They aren't major leaguers and they're hardly professionals, but the Frontier League All-Stars put on a good show Wednesday night at Consol Energy Park in Washington, where the West team rode its pitching to a 4-2 victory against the East.
East hitters, including Washington Wild Things' C.J. Beatty and Stewart Ijames, couldn't find a big hit when they needed it, leaving eight runners on base and scoring their only runs in a two-out rally in the sixth inning.
Sean Mahley of the Schaumberg Boomers was West's No. 9 hitter, but he came through with a second-inning triple that scored two runs, finished 1 for 3 was named the game's MVP.
"Words can't describe the feeling," Mahley said after having a water cooler dumped on him. "Never [been an MVP], first time. And to do it here, and to have an opportunity to keep playing baseball, I'm very grateful.
"I saw a lot of lefties [Wednesday night]. Lefty-on-lefty, everybody knows it's a battle. I was able to get a pitch I could handle."
Washington's Beatty, Ijames and Jovan Rosa went a combined 0 for 5, but enjoyed being recognized as All-Stars in front of a hometown crowd.
"It was beautiful, man," Beatty said. "Just to see the way they welcomed us, it gave me goose bumps to hear the fans with such a roar when I walked to the plate my first at-bat. The love makes you want to come here every single year to play in front of them."
The Wild Things players wish they could have hit better in front of their fans, but Beatty played it cool, looking ahead to the second half of the season.
"Like I told our guys, I said don't worry about it, we just didn't want [the other players] to see any of our stuff that we'll be doing in the second half," he said
The East loaded the bases in the eighth with one out. Max Casper put good wood on a ball up the middle, but West shortstop Gerard Hall made a sliding stop and flipped to Mike Torres, who then finished a double play.
West starter Tim Brown of the Gateway Grizzlies was the winning pitcher, while Lake Erie's Matt Rein was the loser. Gateway's Richard Barrett earned a save.
The Frontier League All-Star Game does not determine home-field advantage in the championship like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game does, but the West players earned a larger paycheck for winning.
The East's Geraldo Avila of the Southern Illinois Miners came in as a replacement and went 2 for 2, doubling twice. West reliever Nick Kennedy of River City was dominant in the seventh, striking out the side.
Scott Dunn, a South Side Beaver High School graduate who pitches for Traverse City, was the starter for the East and hurled a shutout inning.
The West scored all the runs it needed in the second off Rein.
Former Pitt player John Schultz and Casper highlighted the East's two-out rally in the sixth, each singling in a run. Landon Hernandez of Gateway added an insurance run for West in the seventh with a double to right that scored River City's Curran Redal.
The East had won the two previous All-Star Games.
Nick Veronica: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @NickVeronica.