After a wild fifth inning from both teams, it was the East Division holding off the West Division in the 2017 PGCBL All-Star game on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam by a final score of 10-8.
The game got off to a quiet start, but the East team led 3-1 after four innings, and the West had been held to just two hits. In the fifth was when the West bats came alive as they sent 12 batters to the plate to eventually give them a 7-3 lead.
Ben Brookover of the Jamestown Jammers brought in the first run of the inning courtesy of an RBI single which brought up his teammate, Collin Stack. Stack doubled deep into the outfield to bring in another run to tie the game at three. The Jamestown attack kept going as it was Chris Estrada coming through next with an RBI single, then Hunter Wells of the Newark Pilots did the same. Troy Dixon of Elmira finished up the rally for the West with a two-run single. All in all, the West scored six runs in the top of the fifth.
The East, however, answered in the bottom half in a big way. Anthony Vaglica of Glens Falls got the answer going with an RBI single, then Anthony Gonnella of Amsterdam matched it. Two bases loaded walks to Luke Petterson of Saugerties and Devon Garcia of Utica in the span of three batters tied the game at seven apiece. Vaglica came up big again, this time in his second at-bat of the frame, with a two-run double that gave the East the lead once again. Vaglica ended up being named the game’s MVP as he went 2-3 with three RBIs.
“It was awesome. Just very relaxed, you don’t push too much,” Vaglica said. “You’re not pressing at the plate, looking for your pitch to hit, looking to put the barrel on the ball and do what you can do.”
The West looked to rally in the seventh inning, but they were shut down with the bases loaded after Joe DeSarro of Mohawk Valley recorded a strikeout in the first batter of his pitching appearance.
The East had taken the first lead of the night after Taylor Olmstead of Utica homered to left field, and the West tied the game in the second inning courtesy of an RBI groundout off the bat of Christ Conley of Jamestown. The East re-took the lead in the third inning following a sacrifice fly from Liam Wilson of Amsterdam then Will Holland, also of Amsterdam, hit a home run in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-1.
This game marked the seventh All-Star game in PGCBL history, and the East division extended their winning streak to five years in a row, 6-0 all-time in the seven-year-old league (The 2012 edition was not held in an East-West format).
“The PGCBL is a great league, it’s very competitive and I’m honored to be a part of this,” Vaglica said after the game, praising the league.
The host and date for the 2018 game is not known as of now, and will likely be announced during the spring of 2018.