First NABA All-Star Game an instant classic
The Greensboro NABA played their first ever All-Star Game on Thursday,
August 4 2011 and it is one that will be talked about for quite sometime as it
became an instant classic. Unlike many All-Star games, that can become
slugfests, this game was a tight, low scoring affair that went into extra
innings before Team 2, consisting of the Athletics, Yankees, and Angels,
recorded a walk-off win against Team 1, consisting of the Reds, Brewers, and
Angels, with the final score being 5-4.
Team 1, managed by Red’s manger Enad Haddad, took an early lead, scoring
one run in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Mark Welch of
the Athletics, who gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 2 innings of work. The run
was scored on an RBI single by Maurice Hines of the Angels, which scored
Jeremy Jones of the Reds. However, Team 2, managed by Athletics
player/assistant manager Jeff Gantt, would come back in the bottom of the first
scoring 3 runs off of Team 1 starter, Curtis Patterson of the Angels, to
take a 3-1 lead. Bradley Willard of the Athletics scored the first run for
Team 2 on a passed ball before Jeff Gantt drove in Mason Beane of the Yankees
with an RBI single. After Gantt reached third on two passed balls, Grant
Kelley, also from the Athletics, would bring him home with a single, rounding
out the scoring in the first inning.
The game then turned into a pitcher’s duel as Ethan Bradshaw and Scott
Wells, both from the Yankees, worked the third and fourth innings for Team 2,
holding Team 1 scoreless in their innings of work. Zach Royals and Chris
Caudill of the Brewers pitched 2 innings apiece, keeping Team 2 at 3 runs
through the sixth inning, long enough for Team 1 to come back and take the
Team 1’s second run of the game came in the fifth inning off of Athletics
pitcher Harrison Revels when Scott Ryan of the Reds forced a bases loaded
walk to score Maurice Hines, who had singled earlier in the inning. The
tying run for Team 1 came in the top of the sixth inning when Tyler Webb of the
Yankees singled off of Jonathan Wells, also from the Yankees, to plate
Frank Johnson of the Reds, knotting the score at 3 apiece. The go-ahead run
for Team 1 came in the top of the seventh inning when Jason Rook from the
Reds hit a sacrifice fly off of Athletics closer Grant Kelley to bring home
Jeremy Jones to give Team 1 a 4-3 lead.
Team 2 was not done, however, as they came to bat in the bottom half of
the seventh and final inning. After Bradley Willard and Mason Beane both
singled, Jeff Gantt doubled off of Maurice Hines to tie the score at 4 apiece,
sending the game into extra innings.
After pitching in the top of the eighth, holding Team 1 scoreless, Grant
Kelley hit a ground rule double to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning.
Jordan Skinner of the Athletics then walked and AJ Allen of the Yankees
singled to load the bases before Scott Wells of the Yankees sent everyone
home by driving in Kelley from third on a groundball to the right side of the
infield, giving Team 2 a walk-off win.
Grant Kelley was the winning pitcher in the game after working the seventh
and eighth innings for Team 2. Maurice Hines took the tough loss, pitching
the seventh and eighth innings from Team 1. Jeff Gantt was named the MVP
of the game.
Hines tops Jones to win first NABA Home Run Derby
After the completion of the exciting All-Star Game, all NABA sluggers were
invited to compete in the Home Run Derby. Sixteen participants in all
tried their luck at driving the ball out of the park, but only five players
would move on to the second round after hitting at least one home runs in the
Those who moved on to the second and final round were Maurice Hines of the
Angels, Joey Peascoe, Jeremy Jones, Frank Johnson, and Travis Moore, all
from the Reds.
Hines would edge out Jones in the final round, hitting 4 home runs to Jones
’s 3 to win the first NABA Home Run Derby.