FALMOUTH - Few of 3,000 fans who attended Saturday's 2001 Sprint PCS Cape League All-Star Game at Elmer "Guv" Fuller Field could argue that it was a grand display of the best collegiate baseball talent the country has to offer.
East Division starting all-star shortstop Russ Adams, an Orleans Cardinals' and UNC-Chapel Hill player, crushed a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to make it 6-1, East, and in essence took the collective wind out of the West Division all-stars' sails.
In the end, the East would rout the West, 10-1.
But it was East Division all-star starting third baseman Hyung Cho (Y-D/Houston) whose clutch sac fly in the top of the second inning drove home the game-winning run when he knocked in Orleans' catcher Troy Caradonna (Duke) to make it 2-0. West Division MVP Matt Murton (Georgia Tech/Wareham), who mesmerized the crowd with a brilliant display of sheer power in the pre-game home run hitting contest (7 homers in all), followed suit in the bottom of the third inning blasting one 400-plus feet to left centerfield to make it 3-1, the East still on top. Murton would collect two hits on the evening.
The East would never be anything but on top of the West in this hard-hitting affair, as the Y-D Red Sox all-star contingent supplied several of the runs batted in, including a pair from Notre Dame's Steve Sollmann, UC-Berkeley's John Baker and Houston's Hyung Cho.
Harwich lefty ace Joe Saunders (Virginia Tech) notched the win for the East after pitching the first two innings, while Bourne Braves' relief man Casey Shumaker (Jacksonville) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs to the East in the early going.
Starting West Division all-star pitcher Chris Leonard (Miami of Ohio), who has grown to become the southpaw ace of the Wareham Gatemen staff this summer, struck out one batter in the first inning before getting the hook - Leonard had pitched the night before against Chatham in regular season action and need the rest, according to West all-star manager Cooper Farris (Mississippi Gulf Coast).
For the East, the staring line-up included Harwich Mariners' Joe Saunders (Va. Tech) on the hill, Orleans' Troy Caradonna behind the plate, Chatham's Mike McCoy (San Diego0 at second, Orleans' Larry Broadway (Duke) at first, MVP Russ Adams from Orleans at shortstop, Y-D's Hyung Cho (Houston) at third base, Y-D's Adam Bourassa in centerfield, Harwich Mariner Burney Hutchinson in left field, Orleans' Tyler Davidson (Washington) in right, and Brewster's Danny Matienzo (Miami) at DH.
For the West all-stars, the starting line-up included Wareham's Tyler Parker (Georgia Tech) behind the plate, Hyannis Mets' Jason Perry (Georgia Tech) at first base, Cotuit's Chris O'Riordan (Stanford) at second base, Falmouth's Hunter Brown (Rice) at shortstop, Wareham's Aaron Hill (LSU) at third base, Hyannis Mets' Brian Stavisky (Notre Dame) in right, MVP Matt Murton (Georgia Tech) in centerfield from the Wareham Gatemen, Wareham's Eric Reed (Texas A&M) in left and Wareham's Chris Leonard (Miami of Ohio) on the mound.
-- All totaled, there were more than 70 Major League Scouts in attendance for the July 21, Sprint PCS Cape League All-Star Game at Falmouth, including many Major League teams' head scouts. Heavy attention was paid to Georgia Tech's Tyler Parker during batting practice and throughout the game, with a videographer shooting footage of Parker the entire time he took his cuts. Parker didn't disappoint, rocketing several blasts out of the park in deep centerfield. Parker also caught the attention of ESPN's Peter Gammons who chatted with the second-year Cape League all-star starting catcher for several minutes prior to the game.
-- Representing the West Division in the Home Run Hitting Contest was Wareham's Matt Murton (Georgia Tech), Hyannis' Ryan Barthelemy (Florida State) and Bourne's Chad Oliva (Jacksonville). In the first round, Murton crushed seven homers, including four in a row. Barthelemy hit two and Oliva hit two. Representing the East was Y-D's Jason Cooper (Stanford), Orleans' Larry Broadway (Duke) and Brewster's Jay Garthwaite (Washington). Garthwaite hit two, Broadway hit three and Cooper hit four out to advance to the second round. In the Second Round, Murton hit two and Cooper hit three to claim the title, each getting just five outs to get the job done. It was the second straight season Cooper was crowned the All-Star Game Home Run King.
-- Along with all-star committee co-chairperson Rose Sturtevant, Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings escorted Connie Hurley, 95, to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Hurley played for the Wareham town team in 1930 and 1931 before moving onto a minor league career with the Toledo Mudhens.
-- Hyannis Mets first-year manager Mike Juhl (SUNY-New Paltz) was aglow throughout the all-star game… and why not? The coach played two years in the Cape League as a lefty pitcher and was once a Cape League all-star himself. Who says you can never go home?