Northwoods League announces 2014 All Star selections
Rochester, Minn. — The Northwoods League has announced the rosters for the 2014 Northwoods League All-Star Game presented by Fiduciary Management, Inc., which will be played on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:45 p.m. (CST) at Kapco Park in Mequon, Wisconsin.
In the North Division, the Mankato MoonDogs and the Waterloo Bucks lead the way with five selections each. Mankato claims five All-Star roster spots from an offense that leads the league with a .392 slugging percentage and a .278 batting average. Peter Maris (UC Santa Barbara) and his .365 batting average leads the group. Adam Bray (South Dakota State) is currently 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA over six games from a Waterloo pitching staff that has a combined 3.91 ERA and 29 wins.
The Express have two All-Stars on this year's squad. Eau Claire native Tyler Hermann (UW-Milwaukee) joins Daniel Salters (Dallas Baptist). Hermann ranks sixth in the Northwoods League with a .342 batting average and has been a mainstay in the Express lineup the first half of the season. The utility man also has three home runs, 14 doubles and 18 runs batted in. Salters arrived a bit later than Hermann to Eau Claire but has certainly made an impact since his arrival. The catcher ranks third on the team with a .310 batting average and is tied for third with 18 RBI despite having played in only 24 games thus far.
In the South Division, the defending Summer Collegiate World Series Champion Madison Mallards have six players on the South roster. Three Mallards pitchers, led by Tim Black (Central Michigan) and his 0.78 ERA and 12 saves, will look to enjoy success in Mequon along with Mallards first baseman Pete Alonso (Florida) who has seven home runs to go along with a .311 average. The first year Kalamazoo Growlers have four representatives heading west to Wisconsin. Outfielder Troy Montgomery (Ohio State) leads the pack with 20 RBI on the season and a .336 average.
Three 2013 All-Stars are returning to play in this year’s game. St. Cloud pitcher Reese Gregory (St. Cloud State), Waterloo pitcher Adam Dian (Pittsburgh) and Rochester pitcher Matt Kent (Texas A & M) were All-Stars last season. Gregory currently has a 1.44 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 37.1 innings pitched. Kent has a 2.95 ERA and 39 strikeouts over seven games and Dian has 12 saves and 30 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched.
Field Manager Eddy Morgan and his coaching staff from the hometown Lakeshore Chinooks will be in the dugout for the South. The Chinooks, who won the first half championship in the South Division by three and a half games, currently have a 32-11 record and are 8-1 in the second half.
After a tough first half that saw Willmar lose six home games to rain, the Stingers managed to win the North Division with a 22-8 record. In doing so, it gave Willmar Field Manager Drew Saberhagen and his staff the opportunity to manage the North All-Stars. The Stingers are currently 5-4 in the second half and 27-12 overall.
This year's All-Stars were chosen in a vote by the 18 member teams of the Northwoods League. Ballots were cast by each team's field staff and media contacts.
Lakeshore’s first time hosting of the Northwoods League's All-Star Festivities will kick-off with the All-Star Banquet on Monday, July 21, at the Ozaukee County Fair Grounds in the Columbia St. Mary’s Center at 5:00 p.m. The featured speaker will be the Commissioner of Baseball, Allan H. “Bud” Selig. In addition to Commissioner Selig the teams will be introduced by the Honorary Managers, Jim Gantner for the North Team and Robin Yount for the South Team. Live entertainment will follow the program. Tickets for the All-Star Banquet are $60 per person and can be purchased by calling the Lakeshore Chinooks offices at 262-618-4659.
On game day, Tuesday, July 22, the gates will open at Kapco Park at 3:30 p.m. Players will rotate through the VIP Photography Autograph Zone until 5:30 p.m. The Home Run Challenge will begin at 4:45 p.m. and feature a unique format. Nine players from each division will represent the North and South teams. Each player will receive six outs in their half of the inning and a nine inning competition will take place. The team with the most home runs hit after the nine inning exhibition will be declared the winner.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 20-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.