Former Grasshoppers Chris Coghlan, John Raynor, and Gaby Sanchez come up BIG at Southern League All-Star game…

I had the chance to travel down to Five County Stadium in Zebulon on Monday evening to take in the Southern League AA All-Star game. I will have pictures to the webmaster Don Moore later today and we should have them up for you on the site later on this afternoon.

Big Jim Modlin made the trek with me to the game and we saw five former Greensboro Grasshoppers and every one of them got into the game. Chris Coghlan, John Raynor and Gaby Sanchez all were starters and Jeff Gogal and Chris Mobley came on as relief pitchers. Former Hopper pitcher Chris Volstad was chosen for the squad, and he probably would have been the starter, but he was called up to the Florida Marlins last week. Carolina Mudcat OF Cameron Maybin was also selected to the team but he sustained an injury back on July 6.

Infielders Coghlan(2B) and Sanchez(1B) looked very sharp as did leftfielder John Raynor but the star that shined brightest belonged to Chris Coghlan. We’ll let Tim Britton of tell us more about it.

ZEBULON, N.C. — Hometown second baseman Chris Coghlan was the Star of Stars on Monday night, powering the North Division to a 6-1 victory over the South at the Southern League All-Star Game at Five County Stadium.

Coghlan’s three-run homer in the fifth inning broke open a 2-1 game.

“It was great,” he said. “It was my mom’s first time coming here, so I was real happy to be able to play in front of her. And then to be able to play in front of everybody who comes to see us all the time, it was great.”

North starter Ben Jukich of the Chattanooga Lookouts took home the Pitcher of the Game award after retiring the side in order on six pitches in the first inning.

Coghlan, one of three Mudcats in the North’s starting lineup, provided the big blow against Jacksonville Suns right-hander Jesus Castillo. Michael Brantley started the inning with a single and Huntsville Stars teammate Alcides Escobar followed with a base hit. Coghlan turned on Castillo’s next pitch and launched it over the right-field fence to push the North’s advantage to 5-1.

“I just blacked out and got lucky,” Coghlan said. “I had taken the other couple ABs’ first pitch, so I was just looking [fastball] and he threw me one right down the middle.”

*****It was a great night to be watching baseball down in Zebulon and it was great to see guys like Coghlan, Raynor, Sanchez, Gogal, and Mobley out there playing again. Thanks to Patrick Kinnas the play-by-play man for the Carolina Mudcats for the hook-up.*****