LVL wins legion all-star baseball game
Lehigh Valley faced a 3-0 deficit after the top of the third inning during last night's legion all-star game.
But that lead for Schuylkill-Berks was short lived. And once the Lehigh Valley bats got going, the offense didn't let up one bit.
Lehigh Valley responded with six runs in the bottom of the third, and added a run in the fifth and sixth innings to secure the 8-2 victory on Monday Night at FirstEnergy Stadium. It was the Lehigh Valley's third consecutive victory in the all-star game after dropping the inaugural game four years ago.
"It was very exciting," Northwestern's Taylor Breininger said. "I knew we were facing the best of the best, and I knew I couldn't be too selective out there. I just had to go out and do what I was used to doing."
Three Salisbury players participated in the game. Jonathan Benitez finished 1-for-2 with a run scored. Michael Palmer walked and scored a run. Jeff Trexler pitched a hitless eighth inning for Lehigh Valley.
While Lehigh Valley had five base-runners through the first two innings, the team wasn't able to bring anyone across home until its explosion in the third.
Perhaps the LV needed its back against the wall ever so slightly.
Three straight walks to Fullerton's Matt Melosky, Palmer and West Allentown's Roberto Pimentel loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, giving Lehigh Valley a prime opportunity to cut into their deficit.
The LV didn't waste any time cashing in on that opportunity.
After a pitch hit Northern Valley's Dante Salerno during the next at-bat to score Melosky, Fullerton's Jim Scheuren connected on a single that scored Palmer to tie the game at two. North Parkland's Daniel Zaccaro then drove a three-run double to put Lehigh Valley ahead 5-2, and Coplay's Matthew Hassick added an RBI-single two batters later to make it a four-run advantage.
"It's different playing with the kids that you've always been playing against the whole year, and you're fighting for the top spot in the league," Breininger said. "Everyone was kind of gelling, and we're just having a good time in the all-star game. It feels really nice to beat the best of the best from the other leagues."
Brady Yocum's single in the fifth added a run after Salerno crossed home, and a sacrifice fly from Fullerton's TC Correll in the sixth capped off Lehigh Valley's scoring barrage.
"Even though we play each other the next couple of days in different games, coming here we know it's a rare experience," Breininger said. "We're just having a good time together."
The pitching staff was equally impressive. After Southern Lehigh's Tyler Mann allowed three hits and two runs in the third, Lehigh Valley's staff allowed just four hits the rest of the way. As a group, Lehigh Valley struck out seven Schuylkill-Berks batters.
In addition to that pitching, the defense was also pivotal in helping Lehigh Valley get out of a number of jams. Tulpehocken's Brandon Hartranft led off the sixth with a leadoff triple, but two strikeouts and a pop up ended Schuylkill-Berks' threat. They also had runners on first and second with no outs in the seventh and ninth innings without anything to show for it.
"They did a real good job keeping the hitters off balanced," Breininger said. "We had a good defense too, and the pitchers did really nice."
Obey/Topton's Hunter Renninger drove an RBI-single to right field to get Schuylkill-Berks on the board first. Roberts then recorded a sac fly that scored Valley View's Ben Rautzahn.