Southland’s Sean Beesley, who served as the designated hitter for the South, went 4-for-5 with an RBI and four stolen bases to capture All-Star Game Most Valuable Player honors.
“I got some good reads,” Beesley said of the stolen bases. “It was a little bit difficult because it wasn’t the same pitcher every time, but I got some good jumps and was pretty successful.”
Beesley faced a different North All-Star pitcher in each at-bat, but was able to solve some of the top arms in the league.
“I think one thing is just the approach to hitting,” he said. “Even when it’s a different arm, the way I think and the way I approach the at-bat shouldn’t change. My approach helped me out a lot today.”
Scouts from the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees were in attendance for the showcase.
“That’s what the All-Star Game is all about, getting looks,” South manager Justin Huisman of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen said. “I told the guys before the game, we’re not going to have too many signs. If you want to steal, steal. If you want to bunt, bunt. If you want to show off your arm, show off your arm. This is where you showcase yourself.”
The South jumped on the board on a two-run single by Southland’s Jeff Boehm in the first inning against starting pitcher Brett Maus of DuPage, who was the game’s losing pitcher. Northwest Indiana’s Jimmy McNamara was credited with the win, working around two North base hits in his only inning of work.
DuPage’s Mitch Gasbarro stroked a run-scoring single in the third to temporarily trim the South lead to one. Southland Vikings teammates Boehm (2-for-3, three RBIs) and Beesley ignited a South rally in the bottom of the third. Boehm doubled to start the frame before scoring on a Beesley single.
The North plated three runs in the fifth to make it a one run game again, but the South pulled away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth to capture a 12-4 win. The South has now won back-to-back All-Star Games after a 3-2 triumph at Benedictine University (DuPage) in 2012.
The All-Star Game was making its second trip to Whiting, but the first since the Oilmen franchise was established. The North topped the South 8-7 in a 10 inning game in 2011, the year before the MCL expanded to Northwest Indiana. Aaron Hauge of Southland was the only player to appear in the game in both 2011 and 2013.
The North offense was paced by Chicago’s Josh Camalick, who recorded three hits, and DuPage’s Brian Rodemoyer, who lashed two hits and drove in two.
Northwest Indiana’s Leiff Clarkson and Lexington’s Jared Hendren joined Beesley and Boehm as the South players that enjoyed multi-hit games. McNamara, Hauge, Michael Steensen and Danny Poberyko all tossed scoreless frames for the South. Patrick Bellinger of DuPage and Pat Cashman of Rockford heaved spotless frames for the North.