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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
“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.
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.
“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.
WCL All-Star Game History
2006 at Wenatchee – East 6, West 6
MVP: Zach Borba (UNLV) of the Aloha Knights and DJ Lidyard (Lower Columbia College) of the Wenatchee AppleSox
Top Prospect: Darin Holcomb (Gonzaga) of the Spokane RiverHawks
HR Derby Winner: Darin Holcomb (Gonzaga) of the Spokane RiverHawks
2007 at Bellingham – East 4, West 1
MVP: Ryan Davis (Vanderbilt) of the Wenatchee AppleSox and Brandon Kuykendall (Benedictine College) of the Kitsap BlueJackets
Top Prospect: Matt Way (Washington State) of the Corvallis Knights
HR Derby Winner: Dillon Baird (Yavapai College) of the Wenatchee AppleSox
2008 at Moses Lake – East 2, West 2
MVP: Stephen Hagen (Oregon State) of the Kelowna Falcons
Top Prospect: Taylor Starr (Oregon State) of the Corvallis Knights
HR Derby Winner: Nick Freitas (Southern Utah) of the Kelowna Falcons
2011 at Corvallis – East 4, West 2
MVP: Spencer O’Neil of the Cowlitz Black Bears
Top Prospect: Ben Wetzler (Oregon State) of the Corvallis Knights
HR Derby Winner: Sean Myrom (Concordia) of the Corvallis Knights
2012 at Walla Walla – West 3, East 2
MVP: Connor Hofmann (Oregon) of the Corvallis Knights
Top Prospect: Taylor Williams (Mt. Hood CC) of the Cowlitz Black Bears and Hunter Virant of the Walla Walla Sweets
HR Derby Winner: Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine) of the Wenatchee AppleSox
2013 at Victoria – South 7, North 5
MVP: Kyle Knigge (Lewis-Clark State) of the Cowlitz Black Bears
Top Prospect: Cody Poteet (UCLA) of the Walla Walla Sweets
HR Derby Winner: Cody Hough (UC Riverside) of the Klamath Falls Gems