SteepleCats have four players in NECBL All-Star Game

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Four members of the North Adams SteepleCats, including Adams native Tanner Bird, have been named as reserves for the NECBL's annual All-Star Game.

The All-Star Game will be played Sunday night in Newport, R.I.

Bird and starting pitcher Braxton Wilks will be part of the North Division's mound corps while catcher John Mazza and third baseman C.J. Price will also be in uniform and play in the game.

SteepleCats catcher Kyle Brennan, meanwhile, will participate in the pregame Home Run Derby, while center fielder Dan Holst will compete in the 60-yard dash, to determine the fastest player in the NECBL.

Keene Swamp Bats manager Jim Negrych will manage the North All-Stars.

Each team is comprised of 29 players. One additional player will be voted on by the fans. Beginning at midnight Monday, fans can vote for one of 13 players nominated by the league. The deadline for voting is Thursday, July 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Bird has been nothing short of outstanding for manager Mike Armstrong and the SteepleCats. He has six saves and a 0.87 earned-run average. In 10 1/3 innings, he has struck out 16 and walked five. The right-hander from Franklin Pierce has given up only one earned run this year, and has not given up an earned run in his last five outings. He has faced only 10 hitters in his last three outings of one inning each.

Bird saved one of Wilks' four wins, on July 3 against Sanford. Wilks, a left-hander from Abilene Christian, is 4-0 with a 1.22 ERA. He has struck out 18 and walked six in 22 innings. He has won all four of his starts.

After not giving up a run in his first two starts, he has given up a total of three earned runs in his last two.

Mazza, one of three North Adams catchers, has played in 18 games and is hitting .258 with three doubles and 12 RBI.

Price, who also catches, has been the SteepleCats regular third baseman for much of the season. He is hitting .240 with a home run and 14 RBI.

The All-Star Game festivities begin Saturday night, and kick into gear on Sunday. The Skills Competition, consisting of the 60-yard dash and the Home Run Derby, will begin at 2 p.m. Batting practice will start at 4 p.m., and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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ALL-STAR STARTERS

North

Erik Ostberg, Valley Blue Sox (catcher). Mikael Mogues, Vermont Mountaineers (first base). Ako Thomas, Sanford Mainers (second base). Ryan Stekl, Winnipesaukee Muskrats (third base). Michael Osinski, Vermont Mountaineers (shortstop). Joseph Denison, Upper Valley Nighthawks (outfield). Anthony Godino, Winnipesaukee Muskrats (outfield). Zach Jancarski, Sanford Mainers (outfield). Jordan Howard. Keene Swamp Bats (designated hitter). Tommy Doyle (Keene Swamp Bats (pitcher).

South

Andrew Penner, New Bedford Bay Sox (catcher). Austin Upshaw, Ocean State Waves (first base). Nick Mascelli, Mystic Schooners (second base). Chase Lunceford, Mystic Schooners (third base). Grant Williams, Ocean State Waves (shortstop). Nick Angelini, Ocean State Waves (outfield). Toby Handley, Mystic Schooners (outfield). Ryan Wolfsberg, New Bedford Bay Sox (outfield). Ryan Nelson, Danbury Westerners (designated hitter). Nick Gallagher, Danbury Westerners (pitcher).

Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.


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