Austin Bossart may not have been able to win the Home Run Derby for the West on Sunday, but he did have the last laugh on Monday as his two-run home run in the seventh inning off Wilmington pitcher John Olczak gave the CPL West a 7-5 lead—the score by which they would eventually win.
Rouric Bridgewater doubled to lead off that top half of the seventh inning, which brought up Bossart for his first at bat of the game. The catcher from the Asheboro Copperheads took Olcazk deep to left center with a towering drive that cleared the scoreboard at Big Rock Stadium.
"I was just going up hacking really, just having fun out here at the All-Star Game," Bossart said. "I just got ahead in the count he threw a fastball there for me. Maybe the [Home Run Derby] did something for me."
Bossart's homer was one of three hit in the game. The RedWolves' Jordan Gore gave the West a lead in the second when he left the yard with a three-run shot, and Jeremy Wolf of the Petersburg Generals went deep in the second inning for the East with a solo homer.
Kyle Nowlin had a double, a run and a stolen base for the West, and Bridgewater also doubled, scored a run and drove in another. Anthony Marks added two hits in as many trips to the plate and stole a base.
Craig Pearcy, the right-hander representing the Gastonia Grizzlies, earned the win in the game despite allowing two runs in his inning of work. RedWolves' pitcher Jacob Milliman earned the save after tossing two scoreless innings in relief, working around a one-out base runner in the ninth with the help of a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Matt Smith and Ryan Griffith had consecutive 1-2-3 innings for the West in the third and fourth.
In the East, Norm Donkin singled, stole home and walked in two plate appearances and Steven Linkous was 1-for-3 with a run and a couple of stolen bases.
Christian Slazinik from the Wilson Tobs worked two innings in the game and faced the minimum, and Josh Roeder came in for the ninth and worked a three-up, three-down inning with three strikeouts.
Right-hander Cal Quantrill faced three batters in his inning of work, striking out two of them. Quantrill, the starter in the game for the East, was one of three players to represent the host Marlins in the All-Star game. The others were Johnny Caputo and Kyle Carroll, who went 1-for-2 and 0-or-2, respectively.
The game was played in two-hours and 58 minutes in front 2,358 fans in Morehead City.
"They the atmosphere was electric and you can't ask much more out of the Morehead City fans," Caputo said.
"It's awesome whenever you get a lot of fans," Bossart said. "The CPL fans are great, and it is great to play in front of them. I just had a really good time."
"It was a great All-Star Game and we had a great crowd tonight," said Marlins' owner Buddy Bengel. "I hope the league was as pleased as we were with everything, and I hope we lived up to their expectations. We are excited that we got to put on a show here in Morehead City and we hope all the fans, players and coaches enjoyed their time here."
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,100 alumni drafted and 65 alums - including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander - make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (@CPLBaseball).