West defeats East 7-6 in Classic

Photo: Perfect Game

Patrick Ebert
Published: Sunday, August 12, 2012

Box Score

SAN DIEGO – In front of 7,638 fans at PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, the West team defeated the East 7-6 in the 10th
 edition of the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings. With the win, the West now leads the all-time series 5-4-1.

Down 6-5 in the top of the seventh, Rowdy Tellez smoked a ball to left field that was hit so hard it rolled all of the way to the wall and allowed Tellez to advance to third with a stand-up two-run triple. On the play, Stephen Gonsalves and Kacy Clemens scored the game-tying and go-ahead runs as the West took the lead after trailing since the bottom of the second.

Ryan Boldt was named the Classic's MVP by going 2-for-3 with a triple of his own.

"This was just a dream come true," Boldt said after the game. "It was just a great opportunity to be able to come out and play with all these great players. It was a lot of fun down here, first of all, and you've got to have fun at these kind of events. Hanging out with the guys has just really been a good time."

After recording only two runs on one hit collectively as a team in the 2011 Classic, the East didn't waste any time getting on the board, pushing across single runs in both the first and second innings and two more in the third.

Oscar Mercado led the bottom of the first off with a walk. He stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Clint Frazier's sacrifice fly to right field.

In the bottom of the second, Jan Hernandez followed a Nick Ciuffo walk by crushing a low fastball over the head of Boldt for a double. Travis Demeritte then hit an RBI double to right-center which gave the East a 2-1 lead.

With one out in the bottom of the third, Austin Meadows sliced a single to left field, advanced to second on Clint Frazier's single and stole third base. Clint Frazier stole second on the next pitch, and both baserunners scored on Cord Sandberg's two-run single to right field giving the East a 4-1 lead.

The East added two more runs in the fifth as the first four batters reached.

John Sternagel opened the frame by lining a single to right-centerfield. Oscar Mercado followed that with a bloop single to left. After Austin Meadows was hit by a pitch, Clint Frazier hit an absolute rocket to deep centerfield scoring Clinton Hollon, who pinch ran for Sternagel.  On the play, Mercado was thrown out at home thanks to a strong relay throw by West infielder Sheldon Neuse, a play that would later prove to be crucial.  The East's final run of the game came when Austin Meadows scored on a wild pitch, giving the East a 6-1 lead.

The West's first run came in the top of the second as the team opened the inning with three consecutive singles. The third of those came off the bat of Jeremy Martinez, who hit a sharp single up the middle driving home Chris Rivera.

With the first Dominican player to ever participate in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, Mayky Perez, on the mound, the West pulled within one run in the top of the sixth with a four-run frame.

After Derik Beauprez opened the inning with a walk, J.P. Crawford hit a weak ground ball to first baseman Zack Collins. On Collins' relay throw to shortstop Jan Hernandez, Hernandez appeared to lose sight of the ball, and was unable to turn what appeared to be a tailor-made double play. Cavan Biggio followed that play with a walk, and Dominic Smith took advantage by hitting a two-run single.

The West added one more run in the sixth when Nick Banks hit an RBI groundout, scoring Biggio.

Local product Stephen Gonsalves picked up the win, Robert Tyler took the loss and Kacy Clemens worked a scoreless ninth to earn the save.

Eighteen pitchers took the mound between both teams, with each pitcher working one inning a piece. All but one had a peak velocity of at least 90 mph, led by Kohl Stewart's 95 mph fastball, who started the game for the West. East pitchers Chris Oakley and Brett Morales each touched 94 mph.

Oakley, Casey Shane and Derik Beauprez threw perfect 1-2-3 innings, while Brady Corless and Gonsalves also faced the minimum.

The defensive play of the game was made by outfielder Josh Hart. On a towering fly ball down the left field line off the bat of Rowdy Tellez in the fourth inning, Hart made a leaping catch in foul territory to pull the ball out of the stands for the second out of the inning.

Prior to the game the final round of the Rawlings Home Run Challenge was conducted.  After hitting nine home runs in the first round of the Challenge, which was conducted on Saturday at Point Loma Nazarene University, Justin Williams hit four more on Sunday to win the challenge.

Williams got off to a slot start, as big-league hitters know how difficult it is to knock the ball out at PETCO Park, as did the other five participants, of whom combined to hit only one home run.  With no home runs and only four outs to go, three of his East teammates (Nick Ciuffo, Oscar Mercado and Chris Okey) came out, rubbed him down and took off his sunglasses while offering words of encouragement.  After the pep talk Williams proceeded to hit his four homers.

"They took the glasses and I kind of got serious," Williams said.  "I was like, 'All right, I really have to focus now; no more joking around.'  Once you hit two or three, then you're like, 'OK, relax.'  Then you try to follow up with the same routine every time, and once you get in a rhythm it's hard to break it."

Clint Frazier was the only other participant to hit a home run in the challenge, and he also hit a shot off of the 401-foot sign on the wall in left-center.

Frazier was named the Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award winner as part of the event's annual dinner banquet on Saturday.  Other award winners include Mercado, the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year, Dominic Smith, the New Balance Prospect of the Year, Robert Kaminsky (who started the game for the East), the Baseball America Pitcher of the Year, Jan Hernandez, the Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award, and Cavan Biggio, the Evoshield SWAG award.

Congratulations to all of the players for participating in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, which celebrated its 10th
 year as high school baseball's premier all-american all-star event.

To read more coverage from the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, be sure to visit the event's running blog feature.

Copyright 1994-2020 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.