Brock, Mac players help baseball all-stars shine

The OUA All-Stars hung on to defeat the 2009 league champion Western Mustangs, 4-3, in a 10-inning contest at the fourth annual OUA Baseball Showcase, Sunday at the Rogers Centre.

Brock centre fielder Matt Marinelli (Pickering) tallied the winning run for the All-Stars in the top of the 10th inning, scoring on a throwing error by pitcher Paul Lytwynec (London). Lytwynec had tried to throw out Marinelli at third base after a bunt by Laurier catcher Chris Pittaway (Paris), but the wild throw allowed the run.

Brock reliever Matt Martinow (Simcoe) was credited with the win, after pitching two innings, while Lytwynec, Western’s eighth pitcher of the game, was charged with the loss. Toronto’s Pat Janssen secured the save with one inning of scoreless relief. The All-Stars used seven pitchers on the afternoon.

The All-Stars had built up a 3-0 advantage over the first 7 1/2 innings, with McMaster catcher Devlin Connelly (Toronto) twice sacrificing himself to drive in Toronto shortstop David Fallico (Toronto).

Fallico earned player-of-the-game honours, scoring two of the All-Stars four runs, and getting on base in four of five plate appearances.

The Mustangs’ pitching staff took a no-hitter into the sixth inning through the combined efforts of three pitchers. Starter Andrew Bergman of Pickering, opened the proceedings with two hitless innings. Mississauga native Adam Paish added two innings of three-up, three-down relief, followed by a one-inning performance by Carlos Cabrero (Burlington). Bergman struck out a game-high four batters, including three in the second inning.

Western tallied seven hits, including one double apiece from centre fielder Daniel Goldberg (Thornhill), left fielder Ian Campbell (Mississauga) and shortstop Shawn Robinson (Sarnia).

The All-Stars spread six singles across six different batters and had no extra-base hits.

Western’s defence made three errors, resulting in three unearned runs. The All-Stars made a single error. Each team left 11 runners on base.

The All-Stars opened the scoring in the opening frame. Making contact with the first pitch of the game, Fallico reached first base on a fielding error, advanced to second and third on a stolen base and wild pitch respectively, before scoring on a sacrifice hit by Connelly.

The Mustangs had their first strong scoring opportunity in the fifth inning, placing runners on second and third with no outs. The subsequent batters were unable to hit the ball out of the infield, stranding both runners in scoring position.

The All-Stars added to their lead in the top of the sixth inning, with a virtual carbon copy of their first-inning performance. Fallico later opened the frame with a single, spoiling the Western no-hit bid, and advanced to third base on a botched pickoff attempt. Connelly again drove in Fallico from third base, this time on a sacrifice fly to centre field.

Western again threatened in the bottom of the sixth, placing runners on first and second with two out. Varsity Blues left fielder Jamie Lekas (Toronto) robbed Western’s Campbell of a sure extra-base hit, making a diving catch while retreating into the left-field wall.

The All-Stars added an insurance run in the seventh inning, with Brock’s Marinelli driving in Waterloo’s Jason Diniz-Wood (Brampton) with a two-out, bases-loaded single. The All-Stars were unable to capitalise further, and closed the inning with the bases loaded.

The Mustangs rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the score at 3-3. Batting with one out and the bases loaded, left fielder Campbell drove in a pair of runners with a double. On the next at- bat, Darren Sandejas (London) caught the All-Star infield off-guard by bunting, driving in a run in the process.