As we all enjoyed the All-Star festivities the last two nights in Cleveland, perhaps Major League Baseball needs to look to one of the college leagues for a way to make things more interesting. The Coastal Plain League hit their All-Star break this weekend, and the format is a little different.
In short, the CPL creates an All-Star team from each of their divisions (North, South, East, West), creates one more with a fan vote, and then has the host city get in on the fun as well, which in this cases is the Savannah Bananas. Two teams get a bye till Monday, and the other four teams play each other on Sunday for the right to move on. The semifinals and championship happen on Monday, and all of the games are three innings long. The other wrinkle is that the pitchers aren’t on a team so much as there is a pool put together that both teams can select from.
Overall, the format is similar to the NHL All-Star game that has a similar tournament that fits neatly within the structure of their game. Admit it: you’re intrigued at the idea of All-Star teams based on each division, and maybe one AL fan team and one NL fan team. You play over two days, and the games are only three innings. Might make the festivities more interesting, anyway.
Back to the actual CPL game, there were a couple of Tar Heels who saw some action. Angel Zarate was on the fan vote team, and got the only RBI of the Sunday game to allow the fan team to move on to Monday’s game. On Monday, he would get another 2 RBI and work with pitcher Davis Palermo to get the fan vote team into the championship game. They would fall just short as the East won the showdown 2-1 in the final three-inning game.
Being on the All-Star team was big for Zarate and Palermo, as the festivities also included a workout in front of MLB scouts. Zarate in particular has been making a name for himself in the CPL, as he was the Player of the Week last week. One hopes this summer is a spring board for him to step into a major role on the Tar Heels next season, as several positions will be open.
As for the Cape Cod League, a later start means a later All-Star game. Their game is scheduled for July 21st in Orleans, and teams should be announced shortly. We’ll see if any Tar Heels are able to make those squads, meanwhile let’s see how all the Diamond Heels are doing in summer ball.
Cape Cod League
2 App, 3 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2K, 1 BB
Austin Love, Orleans Firebirds
5 App, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 1-1, 2.31 ERA, 12 K, 7 BB
Danny Serretti, Orleans Firebirds
11 GP, 34 AB, .206 Avg, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
Coastal Plain League
Clemente Incan, Wilmington Sharks:
14 GP, 47 AB, .255 Avg, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 5R, 2 SB
Angel Zarate, High Point/Thomasville HiToms
14 GP, 64 AB, .406 Avg, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 16R, 2 SB
Nik Pry, Holy Springs Salamanders
8 App, 1 GS, 17.2 IP, 1-2, 3.57 ERA, 27k
Chris Joyner, Holy Springs Salamanders
6 GS, 31 IP, 3-1, 5.23 ERA, 23 K
Austin Elliot, Martinsville Mustangs
5 GS, 21 IP, 0-2, 5.14 ERA, 28 K
Davis Palermo, Martinsville Mustangs
6 App, 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 2-2, 3.29 ERA, 28K
Will Schroeder, Martinsville Mustangs
11 GP, 31 AB, .065 Avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB
Josh Dotson, Forest City Owls
4 GS, 17.1 IP, 2-0, 7.79 ERA, 13 K
Connor Ollio, Forest City Owls
4 App, 3 GS, 18.1 IP, 3-0, 5.89 ERA, 23 K
Bennett Nance, Lexington County Blowfish
8 App, 5 GS, 23.1 IP, 3-0, 4.63 ERA, 21K
The break for the CPL didn’t last long, they were back to normal games Tuesday and their regular season goes through the first week of August. We’ll check in with our Diamond Heels again next week.