2018 Midwest League All Star Game Was a Show Case of Talent – by Rodger M. Wood

The 2018 Midwest League All Star Game, played in front of 9,396 fans at Cooley Law School Stadium, the home of the Lansing (Michigan) Lug Nuts, was a showcase of young ball players with lots of major league potential, playing a 10 inning walk off 3-2 game.

Midwest League All Star game MVP, Reds prospect, 1B, Montrell Marshall made the game ending exciting, driving in Dayton Dragons’ teammate, Stuart Fairchild from second base with a two out single on a 1-2 count to score the winning run.

Twenty eight pitchers from both the East and West Division squads allowed only 15 hits, struck out 20 hitters, and did not walk a man.

Twenty-four of the 28 pitchers of record threw shutout ball, 17 of the pitchers struck out a batter, and three, Blue Jays and Lansing
RHP Maximo Castillo, Reds and Dayton RHP, game winning pitcher, John Ghyzel, and Angels and Burlington RHP Luis Maduro stuck out two batters each in an IP.

Luis Maduro struck first two batters in bottom of the 2nd Inning

The East Division drew first blood in the bottom of the 1st inning on Blue Jays prospect and home field Lug Nuts 2B Kevin Vicuna’s double to left center field, and Tampa and Bowling Green’s Tyler Wells clutch single up the middle to score the run.

Kevin Vicuna rifles a double up the lf/cf alley in the bottom of the first inning.

The East added to their lead in the bottom of the 5th inning on Dodger’s and Great Lakes 3B Jared Walker’s HR off a 1-2 pitch, making the game 2-0.

Jared Walker gets ahold of ball HR in bottom of 5th.

In the top of the sixth, the West Division hit balls that started to see some light and fall in. With 2 outs, Los Angeles Angels and Burlington Bees 3B Julio Garcia drove in Cardinals and Peoria’s Yariel Gonzalez from 1B with a double to right center field, making the score 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Tension building up with two outs in the top of the 8th inning, Twins and Burlington Bees’ RF, Alex Kirilloff came through in the clutch with a hard hit single to right field to drive in the 2-2 tying run.

Alex Kirilloff hits away in the 8th

Neither side made an error in the game and it wasn’t because the players stayed away from making hard plays. Royce Lewis, #1 Twins Baseball America minor league prospect, 2017 #1 Draft, and Cedar Rapids SS stood out in the field for the first four innings of the game. In the bottom of the second inning, he made an unbelievable play, going wide to his left behind 2B, driving for the ball, getting up, and throwing the runner out at 1B by a nick to end the inning.

Royce Lewis goes after a pop up in bottom of 3rd.

East Division manager, Cesar Martin thought, “both teams played a really good game and both sides made some good defensive plays as well.”

West Division and Quad Cities manager, Mickey Storey agreed, “It was a phenomenally- well played game by both sides.

Rays Ronaldo Hernandez Win HR Derby

Before the Midwest League All Star Game, Bowling Green Hot Rods and Tampa Bay Rays Baseball America 12th top minor league prospect, 20 year old Colombian catcher, Ronaldo Hernandez won the Midwest League All Star Homerun Derby, beating a close second place contender, Indians top 8th Baseball America prospect Will Benson in a close contest.

Ronaldo Hernandez Hits Away in HR Derby

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