SAN DIEGO – The West All-Americans
secured a 6-2 victory over the East in front of 7,953 fans at PETCO
Park in the ninth annual Perfect Game All-American Classic presented
by Rawlings. The win allowed the West to pull even with the East in
the all-time series, 4-4-1.
Joey Gallo was named the game's MVP
thanks to a monstrous blast to right-centerfield in the bottom of the
second inning. The home run travelled 442 feet, the 10th longest of any home run hit at PETCO Park, and came off of a 93 mph
Lucas Sims' fastball. Overall Gallo went 1-for-2 with a walk.
That home run put the West team on top,
a lead they would never relinquish.
The West added another run in the
second when infielder Tanner Rahier hit an RBI groundout to East
shortstop Carlos Correa, scoring Rio Ruiz, who reached base on a walk
and advanced to third on a double off the bat of Courtney Hawkins.
On the play, East left fielder Skye Bolt sprinted far to his right,
and was able to get a glove on Hawkins' blast, but was unable to
secure the catch.
With fire-balling right-handed pitcher
Duane Underwood on the mound in the bottom of the third, the West
broke the game open with four more runs.
C.J. Saylor opened up the frame with a
walk, and advanced to third on Andrew Pullin's ground-rule double to
left-centerfield. After Nick Williams struck out swinging on a
changeup from Underwood, C.J. Hinojosa hit a line drive over the head
of Correa to drive in Saylor and the third run for the West. Trey
Williams reached on an error on a ground ball to third base, scoring
Pullin, and after a walk to Gallo, Ruiz opened the game up with a
two-run single hit through the right-side of the infield that scored
both Hinojosa and Williams.
Ruiz was a close contender to Gallo for
the game's MVP award, finishing 1-for-1 with two walks, two driven
in, one run scored and a stolen base.
Facing left-hander Max Fried, the East
scored the first of their two runs in the top of the fourth. Jameis
Winston led off the inning with a single to right field, stole second
base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Winston showed his
tremendous athletic ability, as well as his baseball savvy, by
Winston's single was the only hit of
the game for the East, and aside from his single-handed effort to
cross homeplate, Fried was sharp, throwing 92-94 with a big, overhand
curveball while striking out the side.
The East mounted a comeback in the
eighth inning off of another West left-hander, Hunter Virant.
Addison Russell was hit by a pitch to
lead off the inning, Keon Barnum drew a walk and Corey Seager also
reached after being hit by a pitch. Home run derby champion Nelson
Rodriguez walked with the bases loaded and still no one out as the
East pulled to 6-2.
That would be the end of the scoring in
the game, as Virant did a nice job re-establishing himself, striking
out Chris Harvey looking on an outside breaking ball, and getting
Rhett Wiseman swinging on another breaking pitch in the dirt.
Winston ended the inning with a groundout to third.
Overall the fans in attendance were
treated to a fairly crisp game, which finished short of the
Right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito took
the mound for the West to open the game, and threw the hardest of any
pitcher in attendance with a 96-97 fastball. Looking cool and
composed, he threw strikes, and quickly induced two ground outs to
David Dahl and Skye Bolt before getting Correa to fly out to left
East starter Lance McCullers followed
Giolito with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, showing 96 mph heat getting
West leadoff hitter Nick Williams swinging on a high fastball.
Cody Poteet, who also touched 96, threw
another perfect frame in the top of the second.
East right-hander Clate Schmidt enjoyed
a flawless inning in the fifth, topping out at 94 and recording a
pair of strikeouts.
East teammates Carson Fulmer and Tucker
Simpson combined for a clean inning in the bottom of the seventh.
Underwood, Austin Fairchild, Ryan
McNeil and Matthew Crownover were the other pitchers that had
multiple strikeout performances with two each.
Overall the pitching was impressive, as
every pitcher had a peak velocity of at least 91 mph. Underwood (96)
joined Giolito, McCullers and Poteet among those that threw 96 or
better, while Sims, Fried, Schmidt, Walker Weickel, Fulmer and
Mitchell Traver all touched 94.
Trey Williams, who started the game in
left field and finished it at third base, made a pair of highlight
In the top of the second, he made a
sliding catch on a Keon Barnum fly ball to shallow left. He also
made the defensive play of the game in the top of the ninth when he
robbed Correa of a potential extra-base hit with a diving stab of a
hard hit line drive that ended the game.
Correa himself showed why he received
the event's Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year award, with
rock-steady defense all game long, including a a highlight-reel play
of his own when he showed a great vertical leap to take a base hit
away from Nick Williams.
Other award winners from the event's
annual banquet include McCullers, the Jackie Robinson Player of the
Year; Lucas Giolito, the Baseball American Pitcher of the Year;
Gallo, the Reebok Offensive Player of the Year; Clate Schmidt, the
Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award; and Alex Bregman, the Evoshield
To read more coverage from the 2011
Perfect Game All-American Classic, be sure to visit the event's
continuous running blog feature.