Sanford, FL - Smiles, laughs and cheers filled Sanford Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the best of the Florida Collegiate Summer League duked it out in the annual All-Star game and home run derby. 12 Lightning players were named to the All-Star game, a league-high, and all 12 got into the game, showing what All-Star weekend is all about.
Wes Weeks (North Florida), Jay Prather (North Florida), Tanner Clark (North Florida) and Luke Brown (Western Kentucky) were all integral parts of a four-run second inning that proved to be just enough to propel the West side to a 4-2 victory. Weeks hit a one-out single to left field to start the rally and Prather followed that up with another single to put two on with one out for the home team. After both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch from DeLand Suns pitcher Nick Chiseri (Miami Dade), Clark reached on an error by the second baseman Kyle Ball (Stetson), also representing DeLand, Weeks scored on the same play. One out later, Luke Brown reached second on a pair of East errors and both Jay Prather and Tanner Clark came home to score, making it 3-0. League batting average leader Aaron Anderson (Flagler) from Winter Garden hit a two-out single to center field to score Brown and put his team up 4-0.
After Leesburg players accounted for all four of the West's runs in the bottom of the second inning, pitchers Robert Kwiatkowski (Spartanburg Methodist), Hunter Caudelle (Georgia Gwinnett), Louis Davenport (Pensacola State) and Dominic Jeancola (Embry-Riddle) combined to throw four shutout innings, striking out four batters in a game in which all nine pitchers on the West roster got one inning of work. Leesburg's fifth all-star pitcher, Joshua Shapiro (Marshall) gave up one run during his inning, but also struck out two and didn't allow a hit.
Tanner May (North Florida) was 0-4 during the game but finished in second place in the Florida League Home Run Derby. May fell just short of beating Joe Burke (Kentucky Wesleyan) from DeLand in the final round.
Wes Weeks, who finished 2-2 with a single, a double, and a run, was named the All-Star game MVP.
The Lightning will be back in action on Monday night in Winter Garden at 6 p.m., facing off against the Squeeze for the fourth time this season (3-0).
Matt Holzapfel (Elon University)