MADISON, Wis. (July 24, 2012) -- Three solo home runs, including a timely tie breaking shot by hometown All-Star outfielder Tyler Marincov (Madison) in the eighth inning, allowed the South Division to battle back from an early two run deficit and deliver a 4-3 win over the North Division in the 17th annual Northwoods League All-Star Game at the “Duck Pond.”
Both team’s pitching staffs cruised until the fourth inning when the North was able to take advantage of a wild pitch by South pitcher Andrew Hedrick (Eau Claire) to take the lead. With the bases loaded, Hedrick darted a ball past South catcher Alex Real (Eau Claire) that allowed North designated hitter Michael Suchy (Willmar) to come in from third to score.
The North pushed their lead to two in the fifth inning with an RBI single off the bat of center fielder James Ramsay (Duluth). After North right fielder Andy Henkemeyer (St. Cloud) advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher Real, Ramsay was able to drive him home on a hard hit line drive up the middle off of South pitcher Bradley Wallace (Green Bay).
The South struck back in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single of their own, when first baseman Brendon Hayden (Wisconsin) drove in left fielder Eric Aguilera (Lakeshore) from second to make the score 2-1. After Hayden hit what appeared to be a routine single to right field, Aguilera decided to test the North defense and head home. The North appeared to have Aguilera out at the plate, but North catcher Paul Karmeris (Duluth) was unable to hold on, allowing Aguilera to score.
In the sixth inning the South came back to take a 3-2 lead with back-to-back homers off of North pitcher Nate Carter (Duluth). Real was the first to leave the ballpark with a homer to left, and shortstop Ty Forney (Eau Claire) followed with another deep blast to left.
Confusion ensued in the seventh inning when the North tied the game on a failed attempt at a 1-2-3 double play. With the bases loaded and no outs, North second baseman Tanner Vavra (Alexandria) grounded a slow roller to South pitcher Taylor Black (Texas State) who attempted to get out of the inning by throwing to Real to start the double play. After apparently getting out of the inning, the home plate umpire ruled Real had his foot off the plate, allowing North catcher Paul Karmeris (Duluth) to score and tie the game.
Marincov restored the South’s lead with a clutch home run in the eighth inning, putting the South’s advantage at 4-3.
The South would hold on for the win when pitcher Seth Fuller (Wisconsin Rapids) came out of the pen and struck out the two hitters he faced to earn the save and lock down the win.
South pitcher Alex Tukey (Battle Creek) earned the win after ending the eighth inning with an out and starting the ninth with an out to setup the win. Through 0.2 innings on the mound, Tukey allowed no hits and registered two strikeouts.
North pitcher Patrick Goelz (Mankato) was tagged with the loss the home run he gave up to Marincov in the eighth proved to be the game winner.
News and Notes:
The attendance of 6,073 broke the previous All-Star game attendance record set by the Mallards when they hosted the All-Star Game back in 2008.
With two walks and a 1-for-3 night at the plate that included the game winning solo homer, Marincov was named the 2012 Northwoods League All-Star Game Star of Stars.
The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America.