27 July 2008
Red Sox to Salute Cape League All-Stars
Wednesday Night at Fenway Park
BOSTON – Fifty of the nation’s top college players will be recognized at historic Fenway Park Wednesday night when the 2008 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Stars are saluted prior to the Boston Red Sox-Los Angeles Angels game.
The Cape League’s East and West Division All-Stars and their 10 field managers will be recognized on the field and presented with a plaque by two CCBL alumni now performing for the Red Sox.
Ten current members of the Red Sox played in the Cape League, including Jason Varitek (Hyannis ’91 & ’93), Javier Lopez (Falmouth ’97), Kevin Youkilis (Bourne ’00), Kevin Cash (Falmouth ’99), Mike Lowell (Chatham ’94), Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth ’04), David Aardsma (Falmouth ’02), Craig Hensen (Harwich ’04), Sean Casey (Brewster ’94) and Justin Masterson (Wareham ’05).
The Angels’ Robb Quinlan (Cotuit ’97) and Joe Saunders (Harwich ’01) also played on the Cape.
Slugging infielder Grant Green (Southern California) of the Chatham A’s and catcher Mark Fleury (North Carolina) of the Harwich Mariners blasted home runs to key a seven-run eighth inning as the East pulled off an exciting 8-6 come-from-behind victory over the West before a record crowd of 8,629 fans at Chatham’s Veterans Field Saturday night in the Under Armour Cape League All-Star Game.
Green slammed a game-tying three-run homer and Fleury poled a two-run shot for the eventual game-winning runs. The hard-hitting Green was named East MVP and Ben Paulsen (Clemson) of Hyannis was named West MVP in the game, which was televised live by the New England Sports Network (NESN) and broadcast on WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR affiliate.
The West pitching staff combined to allow just one hit through the first seven innings and held a 6-1 lead heading into the home half of the eighth. Seth Blair (Arizona State) of Cotuit walked two of the first batters and allowed a single. After a strikeout, Orleans’ Tim Wheeler (Sacramento State) lined a two-run double to bring the East within three runs.
After a trio of streakers in the outfield momentarily delayed the game, Green drilled the next pitch to straight-away center to knot the score at 6-6. Following a single by Harwich’s D.J. LeMahieu (Louisiana State), Fleury (North Carolina) hit a long fly to right field that caught the wind and cleared the fence just over the glove of Hyannis’s Trent Ashcraft (East Carolina), giving the East its first lead of the game. It was the first time in All-Star Game history that a team had hit two home runs in the same inning.
TThe West put together a five-run sixth against Martin Viramontes (Loyola Marymount) of Orleans as Paulson lined a two-run double and Trevor Coleman (Missouri) of Falmouth singled in a run.
The East’s Rich Poythress (Georgia) of Orleans broke up a perfect game in the fifth inning with a solo shot to right field to tie the score, 1-1.
Several All-Star Game records were set Saturday. The East’s two-homer eighth inning was an All-Star first and the seven runs scored by the East in the same frame marked the highest one-inning total since the East-West format was instituted in 1988. It also tied the over-all record set in 1973 when the Cape League used a seven-run fifth inning to defeat the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League,13-7, at Yankee Stadium and equaled in 1985 when the ACBL scored seven in the sixth at Fenway Park but lost to the CCBL, 12-9.
The East’s comeback established a record as well. In the All-Star Game’s 46-year history, no team had ever overcome a five-run deficit to win. In 2000, the East trailed by four entering the ninth inning before rallying for five runs to win, 7-6.
Bruce Hack contributed to this report.
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen