What an exciting night in Bradenton, Florida. The best of High-A baseball took the field for a wild and fun All-Star game. The battle between the Florida State League North and South would take until the ninth inning to decide. The night, however, started off with some fireworks.
Adam Brett Walker, the Minnesota Twins 13th ranked prospect, put on quite the show for fans, teammates, and peers at McKenchie Field before the game. Behind a 36-point final round, Walker blasted his way to become champion of the FSL Home Run Derby. Walker was hitting moon shots that would land on the boardwalk at the stadium or out of the ball park altogether. Dante Bichette, Jr. had a strong showing for the T-Yanks. DBJ bombed himself to a third place finish in the derby. Once the pre-game festivities ended, fans were primed and ready for a good game.
The Tampa Yankees had five players voted into the game although one, top third base prospect and 2013 first round draft pick Eric Jagielo, missed the game with an injury. Third baseman Dante Bichette, Jr., DH Zach Wilson, and RF Jake Cave would all play a part in a thrilling comeback victory for the North.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the fourth, starting DH Wilson, who is batting .272 with four home runs and 23 RBI for the T-Yanks, evened the score with a home run. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the sixth. Dan Camarena, the lone T-Yank pitcher to make the squad, struggled mightily in his All-Star debut. Camarena, who sits at 4-4 with a 2.70 ERA on the season, was lit up in his one inning of work, allowing 2 runs on three hits and two walks to give the South a commanding two run lead. The South would take the lead into the ninth.
Bichette, Jr. (.276, 7 home runs, 36 RBI on the year), who started at third base for the North and was hitless on the night, started the rally with a single. Wilson would move him to second on a ground out, and he would eventually take third on a wild pitch. RF Jake Cave, having a breakout season batting .299 with two homers, 17 RBI, and 7 stolen bases, walked in his lone at bat. Both would come around to score and tie the game at four. Second baseman Gioskar Amaya, a prospect for the Chicago Cubs, would play the hero, driving in the two winning runs.
All in all, it was a fun and successful night for the Tampa Yankees in Bradenton. The T-Yanks enjoy one more day off today before kicking off the second half of their season. They travel to Daytona to take on Amaya and the Daytona Cubs in a three-game series Monday night.