2013 Florida League All-Star Game
Presented by Brighthouse Networks
July 9th, 2013 at Sanford Memorial Stadium
South (Green: Freedom, Monarchs, Diamond Dawgs) vs. North (White: Lightning, River Rats, Suns)
SANFORD, Fla. – The South All-Stars jumped out to an early lead against the North All-Stars and never looked back, going on to win the game by a score of 5-2 on Tuesday night at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium.
In the top of the first inning, the South All-Stars scored an early run to take a 1-0 lead. Daniel Sweet (Polk State) led off with a single and made it to second after a walk. A double steal put runners on second and third, and a walk promptly loaded the bases. Darryl Knight (Seminole State) walked to bring home Sweet and the first run of the game.
Emilio Ogando (St. Thomas U) earned the win for the South All-Stars after pitching a scoreless first inning, walking one batter and striking out one.
The South team added two more in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Two one-out singles from Orlando Rivera (State College of Florida) and Sweet along with an error scored a run for the South. The second run of the inning was scored in exciting fashion, as Sweet stole home to score his second run of the game.
Sweet was named MVP after finishing 2-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases for the South All-Stars.
All-Star MVP Daniel Sweet (Winter Park) and Florida League President Rob Sitz
“I feel pretty good today,” said Sweet. “(I have) family in town, so I had some more motivation. I came out and just had some fun. It was definitely a relaxing experience and enjoyable.”
The only offense the North All-Stars could muster came in the bottom of the second inning. The North loaded the bases with one out on a walk, hit-by-pitch, and a single. Brett Jones (Tampa) brought home two with a single, cutting the lead to 3-2. That would be all the offense the North could muster.
South All-Star head coach Kevin Davidson commented on his thoughts about both teams and how his pitching performed.
“I knew going into this game pitching was going to be the key to our success,” said Davidson. We had a tough second inning, but other than that, the guys did a good job. I was worried about the (North’s) offense, but our guys did their jobs tonight.”
The South added one more run in the third inning to extend their lead to 4-2. In the first two innings, the South used finesse to put up their three runs, but in the third, they used power. Blake Prince (Wingate) hit a home run to left field to extend the South’s lead over the North.
After the third inning, it became a pitchers’ duel, as both teams put up scoreless innings until the bottom of the eighth, when a run scored on a wild pitch, extending the South lead to 5-2.
North All-Star head coach Dave Therneau commented on the South’s All Star pitching staff and his thoughts about the game as a whole.
“They have some pretty good pitching, and that was the bottom line,” said Therneau. “You never know how these games are going to turn out, and typically good pitching beats good hitting. Our guys pitched just fine, just got off to a slow start. That can be translated to nerves, as many of these guys have never played in front of a crowd like this.”
“Its not big deal, as guys were out here being aggressive and having fun. This game was about getting guys their at-bats, having fun and playing care-free baseball.”
Sweet, who also played in the Southeast Collegiate Prospect Showcase, talked about the differences between the two games.
“Tonight, I knew some of these pitchers and what they were going to do,” said Sweet. “It’s different when you go against people you don’t know, and that’s the big game changer.”
The South was led offensively by Sweet and Joshua Johnson (Bethune-Cookman), who had a hit, RBI, and stole three bases. For the North, Brett Jones contributed two RBI and a stolen base.
Earlier in the day, six players from both the North and South competed in the Home Run Derby. Tyler Palmer (Seminole State) stole the show with his performance, hitting four in the first round and three in the finals. No other competitor would hit more than one, and he went on to take the crown.
Home Run Derby Champion: Tyler Palmer, Sanford (7 Homeruns)