Release curtesy of the Aberdeen Ironbirds.
The three representatives from the IronBirds—Cole McCurry, Caleb Joseph and Robbie Widlansky—certainly gave their best efforts in Tuesday night’s 2008 New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Tri-City’s Bruno Stadium.
But those efforts proved to be not quite enough, as the National League All-Stars rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to down the American League bunch by a 4-3 score.
The Aberdeen trio played a role from start to finish. McCurry, who’s gone 7-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 starts, became the first IronBird ever to toe the rubber as the starting pitcher in an All-Star Game. The southpaw allowed an infield single to Tri-City’s Jack Shuck but otherwise was solid, retiring the other three batters he faced and throwing nine of his 14 total pitches for strikes.
Batavia’s Frederick Parejo hit a solo homer in the fifth to give the National Leaguers a 1-0 lead that held until the seventh.
Joseph, who entered in the fifth as a defensive replacement, worked a 2-0 count from Williamsport’s Brian Rosenberg before ripping a line drive single to left-center field to lead off the seventh. The backstop then took second base on a wild pitch and came around to score on a single by Hudson Valley’s Jason Tweedy that tied the game at 1-1. RBI singles by Mike Gosse (Oneonta) and Mitch Dening (Lowell) put the American League squad up 3-1.
Widlansky, who also entered in the fifth and went 0-for-2 at the plate, had a chance to preserve the American League All-Stars’ victory with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. A deep fly ball to left by Tri-City’s David Flores took Widlansky onto the warning track, where he gloved the ball for what appeared to be the game’s final out.
But it was not to be, as Widlansky’s momentum carried him into the outfield fence and the ball popped out of his glove, allowing both National League runners to score for a 4-3 win.
Oneonta’s Tyler Stohr took the loss, giving up an RBI single to Shuck earlier in the ninth before allowing the game-ending double to Flores.
Batavia’s Adam Reifer pitched a scoreless ninth and got the win.
The victory was the first for the National League since 2005, when it took a 5-4 contest at Brooklyn’s KeySpan Park in the inaugural New York-Penn League All-Star Game.