Pitcher from Tennessee Wins Jackie Robinson Award
SAN DIEGO, Aug 16, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The East squad scored two runs in the seventh inning to secure the 5-3 win over the West at the eighth annual Aflac All-American Baseball Classic at San Diego's PETCO Park. The Aflac All-American Baseball Classic is the nation's premier high school baseball game, featuring the best 38 players in the country entering their senior year. The overall East vs. West series record for the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic now stands at 4-3-1 in favor of the East.
Two consecutive triples and a two-run blast by East catcher Tyler Marlette in the third inning proved to be too much for the West to overcome on a night where superb hitting was on display. Marlette, who was selected as the 2010 Aflac All-American MVP, was strong from both sides of the plate, as the Oviedo, Fla. native threw out a runner attempting to steal second early in the game.
"I'm speechless. It's an honor to be named MVP of a game featuring the nation's best ballplayers," said Marlette. "This is by far the best game I've ever played in and I am so thankful to Aflac for this opportunity."
The West squad jumped on the scoreboard early in the second inning with a hard-lined double to deep right field off the bat of Daniel Camarena of Bonita, Calif. to drive in the game's first run. However, after a strong third inning by the East, the team battled back with a double in the seventh which drove in two more runs to increase the East's lead to 5-3, a deficit too great for the West to overcome.
"I am really proud of my team. Our pitchers did a great job throwing strikes and the guys came through with some big hits when it counted," said Larry Knight, head coach of the East squad. "It's been a great few days and I am really proud to be a part of such a great experience."
In addition to producing the game's MVP, East player Josh Tobias of Greensboro, N.C. was named the 2010 Rawlings Defensive Player of the Game. Tobias flashed his leather in the field including a diving catch in the bottom of the fifth.
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. Middle infielder Francisco Lindor of Clermont, Fla. blasted four long balls in the final round to win the 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 Daniel Norris of Johnson City, Tenn., a left-handed pitcher, when he won the Aflac National High School Player of the Year and was presented with the 2010 Jackie Robinson Award.
Adding to his list of achievements, Norris was also named Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America, a leading baseball publication.
On hand to make the presentation were Sonya Pankey, granddaughter of Jackie Robinson, and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, the 2010 Aflac All-American Baseball Classic's honorary chairman.
Other fellow Aflac All-Americans were honored at the awards ceremony. For his outstanding abilities with his glove, Austin Hedges of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. won the second annual Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year award. In a balloting of coaches, players and staff, Jose Fernandez of Tampa, Fla. received the Perfect Game Nick Adenhart Award for his sportsmanship on and off the field. 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 for the Los Angeles Angels.
During the banquet, Aflac, as part of its ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, donated $25,000 to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic has generated $805,000 for charity.
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