10:20 — Guess I’ve been forgetting to update this as I wrote my game story. The South wins 12-3. Solo homers by Reggie Abercrombie and Jason Cooper and an RBI fielder’s choice provide the only offense for the North.
9 p.m. — The first pitch from new pitcher Jacob Schmidt turns into a grand slam by John Allen of Fort Worth to put the South ahead 12-0.
8:56 — South is running away with it, already with three runs in the sixth and the bases loaded. South leads 8-0.
8:32 — Jason Cooper, Mr. Fever Dog, has an RBI single in the fourth. Nothing else doing for the North, though. Robert Perry makes his second excellent catch in center field.
8:25 — Two more runs for the South in the top of the fourth, courtesy of RBI singles from Espinosa and Garcia. South leads 5-0.
8:12 — Albenis Machado draws a leadoff walk, but the next three North hitters in the third inning are retired.
8:03 — Greg Porter doubles off new pitcher Jim Paduch, then scores on a fielder’s choice from Lou Palmisano. 3-0 South.
7:55 — The Cooper double is all the North manages in the second. South holds a 2-0 lead after two innings.
7:52 — Former Indians minor leaguer Jason Cooper comes out to “Fever Dog” from the fictional band Stillwater, from “Almost Famous”, then hits a double off the wall. I think we can all go home now, because we’ll never see a better sequence not just in baseball, but in life.
7:49 — A 1-2-3 inning for Jung in the second after eight South hitters batted against Singleton in the first.
7:43 — The North gets two hits, including an Abercrombie double, in the first, but can’t score. Jae Jung, from Sioux City, will start the second inning on the mound for the North.
7:34 — Singleton walks the bases loaded, then gets out of the jam on a pop-out and a double play. I’m guessing he’s done after 29 pitches, but we’ll see.
7:29 — Singleton still hasn’t recorded an out, issuing two walks after the two extra-base hits. Hooper, the bench coach, I guess, for the North, pays him a visit on the mound.
7:24 — HR derby runner-up Garcia hits one when it counts (sort of), a two-run shot off Singleton to give the South the lead.
7:23 — David Espinosa leads off with a double off the right-field wall against Singleton.
7:20 — The video board is posting stats from the first half, even though there have been about 20 games since it ended. Weird. We’re almost ready for first pitch.
7:10 — Can’t understand why, when the players are being announced, the teams they play for aren’t included. Is this only important to me? Does anyone else care? I ask myself this a lot, and I’m usually afraid when the answer is “No.” I’m afraid this time, too.
7 p.m. — Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:
SOUTH: David Espinosa 3B, Christopher Garcia DH, Greg Porter 1B, Palmer Karr LF, Lou Palmisano C, John Allen RF, Hector Bernal 2B, Adolfo Gonzalez SS, Robert Perry CF. RHP Osvaldo Rodriguez.
NORTH: Joe Anthonsen 2B, Gavin Dickey LF, Reggie Abercrombie CF, Beau Torbert DH, Brandon Sing 1B, Jason Cooper RF, Trevor Lawhorn 3B, Ray Serrano C, Albenis Machado SS. RHP Nick Singleton.
6:35 — Torbert and Garcia both hit five homers in the final round. They’ll go to another blast-off. Torbert hit one off the wall on his last swing. Torbert wins the HR derby with a jack on his first blast-off swing. He wins a cool 75 bucks, Garcia settles for $50.
6:30 — It’s Torbert v. Garcia as Torbert beats Abercrombie in a “blast-off” after both hit four taters in the second round.
6:20 — Garcia sets the evening pace with five homers in the second round. Hit a few out to McLean.
6:15 — The semifinals are set: Abercrombie and Torbert for the North, Garcia and Allen for the South.
6:10 — Only one homer for Brandon Sing, who leads the league with 23 smacks. I’m using any home-run slang I can think of.
6:05 — No bombs for Karr. He went all Mike Piazza up in here.
6:05 — One homer for Chris Garcia of the Shreveport-Bossier Captains. Greg Porter will not be competing tonight. Palmer Karr is the last hitter for the South.
6:00 — John Allen belts four home runs as the first derby competitor. Every hitter gets five outs. He crushed a few foul, too.
5:55 — Jeff Christy (Wingnuts) and Lou Palmisano (Pensacola) will meet in the finals of the “skills” blindfolded catchers’ throw. Palmisano wins with a stellar six-point final round. Or maybe it was seven. Hulk wins, though. Next up is the bomb derby.
5:50 — Who doesn’t want to see blindfolded catchers try to make balls into a bucket 120 feet away? I know I do..n’t. They’re calling this a skills competition, but I wasn’t aware that blindfolded throwing was a skill players needed to master. Lou Palmisano, also known as the incredible hulk, has 10 points and will probably win this thing.
5:42 — What do you know? The four-outfielders team did horribly. South team wins! SOUTH. TEAM. WINS!!! Benji Johnson, Adolfo Gonzalez, David Espinosa and Hector Bernal all win 50 bucks. That’s huge. Might get them a cab right back to the airport.
5:40 — We’re set for the relay throw competition, already 10 minutes behind schedule. YAY! One of the North teams features all four outfielders. Not sure how that’s going to go. Outfielders don’t take a lot of relay throws, do they? Well, except for Manny Ramirez cutting off a throw from Johnny Damon in shallow left. Remember that?
5:05 — I’ll be here all night blogging on the American Association All-Star game at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The skills competitions, including the home run derby, are getting underway in about 25 minutes. After that, we’ll have the All-Star game, which will go no longer than 10 innings. This isn’t the crazy MLB All-Star game…we’re not ending in a tie. Hopefully not, anyway, because…it’s not going any longer than 10 innings. After that, the game is called and we all go home.