz said. “Making the All-Star Game on the Cape is a huge thing. I am honored to be selected and I had a good experience.”

Dan Hammer (Pittsburgh) started the game for the East, but ran into trouble. He plunked Wareham’s Ydens  on the first pitch of the game, but got Wareham’s Austin Shenton (Florida International) to ground into a double play.

Three-straight hits from Hyannis’ Matthew Barefoot (Campbell), Bourne’s Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina) and Falmouth’s Kyle Stowers (Stanford) scored two West runs and forced Hammer out of the game before the end of the inning.

Even though the East lost, all five Chatham All-Stars said that they enjoyed the All-Star Game experience.

“It was a good time,” English said. “It was a whole lot of fun being around a bunch of guys that we otherwise probably wouldn't get to play with. It’s a lot of fun being surrounded by that much talent.”