Starry night at Stengel Field

BaseballSportsWashington NationalsCollege SportsFox Sports (tv network)Matt YoungChicago Hotels

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — With a direct hand in five of the first six runs scored by the winning American squad, members of the Glendale Angelenos made sure their host status wasn't the only impact the first-year California Collegiate League club would have on the league's midsummer showcase.

Its grandstands festooned with red, white and blue signs and balloons and the brick wall circling the backstop draped in stars and stripes bunting, Stengel Field opened its doors for the third annual CCL All-Star Game and Prospect Showcase and drew a crowd of fans, family, a horde of professional scouts and the cameras of Fox Sports West to get a look at the best from one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country.

Behind varied contributions from five Angelenos, the Americans led throughout and finished with a 14-3 win over a Nationals squad that included another five members of the local team.

"It was a privilege [to play], I think everybody's leaving very grateful," said Americans center fielder Matt Young of the Angelenos, who went one for one with a walk, a run batted in, a run scored and a stolen base. "Most of us have never played on national TV — I haven't — and a whole lot of scouts were here, so everybody got a chance to be looked at."

It was a good night for the Angelenos from the start, as the Americans' Young and Chad Nacapoy and the Nationals' Aaron Brown, three of the four Glendale players to start, began the night three for three.

Young drove in the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning with a single to the pitcher that scored Michael Ratteree and resulted in a throwing error that put Young on second. Young would steal third and score on a single to third base by Greg Zebrack for a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Young's Angelenos teammate, but All-Star opponent Aaron Brown got the Nationals on the board with a double ripped up the first-base line that scored Zac Elgie from second base. Nacapoy, the Americans catcher, helped his team get out of the frame with a beebee to third base to gun out Brown trying to take third as Dylan Gavin struck out looking.

Nacapoy's bat came into play in the bottom half of the second, as the former Crescenta Valley High standout, who finished two for two with an RBI and a run, singled to left field to score Christian Summers, who had led off the frame with a single.

"It was awesome, it was just electrifying," Nacapoy said of the atmosphere, enhanced by a large contingent of personal supporters in the crowd. "It was so much fun. My mom told everyone back home in Hawaii to watch and in Vegas, so hopefully, I put on a good show for them."

With his team trailing, 3-1, Brown saved some runs for the Nationals later in the bottom of the second, making a leaping catch at the wall in center field with the bases loaded to rob Zebrack of extra bases and RBIs. Brown actually caught the ball off his shoulder bare-handed and held aloft while slumped at the foot of the fence for the defensive play of the game.

"I was on the ball the whole way and it carried a little bit," Brown said. "I didn't think I was going to have to go to the fence and when I did I had to jump for it. I didn't know I caught it until I felt it in my bare hand."

Nacapoy made his mark on the game again in the bottom of the fourth inning, leading off with a bloop single that dropped between three Nationals in short-center field. He was worked over to third base and scored on a double steal. The Americans would tack on another run to make it 5-1.

Brown got his second hit of the night in the top of the fifth, a home run smashed to opposite right field that cut the lead to 5-2 and gave Brown a two-for-two line with two RBI. The Nationals would rally later in the inning, putting runners on first and second, including Angeleno Alex Muren, who was hit by a pitch, but the threat was ended by a grounder to Angeleno third baseman Sako Chapjian, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the fourth.

Chapjian finished the game one for two with a single to right field in the fifth inning, where he scored a run to make it 6-2.

"I think we did a really good job, our players definitely showed their skills," said Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera, who managed the Nationals and also saw Angelenos outfielder Franco Broyles register a single in the ninth inning as part of the Americans. "We're really pleased we were able to host the event here at Stengel Field.

The Americans put the game well out of reach in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs on four hits against Angelenos reliever Thomas Korn. Korn allowed three straight singles for a 10-3 Americans lead and got an out away from escaping the inning when he struck out Broyles, but the game's most valuable player Andrew Allen continued the inning with an RBI double and two more runs would cross the plate on wild pitches.

Allen finished two for three with a double and an inside-the-park home run.

Other Angelenos pitchers to appear in the game were Greg Fowler, who entered the game in relief for the Nationals in the bottom of the third inning and worked around a one-out walk to retire the side on a pair of lazy fly balls to center field and a strikeout, and Sean Wardour, who recorded the last out in the top of the ninth for the Americans.

"What really makes me happy is that we had an event here that really filled out the stadium and made it the way it's supposed to be," CCL Commissioner Pat Burns said. "This field really lived up to its potential. We love being here."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading