North roars back to defeat South in Florida State League All-Star Game

jlembo@bradenton.comJune 15, 2014 

BRADENTON -- With one swing of the bat, Gioskar Amaya stopped the North All-Stars' losing streak and yanked the spotlight away from the South squad's biggest bat.

An infielder with the Daytona Cubs, Amaya grounded a two-out, two-run double down the right field line to cap a four-run ninth inning and help the North score a 6-4 win over the South during Saturday's Florida State League All-Star Game in front of 5,882 fans at McKechnie Field.

It was the third-largest crowd in the game's 53-year history.

Prior to the North's late outburst, the night belonged to Fort Myers' Adam Brett Walker, who won the home run derby prior to the game and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle during it. He was named the game's most valuable player, not a surprise considering the ballots were collected in the eighth inning.

The South owned a 4-2 lead at that point and its pitchers had set down 12 straight before the North rallied in the ninth against Bradenton's Bryton Trepagnier.

Singles by Austin Green and Marco Hernandez tied the game at 4, and after Trepagnier struck out Dwight

Smith, Amaya hit a roller that hugged the first base line.

"I was just trying to hit the ball the opposite way," Amaya said. "The ball came to me. I was happy we were able to win the game, and my own teammates did a good job."

Hernandez, whose single tied it, and Amaya are teammates with Daytona.

"I talked with him before our at-bats. I said, 'Hey, let's go,'" Amaya said. "He said, 'Hey, come on, we can do it.'"

Green and Hernandez scored on the play to make a hero out of Amaya, who entered the game having doubled six times in 164 at-bats this season.

The South, which had won the last two All-Star Games and three of four, took a 2-1 lead in the third on RBI hits by Palm Beach's Breyvic Valera and St. Lucie's T.J. Rivera.

The North responded right away in the fourth, however, when Tampa's Zach Wilson homered into the left-field bleachers. The score stayed locked at 2 before Walker, who leads the league with 14 home runs, hit a towering drive that bounced off the boardwalk in left field in the sixth.

Dilson Herrera drew a four-pitch walk later in the inning with the bases loaded to stretch the South's lead to 4-2. And that was it for the scoring until the North's outburst in the ninth.

Valera and Rivera had two hits each for the South. Bradenton's Josh Bell went 0-for-3 with a walk and a fielder's choice, and Marauders pitcher Orlando Castro allowed a run in the third.

Josh Smith, Bradenton's other representative, retired the lone hitter he faced in the ninth.

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