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West wins AFLAC game; Shepherd is MVP
08/13/2005 7:18 PM ET
ABERDEEN, Md. -- Devin Shepherd, an outfielder from Oxnard, Calif., earned Most Valuable Player honors Saturday at the third annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md., as the West Team defeated the East Team, 8-4 in front of a crowd of more than 4,000.

Shepherd paced the East's attack, going 2-for-3 with two singles, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. The complete Aflac All-American Baseball Classic box score is available at http://www.ripkenbaseball.com/~AFLAC/index.html.

The West's Nathan Bridges started the game's scoring by slugging a two-run double down the left field line in the top of the second, which drove in Devin Shepherd and Jeff Rapoport, who reached on consecutive singles. Bridges had a strong offensive game, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Rapoport went 2-for-4 with one run and one stolen base.

Brett Anderson was the winning pitcher for the West, which also featured strong performances on the mound from Jordan Walden and Kyle Drabek. Walden, the starter, and Drabek, the closer, threw two scoreless innings each.

The East got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chris Marrero doubled in Billy Rowell, who walked, and Andrew Clark, who was hit by a pitch. Rowell went 2-for-3 with two singles, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored, while Jackson went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk. Jackson also made several stellar defensive plays, including a throw to nail Jared Mitchell at home plate on an attempted double steal.

Several East pitchers starred, including Dellin Betances, who pitched a scoreless second inning; Cory Rasmus, who had two strikeouts while pitching a scoreless sixth inning; and Chris Walden, who also had two strikeouts during a scoreless seventh.

In festivities held prior to the game, Robby Alcombrack, a power-hitting catcher from Bear River High School near Sacramento, Calif., took first-place honors in the third annual Home Run Derby with six home runs. Alcombrack beat other finalists Drabek (two), Torre Langley (one) and Rapoport (one).

The 2005 Aflac All-American Baseball Classic raised over $100,000 for the division of pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the game's official charity, as part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to support research and treatment of pediatric cancer.

At the Aflac All-American Awards dinner on Thursday, Cody Johnson (Panama City, Fla.) won the second annual Jackie Robinson Award as the Aflac National High School Player of the Year. Johnson was presented with the award by Rachel Robinson, the widow of the late Hall of Famer.

The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic features the nation's top 38 rising senior high school players from across the nation in an East vs. West matchup. Participants are selected by Baseball America and Perfect Game USA to form the Aflac All-American Team. For more information on the 2005 game and all the game week activities, log on to www.aflacallamerican.com.