The South All-Star team won 3-0 in shutout victory Monday, July 20, at Joe Martin Field.
The Bellingham Bells hosted the WCL All-Star game, an opportunity that comes only once every 12 years for them. The North All-Stars made a strong showing and it was a fun night, said Bells general manager Nick Caples.
“These guys are out here chasing dreams,” he said. “We were honored to be able to host this game.”
A Home Run Derby started off the evening, which boasted only a handful of homers because of strong headwinds. Hunter Villaneuva, representing the Kelowna Falcons, won the derby with a grand slam clean out of the park. Special guests Tom McNamara and Jamie Moyer then came out to throw the first pitches.
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Six Bells represented Bellingham by playing on the North All-Stars: No. 7 Adrew Kemmerer, No. 36 Aaron Stroosma, No. 32 Justin Calomeni, No. 24 Andrew Reichenbach, No. 14 Dustin Breshears and No. 3 Bronson Larsen.
The game began with a strong first inning for the North All-Stars, with starting pitcher Kemmerer allowing no runs. The game stayed tied at 0-0 until the third inning.
“It’s been a really fast-paced game,” Kemmerer said after the first half. “There was good pitching from both sides.”
The highlight of the game for him was getting pitching pointers from Moyer, who told him that to be a big leaguer, he must think like a big leaguer. The opportunity to pitch while knowing his family was in the stands to support him was also memorable.
“Off days are scarce,” he said, “so it’s great when you can see your family.”
The game continued with no score from either side again until the seventh and eighth when the South All-Stars scored once more each inning. The North All-Stars held their own, getting Ryan Aguilar, of the Clowlitz Black Bears, and Stroosma on base before a quick throw from third to first resulted in the third out.
Until the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the North All-Stars were refusing to give up.
Jake Scudder for the Kitsap Blue Jackets was named MVP of the game.
For the South All-Stars Cadyn Grenier, representing the Bend Elks, was named Top Prospect. He stole two bases to score first for his team.
“My game plan is always any way I can help the team win,” Grenier said.
The highlight of the game for Grenier was the two stolen bases. Even though his two runs were the result of errors, he said, he was glad he could use his speed to help the team.
“It was a fantastic showcase, absolutely wonderful,” said owner of the Bells Eddie Poplawski. “The community support out here tonight, to see everyone come out to support these teams, was amazing.”
The Bellingham Bells play the Victoria HarbourCats at 7:05 p.m. July 21, at Joe Martin Field.