GREENVILLE — The South Atlantic League All-Stars came out looking like their major league counterparts, crushing home runs and inflating the strikeout total.
Garbed in their parent organization's jerseys, the players not only put on a pro-caliber game, they also repeated MLB history, finishing the All-Star game in a 5-5 tie after 10 innings Tuesday night at Fluor Field.
The North jumped on top in the first. Greensboro's Kyle Skipworth homered to right, scoring Hickory's Miguel Velazquez, making it 2-0.
The South roared back in the second. Asheville's Eliezer Mesa doubled to left, scoring Juan Lagares and Dan Butler. Savannah's Wilmer Flores later doubled, plating Charleston's Zoilo Almonte and Mesa, giving the South a 4-2 lead.
Almonte finished the night 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
The North tied it at 4 in the top of the third, starting with a home run from Lakewood's Jonathan Villar. The tying run scored on a double play.
The RiverDogs' Ryan Flannery came in to pitch the fourth, allowing one hit, one unearned run and striking out two. Villar scored the run on a throwing error from second base, giving the North a 5-4 lead. The South tied it in the fourth. Almonte scored his second run on a Jose Altuve sacrifice fly, making it 5-all.
After the fourth inning, the pitching staffs took over. The teams combined for 26 strikeouts, 14 coming from the South's staff, against six combined walks. Both staffs allowed only nine hits.
Mesa was named the game MVP, going 3 for 5 with a double, two RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base.
Fans were treated to a home run derby before the game last night. Out of the eight batters representing both divisions, only Velazquez and Augusta's Chris Dominguez survived the first round, with Dominguez winning the derby.
Charleston opens the second half of the season with a five-game home series against its rivals, the Greenville Drive. The series starts Thursday at Riley Park, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Starting pitchers are not known.
Reach Lake Morris at 937-5676 or email@example.com. Also check out the RiverDogs blog for up to the minute updates.