by Jonah Karp
The best prospects of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League were front and center at Baseball Heaven on Monday. The North All Stars defeated the South All Stars 14-5, in what turned out to be a tale of two narratives.
The South All Stars plated the first two runs of the game in the top of the second on three hits off of Patrick Clyne (LIU Brooklyn). But Neal Heaton’s squad quickly responded with a solo blast off the bat of Freddy Sabido in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to one.
The score remained 2-1 until Dan Luisi’s team tacked on two more in the top of the fifth on two hits to extend the lead to 3-1.
Then the narrative shifted. In the bottom of the seventh the North All Stars bats came alive. Eight players reached base. Nine players recorded hits. Six players came around to score. Every player in the North All Stars’ batting order came to bat, with Brian Goulard (Fordham) batting twice. The North led 7-4 after seven innings.
After Shane McDonald (Fordham) struck out the side in the top of the eighth, the hits kept coming in the bottom half of the frame for the North. They batted around again in the bottom of the eighth plating seven more on seven straight hits. George Bell smoked a line drive two-run home run to left center field that put his team up 9-4.
After hits by Alex Baumann and Stephen Hansen set the table for Ben McNeill (Commack), he ripped a single to straight away center field that got away from Ryan McPhail. The misplay would lead to all three base runners scoring to put the icing on the cake for the North All Stars.
The South got a run back in the top of the ninth but could not climb out of the hole.
There were a lot of contributors in a day that proved to be offensive explosion for the North All Stars, but George Bell was crowned 2017 HCBL All Star Game MVP. Bell went 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI single and a two run homer for a total of 3 RBI.
The Bell household is no stranger to accolades, as Bell’s father, George Bell Sr., is a three-time MLB all star and the 1987 AL MVP. The Riverhead Tomcat is quick to praise his dad as the reason for his success calling the former Blue Jay his “hitting coach” and saying that he reminds his son to “stay back on [the ball]” and to “hit [the ball] where it goes”.