Wolters' Forces Extra Innings with Clutch Triple in the Ninth, Named MVP
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A triple down the right field line by
Rancho Buena Vista (Calif.) High School shortstop Tony Wolters sent the
seventh annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic into extra
innings for the first time since the game's inception in 2003. A unique extra
innings format saw both teams score a run in the tenth inning and the game
ended in a 4-all tie Sunday night at Petco Park before a record crowd of
8,027. The overall East vs. West series record for the Aflac All-American
Classic, which features 40 of the nation's premiere high school baseball
players, now stands at 3-3-1.
Wolters' stellar play in the field and at the plate earned him the Aflac
All-American MVP title. He finished the game going 2-for-3 with two runs
scored and a steal. In the field, he flashed leather all night to back up his
selection as the 2009 Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year.
"There are so many talented players on both squads," said Wolters. "I
think all these guys (on both squads) should be receiving the MVP award. It is
a huge honor and I feel very grateful to have had this experience."
The West squad wasted no time getting on the board as they took a 2-0
after both runners scored on a wild pitch and an error on the same play.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon of The Woodlands (Texas) High School shut down
the East squad with two scoreless innings -- including four strikeouts.
A single to left by Jacoby Jones of Richton (Miss.) High School drove in
Trey Griffin of Martin Luther King Jr. High School (Stockbridge, Ga.) to tie
the game 2-2 in the eighth inning. The East's Michael Arencibia of Key West
(Fla.) High School scoring the go-ahead run off a wild pitch to give it the
first lead of the game, 3-2.
Matt Lipka of McKinney High School (Frisco, Texas) walked in the bottom of
the ninth off of Yordy Cabrera of Lakeland (Fla.) High School, to set the
stage for Wolters' late inning heroics.
Due to pre-determined game rules, the game ended after 10 innings played.
The bases were loaded with one out with each team having the opportunity to
score. Both teams were able to put a run on the board to finish this year's
Aflac Classic in a tie.
"These kids have the hearts of champions," said Steve Vickery, West team
head coach from Lakeside (Calif.) High School. "It was great to see the kids
step up and put it all on the line in the last inning. Their intensity and
drive showed the true passion these kids have for the game of baseball."
Prior to the game, in a matchup of the top sluggers from the East and West
squads, Cabrera hit five tape measure shots in the final round to win this
year's Home Run Derby title.
Players were honored at the Aflac All-American awards dinner Saturday
evening at the San Diego Hall of Champions. The top honor of the night went to
Bryce Harper, a 6-foot-3,195-pound catcher from Las Vegas (Nev.) High School,
when he won the Aflac National High School Player of the Year and was
presented with the 2009 Jackie Robinson Award.
On hand to make the presentation was Sonya Pankey, granddaughter of Jackie
Robinson, and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, the Aflac All-American
Classic's honorary chairman.
Three other awards were given out at the ceremony. A.J. Cole, (Oviedo HS)
of Winter Springs, Fla., was named Pitcher of the Year. For his outstanding
abilities with his glove, Wolters won the inaugural Rawlings Defensive Player
of the Year award. In a balloting of coaches, players and staff, Cameron
Bedrosian (East Coweta HS) of Senoia, Ga., and Tyler Austin (Heritage HS) of
Conyers, Ga., shared the Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award. The award bears the
name of Nick Adenhart, a 2003 Aflac All-American who was killed in an
automobile accident hours after making his first start this season for the Los
During the banquet, Aflac, as part of its ongoing commitment to the fight
against childhood cancer, donated $100,000 to Rady Children's Hospital in San
Diego. Additionally, Aflac also made a $20,000 donation to Coaches Curing Kids
Cancer. Since 2003, the Aflac All-American Classic has generated $805,000 for
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. As the number one provider of
guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one
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Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people
worldwide. In 2009, Aflac was recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the
World's Most Ethical Companies for the third consecutive year and was also
named by the Reputation Institute as the Most Reputable Company in the Global
Insurance Industry for the second consecutive year. In 2009 Fortune magazine
recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for
the eleventh consecutive year. Fortune magazine also ranked Aflac No. 1 on its
global list of the Most Admired Companies in the Life and Health Insurance
category. Aflac appears on Hispanic Enterprise magazine's list of the 50 Best
Companies for Supplier Diversity and on Black Enterprise magazine's list of
the 40 Best Companies for Diversity. Aflac was also named by Forbes magazine
as America's Best-Managed Company in the Insurance category. 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.
San Diego Hall of Champions