South beats North 7-5 before record crowd of 4.210 at 2013 WCL All-Star game in Victoria,BC

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Story by WCL / Photographs by Erich Eichhorn (ISN) and Glenn Ivens (ISN)

July 23, 2013 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada History was made all across Royal Athletic Park Tuesday night at the 2013 WCL All-Star Game, as 4,210 fans watched the South Division All-Stars knock off the North by a score of 7-5.

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 All-Star selections from the HarbourCats take time pregame to pose for ISN media. (Left to right) Ty Provencher, Alex Real, Alex Degoti, Austin Russell, and Scott Kuminsky. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The crowd of 4,210 was a new WCL single-game high in the first ever All-Star Game hosted on Canadian soil. It was also the first showcase to be hosted by a WCL expansion team.

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Anthem singer Lily Cave wowed the crowd of 4,210 with her stunning renditons of the Star Spangled Banner and O’ Canada. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

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On hand to throw out the opening pitches of the 2013 WCL All-Star game were WCL President Dennis Koho (L), Yates Street Taphouse President Grant Turner (C) and City of Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin (R). (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

The 48 athletes were treated to a complete day of festivities at the ballpark. Their day started at noon with a chat from Hall of Fame General Manager Pat Gillick. After getting a chance to meet some of the other athletes in town, the players participated in a scouting combine in front of approximately 20 scouts.

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Cody Hough of the Klamath Falls baseball team would be crowned the 2013 Home Run Derby king, belting enough balls over the fence to claim bragging rights over his peers. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

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 Cats Catcher Alex Real attempt to launch a ball over the fence during the Home Run Competition as a pregame activity to the main feature, the Allstar Game – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

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Ty Provencher (23) and Alex DeGoti (24) offer Alex Real (14) some water and encouragement during the Home Run competition at the 2013 WCL All-Star game on Tuesday night. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

As the game itself neared, the home run derby gave fans an appetizer of what was to come. The first hitter of the night, Cody Hough (Klamath Falls) exploded out of the gates with 8 homers in the first round. Hough and UC Riverside teammate Kevin Davidson (Medford) cruised all the way to the finals, where Hough would hold off his Highlanders teammate for the title.

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 Walla Walla Sweets pitcher Bret Helton would keep his North Division team in the game early as starting pitcher. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

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 Alex Degoti makes the tag on base to force the out on Chase Fields of the bend Elks. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

When the game finally began, the 4,210 in attendance got every cent they paid for. The first inning was full of fireworks, as Kyle Knigge (Cowlitz) put the South up early with an RBI single. However, the North came back with 2 in the bottom of the frame on RBIs from Kramer Lindell and Renae Martinez (Walla Walla).

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Walla Walla Sweets Kramer Lindell does the trot after launching the only Home Run of the 2013 WCL All-Star game played before a record crowd of 4,210 in Victoria, BC on Tuesday night. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

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Victoria HarbourCats Scott Kuzminsky took to the mound in the 5th inning and facing 4 batters and getting 1 strikeout in his 2013 WCL appearance. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

After 3 innings, the score was tied at 3, but the South broke the game open with 2 runs in both the 6th and 7th innings. With a 7-3 lead entering the bottom of the 9th, the North wasn’t ready to quit. Alex Calbick (Bellingham) and Brett Stephens (Wenatchee) came up with 2-out RBI singles to ignite a rally, but with the tying run on 2nd base, Walla Walla’s Matt Mendenhall popped out to seal the South a victory in the first ever North-South All-Star Game (previously East-West format).

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 Home town product Austin Russell covers for teammate Ryan Yamane, fielding the ball on a South Division base hit. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

“It was a privilege to be in this game…it was a great overall experience…it was all about having fun and putting on a show for these guys because they came out to watch the game,” said Bend slugger Derek Dixon, who finished 2-3 with 2 walks and an RBI on the night.

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 HarbourCats Alex Real would score the first run of the night for his North Division All-Star team, running over catcher Dane Lund of the Corvallis Knights, to get to the plate. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Kyle Knigge was named the game’s MVP, going 2-3 with an RBI single and an RBI double. Walla Walla’s Cody Poteet of UCLA was named the top prospect by the scouts who attended the All-Star festivities.

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 Derek Dixon of the Bend Elks slides into 2nd base for the steal during Tuesday night’s WCL All-Star game at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

“It’s a great feeling. It was an awesome experience playing with the best guys in the WCL,” said Knigge, a senior-to-be outfielder from Lewis-Clark State College.

After the on-field fireworks, fans were treated to a postgame fireworks show, wrapping a night that won’t soon be forgotten in Victoria.

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