It wasn’t quite an epic clash but the West Division All-Stars emerged with a 7-0 victory over the East Division in the Midwest League All-Star Game, played at the rebuilt Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, in Comstock, Michigan.
The Whitecaps have the best pitching staff in the league at the break and got two of their front-line starters into the game with Jonathon Crawford getting the starting assingment. Crawford took the loss, allowing one run on a hit and two walks before giving way in the second inning. Buck Farmer, the other Whitecap to take the mound for the East, walked one and struck out one in his inning of work.
The Western team got to Lake County’s Jordan Milbrath for four runs in the sixth inning, getting a double from Herschel Powell of the Beloit Snappers (who went 1/3 with two RBI, two walks, two stolen bases and two runs scored) and a home run from Chad Hinshaw of the Burlington Bees. Powell, nicknamed after the Orioles’ great, Boog (no relation), was named the MVP of the game.
The Eastern All-Stars only managed to get two hits off of West pitching, lonely singles by 1B Daniel Palka and 1B Marty Herum, both of the South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI). For the Western pitchers, Beloit’s Kyle Finnegan started and got the win but the only one with more than one strikeout was Preston Gainey of the Milwaukee-affiliated Wisconsin Timber Rattlers who K’ed two batters in the third inning.
Holding the game at Fifth Third Ballpark was significant for West Michigan fans who saw their home park partly destroyed in a fire that occurred in January. The club had no doubt that the field would be rebuilt in time for not only their first home series of the year in April but for the All-Star Game this past weekend.