Brian Goodwin Knocks in Go-Ahead Run, Named MVP
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The East squad scored four runs in the
ninth inning to secure the 4 - 2 win over the West at the sixth annual Aflac
All-American High School Baseball Game at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium. The
Aflac All-American Game is the nation's premier high school baseball game,
featuring the best 38 players in the country entering their senior year. This
marked the second year in a row that the West team was upended by the East in
the final moments of the game.
Trailing, 2-0, entering the top of the 9th inning, the East took the lead
when Brian Goodwin (Rocky Mount High School) of Rocky Mount, N.C. drove in two
runs. Goodwin was named the game's MVP for his effort, which included going
2-for-4 with two hits, two RBIs and one stolen base.
"This game is so big, not many people can say they won the MVP from the
Aflac All-American Game," said Goodwin. "It just feels great."
The West team jumped on the scoreboard early in the first inning when
Slade Heathcott (Texas High School) of Texarkana, Texas, drove in David Nick
(Cypress High School) of Cypress, Calif. for the 1 - 0 lead. Then, in the
fourth inning Matt Stassi (Yuba City High School) of Yuba City, Calif. started
things off with a double and later scored when Matt Davidson (Yucaipa High
School) of Yucaipa, Calif. hit a double. The West's 2 - 0 lead would hold
until the ninth.
"It was a great job by the guys, because early on, it looked like they
[the West team] had all the momentum," said East head coach Todd Fitz-Gerald
from American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. "And then, finally, we woke
up a little bit and had a couple of breaks go our way, and pulled it out. That
was a great character win right there."
Superb pitching throughout is what led to the mostly low-scoring affair as
17 different pitchers got the chance to take the mound. The only pitcher with
more than two innings of work was Jacob Turner (Westminster Christian Academy)
of St. Charles, Mo., who racked up five strikeouts in two innings pitched for
the West squad.
As part of the game day festivities, the final round of the Aflac All-
American Home Run Derby featured several of the best sluggers from both the
East and West squads. Matt Davidson of Yucaipa High School, Yucaipa, Calif.,
earned the title of Home Run Derby Champion after belting three home runs in a
hard-fought battle that showcased high school power hitting at its best.
In Aflac's mission to help eradicate pediatric cancer, proceeds from each
year's game are donated to official charity partners. The 2008 Aflac All-
American Baseball Game raised $160,000 to benefit Coaches Curing Kids' Cancer
and ThinkCure, the official charity of the Dodgers, which supports critical
cancer research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Since
2005, the game has generated $685,000 to help in the fight against pediatric
Prior to the action of game day players were honored at the Aflac All-
American awards dinner Friday evening. Mychal Givens of H.B. Plant High School
in Tampa, Fla. was named National Player of the Year and received the
prestigious Jackie Robinson Award. Givens, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound
infielder/pitcher, was presented with the award by Sharon Robinson, daughter
of the late Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson. The Aflac National
High School Player of the Year recognizes the nation's top high school player
entering his senior year, who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits
leadership, and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in both his
schoolwork and community affairs.
Also at the awards dinner, Matthew Purke of Klein High School, Spring,
Texas, was named the National High School Pitcher of the Year. Purke, a
6-foot-3 left-hander with overpowering major league skills struck out 147
batters in 76.67 innings pitched his junior season. The Sportsmanship Award
was presented to Beau Wright of Los Alamitos (High School), Calif. An honor
roll student and left-handed pitcher, Wright, was recognized for his
involvement in the local community, which includes time spent volunteering at
the local monthly newspaper drive.
Aflac All-Americans are selected by prep scouting organization Perfect
Game USA, with input by Baseball America.
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the
opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting
medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of
guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one
insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan.
Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people
worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's
Most Admired Companies for seven consecutive years and in Fortune magazine's
list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for ten consecutive
years. Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine's
listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine's
listing of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers and has also been
included in Ethisphere magazine's list of the World's Most Ethical Companies
for two consecutive years. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed
on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about
Aflac, visit aflac.com .
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