SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – It seemed only fitting that Alex Blandino (Stanford) of the Y-D Red Sox, the only two-time All-Star in the bunch, drove in the go-ahead run for the Eastern Division All-Stars, who came out swinging Saturday in a 9-3 victory over the West in the Friendly’s Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star game at Y-D’s Red Wilson Field.
Despite having home-field advantage, the East was not favored by many to win against the power-packed West squad. The game actually got off to a strong start for the West, as Cotuit center fielder Jake Fincher (North Carolina St.) doubled off of the East starting pitcher Aaron Bummer (Nebraska) of Harwich in the top of the first, then stole third, before scoring on a fielder’s choice hit by Falmouth’s Kevin Cron (TCU).
But the West only score twice more in the game, one of which was off the bat of Cron, who drove home Commodores teammate Dylan Davis (Oregon St.) with a double in the fourth inning. The other came on a double by Casey Gillaspie (Wichita St.) in the ninth off Orleans closer Matt Troupe (Arizona).
This game belonged to the East from the second inning on. West starter Jaron Long (Ohio St.) narrowly managed to escape the first without allowing a run, but his teammates were not as lucky. In the second inning, Ian Happ (Cincinnati) of the Harwich Mariners doubled off of Jared Walsh (Georgia) of Cotuit, moving Brewster’s Boo Vazquez (Pittsburgh) to third. Vazquez put the East on the board with a sacrifice fly from another Mariner, Branden Cogswell (Virginia), to tie it.
In the third, hometown hero Blandino doubled home Chatham catcher Connor Joe (San Diego) to put up the leading run for the East. Brewster’s Scott Heineman (Oregon) singled and moved all the way around to score in the fourth, and Harwich’s Derek Fisher (Virginia) came in on another RBI double from Blandino. Happ homered in the fifth for the East, which led 5-2 through five innings.
The East broke it open in the sixth inning off the bat of JD Davis (Cal St. Fullerton). After back-to-back hits from Y-D’s DJ Stewart (Florida State) and Andrew Daniel (San Diego), the Home Run Hitting Contest finalist launched a three-run shot to give the East an unassailable six-run lead.
Davis returned in the eighth, hitting a double off of Wareham’s Bradley Roney (Southern Mississippi), and then scored when Orleans’ Ross Kivett (Kansas St.) followed with a double of his own to make it 9-2.
Meanwhile, the East pitchers were rolling on all cylinders. In all but three innings, the East did not allow a hit. Justin Kamplain (Alabama), Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky), Dan Savas (Illinois St.), Matt Gage (Siena), Trent Szkutnik (Michigan) and James Kaprielian (UCLA) were all lights out, and helped the East take home the win.
It was a beautiful day in South Yarmouth, and the numerous Y-D fans were happy to see their seven Red Sox representatives and their East teammates win the 2013 All-Star game. The West Division MVP was awarded to Cron while East Division honors went to JD Davis. It was a great day for everyone involved at the annual midsummer classic, and now we turn our attention to the stretch run and the playoffs right around the corner.