7/10/2006 – Daily News Record
Woodstock’s Moody, Front Royal’s Karnofsky Players Of Game Daily News Record Written By Jeremy Cothran If he were in Harrisonburg on Sunday, Bud Selig would have cringed. The Major League Baseball commissioner famously threw up his hands in frustration after the 2002 All-Star game ended in the league’s first-ever tie, and his name was invoked on more than one occasion after Sunday night’s Valley League All-Star game ended in a 2-2 draw. "You got to blame that one on Bud," said Waynesboro manager Lawrence Nesselrodt, who serves as the Southern Division’s manager. "You would have liked to see a winner, because this is a showcase tournament." The fans that packed Memorial Stadium came close to seeing a winner. With the Southern Division trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Harrisonburg’s Josh Dew led off the inning with a walk. After Woodstock’s Michael Ross struck out on a curveball, Staunton’s Chris Wilkins drew another walk. A single by Braves infielder Tyler Brown scored Dew to tie the game, which was all the Southern Division would get as Waynesboro’s Brandon Sizemore struck out and Covington’s Michael Young lined out sharply to third. The game was then called immediately. Nesselrodt said the game was called because both bullpens were nearly depleted. No pitcher on either side pitched more than one inning, and some relievers were brought in mid-inning and even mid-at bat. "For some of these kids," Nesselrodt said. "This is the only chance they have to showcase. Everyone went only one inning. You don’t want to see any of the kids get hurt." Dew was disappointed that nobody would have divisionary bragging rights this year. "Nobody really likes ties," Dew said. "That’s for soccer." Woodstock’s Shayne Moody was the Player of the Game for the Southern Division and Front Royal‘s Jordan Karnofsky took the honor for the Northern Division. Moody wowed the crowd – and the 17 scouts at the game – with sparkling displays of leather at shortstop, including a diving stop to rob Winchester’s Patrick Wingfield of a hit. Karnofsky did a little wowing of his own with a titanic home run to right in the top of the seventh that bounced off the dugout of the Little League field behind the stadium. As soon as the ball was struck, Karnofsky dropped his bat as it were on fire before beginning his home run trot. "At first, I didn’t want to face a lefty," the University of California first baseman said. "But he threw me the perfect ball and I put a perfect swing on it." Karnofsky, who is second on his team with three home runs this season, was not selected for the pre-game home-run derby, and expressed his displeasure about it to his manager. "He asked me if I could pull any strings for him to get him in," said New Market manager Blaine Brown, who also served as the Northern Division’s manager. "I told him to just save it for the game." Several Turks made an impact for the Southern All-Stars, most notably former Turner Ashby and current James Madison player Justin Wood. The left-handed pitcher worked the top of the fourth inning, allowing a soft single to centerfield and striking out two. "It was a lot of fun," Wood said. "I didn’t know what to expect. I just threw what the catcher put down for me." Haymarket’s Michael Tollison won the home-run derby, albeit a bit controversially after ending the third round tied with Harrisonburg’s Clint Robinson. According to the public address announcer Curt Dudley, the tiebreaker is the player’s regular-season home run total, not the total in the previous rounds like the major league uses. If that were the case, Robinson would have won based on the strength of his first round (3) over Tollison’s (1). Robinson was slightly miffed about the decision, but took it in stride. "I might have to file a protest with Curt," the Troy outfielder joked. "It came down to a tiebreak and I got left out." Wayneboro’s Adam White won the 60-yard dash with a sizzling time of 6.4 seconds. According to Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease, who served as an assistant coach for the Southern Division, that is just a shade off the record time of 6.3 seconds posted by Chicago Cubs outfielder Juan Pierre. North 001 000 100 – 2 6 2 South 100 000 001 – 2 7 0 Brown, Marshall (2), Wagner (3), Bradford (4), Dickson (5), Brackman (6), Ducey (6), Barham (7), Tracy (8), Parsons (8), Davis (9) and Bautista, Belcher (3), Haran (5), Marinos (7). Perkins, Kebodeaux (2) Stringer (3), Wood (4), Utley (5), Cooper (6), Torcise (7), Young (7), Rhoads (8), Kent (9), Dew (9) and Mercado, Davidson (7).