EVANSVILLE’S BALOG LEADS WEST TO Y’ALL-STAR GAME VICTORY

Florence, Ky. – The West Division All-Stars posted seven runs in the seventh inning, led by Alex Gamez Award winner (game MVP) Nik Balog’s three-run home run, to defeat the East Division 11-4.

The East Division cracked the scoreboard in the third inning. David Popkins (Washington) drilled a ball over the left-center field fence to put the visiting side up 1-0.

The West quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score. After a single from Rolando Gomez (Evansville) and a double from Josh Allen (Evansville), Aaron Dudley (Normal) delivered a sacrifice fly to left.

The East took a 3-1 lead with an unearned run in the fourth and a solo blast from Taylor Smart (Windy City) in the sixth.

Trailing 3-1, the West took charge of the game with six consecutive hits in the seventh. After an Aaron Gates (Southern Illinois) walk, Francisco Rosario (Southern Illinois), Santiago Churino (Normal), Balog (Evansville), Alex De Leon (Southern Illinois), Godbold, and Oldham all recorded hits to put the West ahead 8-3.

The West added three more in the eighth to pad their lead. Balog launched his second home run of the game, while Newell added an RBI.

Jose Barraza (Lake Erie) took Randy McCurry (Evansville) deep for another East Division solo shot, but the West still came out on top 11-4.

Churino (2-for-2, 2 R, 1 RBI) and De Leon (3-for-3, 2 R) helped out Balog (2 HR, 5 RBI) and the Freedom bats for the West. Vocca earned the win and none of the team’s eight pitchers allowed more than one run.

Mike Devine (Lake Erie) took the loss for the East, while the first five pitchers of the game combined to allow just seven hits and one run. Seven different players recorded the seven hits for the East with Popkins, Smart, and Barraza all posting homers.

The Frontier League will begin the second half of the season starting Friday, July 15th. The first place team for the East is the Washington Wild Things and the first place team for the West is the Southern Illinois Miners.

There are 12-teams in the professional Independent Frontier League that play a 96 game schedule, with 48 home games at each Stadium. The Frontier League is entering its 24th season in 2016 and features 12 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 27 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.