Before the Royals wrapped up the first half of their season against the Blue Jays on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, the Ban Johnson League’s All-Star game took place on the field the big leaguers would grace hours later.
The J All-Stars scored all their runs in the bottom of the first inning in their 3-2 victory over the B All-Stars. The first three batters reached base and scored for the J’s.
That provided all the run support manager Will Meier and the J’s would need to beat the B’s and manager Kevin Shaw. Meier used 10 pitchers in the win, and his hurlers worked around 10 hits and two errors, stranding seven runners on base.
Sean Goostree recorded the save, ending the game on a strikeout with the tying run on second base and the go-ahead run on first.
“I know Kevin’s always got good players over there, so anytime we can take momentum is huge,” Meier said. “They always seem to make a game of it, and we did just enough to hang on.”
J’s starting left fielder Tyler Cox was chosen the game’s Most Valuable Player. He was one for one with a walk and a run scored.
“I was trying to do my job and help out the team,” said Cox, who plays at Maple Woods Community College.
After yielding three runs in the first inning, the B’s staff settled in and allowed no runs and only five hits the rest of the way. The B’s induced double plays in the first inning with the bases loaded and in the third to keep the damage at a minimum and the game within reach.
“It’s really about the kids — to show what they can do,” Shaw said. “And they did.”
Jeremy Luft drove in the B’s first run with an RBI single in the fifth, and Ian Barker doubled in a run in the sixth that cut the lead to 3-2. The B’s threatened again in the seventh, but Ben Galvano stranded Cooper Curran at third.
The J’s threatened in the fifth and seventh innings, but couldn’t push an insurance run across the plate. It didn’t matter, as the pitching dominated and the J’s three-spot in the first decided the game.