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Original Division Prevails In All-Star Slugfest

April 16, 2016 (Federal League Wire Service)

                The Original Division All-Stars manufactured an improbable ninth inning rally and defeated the Expansion Division All-Stars, 16-11, in the pre-season gala.
                After leading for much of the contest, the Senior Circuit fell behind 9-8  when the Junior Circuit pushed across three runs in the bottom of the seventh. In the ninth, the Original Division mounted an eight run outburst to swing the outcome in their favor.  
                Tri-Cities Tritons righty John Hardardt started against Cory McEwen, the Hallandale Twins' lefty. Neither pitcher had a comfortable first inning.  
                In the top of the initial frame, the Senior Circuit got an RBI single from Jamie Bobrow (Broward Cubs) and a bases loaded triple by Demetrio Green (Sunrise Sunsets) to take a 4-0 advantage. In the home half of the frame, the Junior Circuit responded with three runs of their own.  
                The Seniors made it 6-3 in the second on a two run double by Luis Rodriguez (Delray Beach Mudcats), but the Juniors cut the gap to 6-4 in the bottom of the inning when Teo Zorrilla (Hollywood Stars) singled and later scored on a throwing error.   
                In the fifth the Originations pushed their lead to 8-4 as they plated two runs off of reliever Joe Feller (Davie Goliaths). Ryan Thompson (Sunrise Sunsets) led off the inning with a triple and scored on a base hit by Mike Robbins (Broward Cubs). Mc Ewen's sacrifice fly brought home Robbins.
                Trailing by four, the Expansioners put two on the board against reliever Gus Maestrales (Delray Beach Mudcats). Vijay Patel led off by drawing a walk and Zac Miller (Tri-Cities Tritons) followed with a single, before Zorrila drove in Patel with a one out single to center. Anthony DeFilippis followed with an RBI single to score Miller and cut the gap to 8-6. 
                After Eric Silverberg of the Tri-Cities Tritons pitched a scoreless seventh, the Junior Circuit scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead.  
                Silverberg led off the frame with a double and went to third on a single by regular season teammate Jay Warman. Another Triton, Tre Dingus followed with an RBI single as the Seniors brought in Ricky Quintero (Broward Cubs) to relieve Maestrales.
                Warman scored on a wild pitch, tying the game and Tony Krahwinkel (Davie Goliaths) singled to move Dingus, representing the go ahead run into scoring position. 
                After Quintero retired Patel on a pop up, Miller drilled a double to left that scored Dingus, however, Krahwinkel was gunned down at the plate for the second out. Quintero then got Alex Rodriguez (Margate Sentries) to fly out to center for the third out to escape the inning only trailing by a run.
                Silverberg set aside the Senior Circuit in the eighth, and the Expansion Division sent Dingus to the mound in the top of the ninth to preserve the win. The Original Division had other plans, however, as they sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs.
                Dingus began the inning in fine fashion as he fanned Thompson for the first out, but then he walked Robbins before hitting Mitch Kean of the Cubs with a pitch. Quintero tied the game with a single that scored Robbins, and Mcewen put the Originators in front with a single through the right side that plated Kean with, what proved to be, the winning run. 
                Bobrow delivered an RBI single and Thompson, in his second at bat of the inning, rifled a three run double to give the Senior Circuit a seven run cushion.  
                The Expansion Division refused to quit and rallied for two runs in the bottom of ninth on an RBI ground out by Krahwinkel and a sacrifice fly by Miller. It was too little, too late as Rodriguez flew out to right for the final out of the game.
                Dingus led all hitters with four hits, three runs scored, and an RBI, but was charged with the loss.
                Thompson and McEwen led the Senior Circuit with three hits each. Thompson had four RBI and was a home run short of the cycle. McEwen had two RBI, including the game winner. Thompson, who pitched the final inning and two thirds, got credit for the win. McEwen was named the game's MVP.
                Gomez Wins Home Run Derby: At the conclusion of the All-Star Game, the league held a home run derby, with all of the proceeds going to charity.
                Former Federal League all-star Alvaro Gomez won the contest, hitting 11 home runs through the two rounds of competition. 
                Gomez's brother, Andres, a former Davie Goliath, edged current Goliath, Vijay Patel for second place. The younger Gomez hit six home runs, while Patel hit five. 
                Reigning home run derby champion, Ryan Scott, finished fourth. Scott was in second place after the first round with four home runs, but failed to connect in the second round.
                The winner received four VIP tickets to a Miami Marlins game, donated by Bank of America, an engraved trophy bat and batting gloves, courtesy of Rawlings, and maple bats from JS Woods Bat Company.  
                Rawlings contributed the consolation prizes awarded to the second and third place finishers.
                Although a final figure had not been determined, league officials were confident that over $2000 had been raised for charity.

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