2015 Atlantic League All-Star Game Preview

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One half has come and gone in the Atlantic League’s 2015 season, and so far, we have seen some great moments. The Ducks and Patriots battled for the Liberty Division title down to the final four days of the season. Both teams put up historic halves, with the Pats setting a league record with 50 victories and the Ducks setting a team record for wins in a half with 46 as well as winning 19 of their past 20 home games. In the Freedom Division, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs stole the show under new manager Stan Cliburn, as they went 42-28 and won the first half title by six games over the Sugar Land Skeeters. However, before the second half can begin on Friday night, one game must be played first: The Atlantic League All-Star Game.

The best from the Freedom Division battle the top players from the Liberty Division tonight at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is the third time in Bridgeport’s history that they will be hosting the league’s midsummer classic. Here are the results from the first two:

1999: South Division 8, North Division 2
Co-MVPs: Jose Vierra (Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds) and Alex Cole (Bridgeport Bluefish)

2006: South Division 4, North Division 1
MVP: Clyde Williams (Atlantic City Surf)

This year, the league is going back to the Liberty vs. Freedom Division format after switching things up in 2014. Last year, the Sugar Land Skeeters hosted the All-Star Game, and they faced a team of All-Stars comprised of players from the league’s other seven franchises. Ultimately, the Skeeters defeated the ALPB All-Stars 5-3, with Nick Stavinoha earning MVP honors. With this year’s format, the Freedom Division has currently won three consecutive All-Star Games. They were victories at York in 2011 (7-0), at Camden in 2012 (9-5) and at Southern Maryland in 2013 (2-1 in a game decided by a homer-off). The Liberty Division’s last victory was in 2010 on Long Island (7-1).

Here is a breakdown of how many players from each team were chosen for this year’s All-Star Game:

Liberty Division
Ducks – 7 (5 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)
Bluefish – 6 (3 Position Players, 3 Pitchers)
Patriots – 5 (3 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)
Riversharks – 4 (2 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)

Freedom Division
Blue Crabs – 6 (3 Position Players, 3 Pitchers)
Revolution – 6 (4 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)
Barnstormers – 5 (3 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)
Skeeters – 5 (3 Position Players, 2 Pitchers)

The Freedom Division will be managed by Butch Hobson of the Lancaster Barnstormers, who managed his team to the 2014 Atlantic League championship. Joining him on the coaching staff are Cliburn, who was on Hobson’s coaching staff in Lancaster last year, and Barnstormers pitching coach Rich Rundles. The Liberty Division’s manager will be current Bluefish manager Ricky Van Asselberg, who is in his first season managing in the Atlantic league. He’ll be joined by fellow Bluefish coaches John Harris, Luis Rodriguez, Tim Gustafson and Jose Serrano.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Freedom
#12 Brandon Boggs (YK) – CF
#6   Luis De La Cruz (YK) – C
#24 Delwyn Young (SL) – 2B
#23 Brian Cavazos Galvez (LA) – RF
#13 Bryan Pounds (YK) – 3B
#8   Andres Perez (YK) – 1B
#29 Zach Wilson (MD) – LF
#21 Kevin Rivers (LA) – DH
#7   Lance Zawadzki (LA) – SS

#18 Jake Hale (MD) – RHP

Liberty
#28 Bryan Sabatella (LI) – LF
#5   Scott Cousins (SP) – CF
#20 Lew Ford (LI) – DH
#8   Brandon Chaves (CM) – SS
#19 Welington Dotel (BP) – RF
#4   James Skelton (SP) – C
#26 John Alonso (BP) – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett (LI) – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons (LI) – SS

#18 D.J. Mitchell (BP) – RHP

Fans looking to listen to all of the action for tonight’s game can follow along on 103.9-FM LI News Radio, as this will be the “Game of the Week!” The broadcast can also be heard online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will have all of the play-by-play from The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. You can also follow along with a pitch-by-pitch account of the game on Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

Stay tuned here throughout the game as well because we will be posting updates as often as possible. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates on how Long Island’s seven representatives are doing in the game.

UPDATE (6:27): Lew Ford hit four home runs as the final hitter of the first round in the Home Run Derby. Camden’s Joel Guzman (6) and Bridgeport’s Welington Dotel (5) advanced to the final, where Dotel hit the only homer to win.

UPDATE (7:39): Bryan Sabatella struck out and Lew Ford reached on a fielder’s choice and scored in the first inning! 1-0 Liberty Division

UPDATE (7:52): Cody Puckett grounded out, and Dan Lyons flew out in the second. Ian Marshall pitched a 1-2-3 third inning with a strikeout!

UPDATE (8:17): In the third, Sabatella grounded to short, and Ford picked up a single to right field! 1-0 Liberty in the fourth.

UPDATE (8:39): In the fifth, Lyons singled and Sabatella reached on a fielder’s choice, but Ford struck out to end the inning.

UPDATE (9:05): The Freedom Division gets on the scoreboard, as Jamar Walton doubles home Andres Perez with two outs in the seventh. 1-1 ballgame

UPDATE (9:32): Ryan Kussmaul came in to pitch the eighth and has allowed three runs on four hits. Freedom Division now leads 4-1.

UPDATE (10:00): Final score from the All-Star Game: Freedom Division 5, Liberty Division 1

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Posted on July 8, 2015, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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