LIMEPORT It was basically Northwestern and Northern Lehigh against the rest of the Colonial League in the second game of the Howard E. Deppe All-Star Baseball Classic at Limeport Stadium on Saturday evening.
Due to no-shows and playoff conflicts, the Tigers and Bulldogs made up five of the seven players on the roster of the short-handed Red team.
Despite getting down 10-1 in the fifth inning, the Red squad put together a furious rally before falling short in a 10-9 loss to the Purple team.
But no matter the result, the 25th annual event that benefits the Lehigh Valley Unit of the American Cancer Society equaled a lot of enjoyment for all the participants.
"Win, lose, it doesn't really matter," Northern Lehigh's Joe Seremula said. "Pitch good, play good, strikeout, it doesn't really matter. It's all for fun and the Cancer Society."
The Bulldogs senior pitched two perfect innings and went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Seremula, who worked a walk to start his team's six-run rally in the seventh inning, ended up getting the final out of the game when he grounded out to second base.
Northern Lehigh catcher Joe Dugan and Northwestern's Colton Breininger and Dalton Conway all singled and scored in the Red Team's big seventh inning.
Breininger and Conway both went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles on the evening.
For the Tigers' outfielder, playing in Saturday's game was personally special.
"This is my first all-star game," Breininger said. "It's been my goal for a long time so it's nice to finally get here."
The Purple team beat up on Conway in the third, fourth and fifth innings, recording 12 of their 14 hits and all 10 runs in those three frames.
Salisbury second baseman Andrew Ebner earned the game MVP, going 2-for-4 with a two-run single in his team's five-run third inning.
"It was fun, just to come out here. It was for a good cause," Ebner said. "Overall, it was a good experience for everyone to come out here and do it for a good reason."
Northwestern's Nathan Kester, who scored a run and pitched two scoreless innings, also placed second in the Frank Yelinko Home Run Derby held in between the all-star games.
The senior who will play at Shippensburg next season tallied 21 points and drove one ball over the right-center field fence at Limeport. He finished a very close second behind Bethlehem Catholic's Matt Bahnick, who put up 22 points.
"The first time I went into one (a home run derby), I was very nervous and I was very uptight," Kester said. "I just went up there, tried to be relaxed, be calm about it and have some fun."
In the first game, which featured representatives from the Lehigh Valley Conference and Mountain Valley Conference, the Blue team pounded its way past the Black team 13-4.
After the Black team took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Blue squad used four hits, including a two-run triple from Stroudsburg's Matthew Landro, in a six-run second inning.
Whitehall's Pat Bet was named MVP after delivering a three-run homer into centerfield in the sixth inning for the Blue team.
"It's not very easy to be recognized as the top player here so it's a pretty big accomplishment," Bet said.
Lehighton players David Behler, Kyle Hunter and Nic Storm and Pleasant Valley's Chris D'Arcy and Pat Kregeloh were selected for the all-star games but did not participate because of their teams qualifying for the state playoffs.
Black Team 011 000 2 - 4 6 1
Blue Team 060 043 x - 13 14 0
Barry, Slanovec (2), Magditch (4), Mahan (5), Green (6) and Dauscher, Wood (4); Cooperman, Arner (2), Reyes (3), Wilt (4), Argentieri (5), Anoai (6), Ortiz (7) and Argentieri, Abeln (3), Forth (4), Gerhard (6). W - Arner. L - Barry. HR: Blue Team, Bet (6th, two on).
Purple Team 005 230 0 - 10 14 2
Red Team 010 020 6 - 9 10 1
Kohler, Ebner (4), Kotch (6), Wagner (7) and Repyneck; Seremula, Conway (3), Kester (6) and Dugan. W - Kohler. L - Conway.