All-Stars ready to rumble in Norwich
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NORWICH, Conn. -- It will be Trahern vs. Marquez in tonight's heavyweight bout between the North and South in the 2007 Eastern League All-Star Game.
Trenton's Jeffrey Marquez, 2004's 41st-overall pick by the Yankees will take the mound for the Northern team. Erie's big righty and former 34th-round pick, Dallas Trahern, gets the nod for the South.
It's both pitchers' first year in Double-A and their first All-Star Game.
Marquez is 9-5 with a 3.18 ERA. The California native ranks sixth in the league in ERA, is tied for second in wins and is a big reason why Trenton ranks first in the league in pitching.
"It's a big honor [to start the All-Star Game]," said Marquez before the game. "Anybody could start here, they're all good players."
His best outing of the year came against the hometown Defenders. In a seven-inning, complete-game effort, Marquez scattered five hits, giving up one unearned run. He fanned six and issued just one walk.
When asked why he decided to start Marquez, Northern team and Connecticut Defenders manager Dave Machemer said bluntly: "The way he pitched against us. I don't think we scored a run against him. He's pitched well."
In 2006, Marquez went 7-5 with a 3.61 ERA for the Tampa Yankkes. This year, he has only walked 29 walks over 99 innings and has recorded a strikeout in every game he has started. The righty has only failed to pitch more than five innings twice in 17 starts.
Trahern is an absolute horse. The native of Liberal, Kan., leads the league in wins (10) and complete games (two). The righty also ranks third in innings pitched with 100 1/3.
Heading into the season, Trahern had just been 14-24 in his professional baseball career, but with an ERA of 3.14. In 2005, he finished second in the Gulf Coast in complete games with two, and followed in 2006 with four, good for first in the Florida State League.
Trahern turned in best performance in May when he tossed an eight-inning, complete-game gem. The righty allowed two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five.
The 2007 Eastern League All-Star Game is scheduled to begin at 7:35 p.m. ET at Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium in Norwich.
Evan Mohl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.