VBL Beats Sunbelt for Second Straight Undefeated Showcase
Date: Jul 17, 2018
Photo Credit: Jimmy McCumber
BY JULIA STUMBAUGH
The 2018 VBL All-Star Game saw stellar play both on the mound and at the plate, but the South Division’s batting made the difference as they defeated the North Division, 7-3.
The first hits of Sunday night’s All-Star game belonged to the South. VBL teammates Patrick McColl and Dominic D’Alessandro (Charlottesville) each knocked a single into left field, but Kobe Foster (Front Royal) forced the South to strand the pair.
The North then struck out twice in the top of the second against Derek Tremblay (Covington), but finally broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the third. Justin Hayes (Strasburg) hit a single before running to second on a wild pitch. Lead-off hitter Masen Prososki (Winchester) then arrowed a two-out RBI double down the third-base line to score Hayes, claiming an early 1-0 lead for the North.
The South answered back in the bottom of the third, as McColl drew a walk to get on base and then ran home on a triple to the wall from JD Mundy (Covington) to tie the ballgame, 1-1. After pitcher Cody Maw (Charlottesville) held the North off the board in the top of the fourth, the South racked up two more as Austin Embler (Harrisonburg) scored on an error before teammate Zach Little (Harrisonburg) drove in a second run, giving the South its first lead of the game, 3-1, heading into the fifth inning.
The North claimed one back in the top of the fifth with an RBI double from Christian Garabedian (Purcellville) to cut the home team’s lead to 3-2. They threatened to come even closer to tying the game, as Christian Avant (Front Royal) hit a dangerous ball down the right field line, but McColl made a diving catch to claim the flyout and get out of the at-bat with the South still leading.
McColl then helped add to that lead in the bottom of the fifth, as he, Mundy and D’Alessandro each picked up their second hits of the game, followed by a single from Embler, to score two runs and extend the South’s lead to 5-2.
As a wave of batting replacements were sent into the game, Samyr Santos (Winchester) fought to close the gap for the North, walking in the top of the sixth before stealing a base and sprinting to advance on a fly out and ground out to make it home and cut the lead to 5-3. Pitcher Jared Shemper (New Market) forced that score to stay unchanged in the seventh, striking out three batters in a row with McColl threatening on third to keep the deficit at two runs. Nevertheless, the South added one more in the bottom of the eighth as Ryan Fitzgerald (Covington) took advantage of two errors to make it home and bring the lead to 6-3.
The North couldn’t get anything going in the top of the ninth, but Eric Conner gave fans an extra treat in the bottom of the ninth with a last-minute homer to left field to close out the ballgame as the South took the victory, 7-3. Maw recorded the win on the mound. Mundy, who would finish with two RBI extra-base hits on the night, was named the MVP of the winning team, while Garabedian would pick up the North’s title for his fifth-inning RBI double.
Select all-stars will be back in action in Charlotte later this month as the VBL Showcase Team travels to compete in the 2018 Southern Collegiate Showcase on July 16-17.