Eastern League All Star Festivities Are Big Fun

By Rodger M. Wood

Lots of fun activities before the game heightened the drama of an exciting 2010 Eastern
League All Star game at Harrisburg Metro Bank Park July 14th.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlets went all out to make it a memorable day for young and old fans, some of
whom traveled from distant Eastern League cities Trenton, Erie, Altoona, Bowie, Binghamton, Akron, Reading, Manchester, New Britain, Richmond, and Portland to cheer their heroes on.

The Family Fun Fest began at 1 PM. All Star players, graciously signed autographs for a multitude of fans, but the biggest demand turned out to be NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader, Kevin Harvick, who later threw out the first pitch and drove his bright yellow race car around the warning track.

Lower Dauphin HS (PA) slugger, Colbe Herr won the high school and Altoona catcher, Hector Gimenez the Eastern League home run derby, with Harrisburg 1B Chris Marrero and Bowie CF Tyler Henson in close pursuit.

The all star game was a classic good pitching, good defense 2-2 ball game until the 7th inning stretch,
when the West Division filled the bases for Altoona SS Chase D’Arnaud to clear with a dramatic grand slam home run to make the score 7-2. Erie CF Andy Dirks hit a solo shot after D”Arnaud to raise the score to 8-2.

In the top of 8th, New Hampshire C Brian Jerolman singled in a run for the East Division making it a 8-3 game and in the bottom of the 8th, Akron OF John Drennen hit a HR and Chris Marrero singled in a run increasing the margin to the West Division final 10-3 win. Harrisburg RHP Rafael Martin picked up the win with a perfect 7th inning.

Lowell’s Molding a Winning Combination!

By Rodger M. Wood

Stocked with several top Red Sox draft picks and prospects, Manager Bruce Crabbe is quickly molding a young Lowell Spinners team into a winning combination.

He is rotating 2010 #1 draft pick (20th overall) Kolbrin Vitek with BA #14 David Renfroe at 3B and DH, playing #1a draft (36th overall) Bryce Brentz in RF, BA #30, Brandon Jacobs in LF, and starting BA #16 Madison Younginer and BA #23 Roman Mendez on the mound every 5 days.

Typical in short season Rookie A NY/Penn League, Manager Crabbe is trying to find the right position match for his young ball players He caught second year Sean Killeen, who’s hit 5 in 38 AB, the night I saw Lowell at Aberdeen, but mostly alternates him at 1B with 19 year old Miles Head. Joantoni Garcia, who played SS at Greenville the first half of this season is at 2B, sharing both positions with newcomer James Kang and 7th leading NY/PA hitter Jose Garcia, who is hitting 355, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 16 GP. Fleet footed Dominican prospect Felix Sanchez rounds the lineup out settling in CF with a 318 BA in 19 GP. Former Atlanta Braves major Leaguer, and astute hitting coach, George Lombard is carefully developing the Spinners’ young hitters.

Under the capable tutelage of pitching coach Laz Gutierrez, three starting pitchers are humming
the ball over the plate getting outs. Especially promising 19-year RHP Madison Younginer, whose over top fastball is quickly approaching 100 mph, is 2-3 W-L, 4.85 ERA, and has 14 K in 20 IP, RHP Roman Mendez is 1-3 W-L. 4.05 ERA, with 20 K in 20 IP and while only 0-2 W-L, Adelphi U RHP Keith Couch has a 2.60 ERA with 14 K in 17 IP.

In the bullpen, RHP Charles Rosario has a save and a 4.00 ERA in 15 IP in 5 games, RHP Stephen Fox a win, and 15 K in 15.1 IP in 4 games, RHP Garrett Rau 3.55 ERA in 12 IP in 4 games, RHP Wilson Matos
a 1.50 ERA in 12 IP in 6 games, and RHP Cesar Angeloni , a win, 2.45 ERA in 11 IP in 5 games. The lone LHP in the bullpen, Hunter Cervenka is 0-1 W-L, with a 4.24 ERA, 16 K in 17 IP.

I shot the 2010 Lowell Spinners photo folder on display at Aberdeen on that 100 degree + day July 6th.