(Reading, Pa.)---Binghamton Mets first baseman Eric Campbell hit an RBI single in the ninth inning to score Reading Phillies shortstop Troy Hanzawa as the Eastern Division defeated the Western Division, 5-4, in the Baseballtown All-Star Classic at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday night. The game doubled as the Eastern League All-Star Game.
With the win tonight, the Eastern Division picks up its first win in Eastern League All-Star Games, now trailing the Western Division, 2-1, in three overall games since the Eastern League realignment. The Eastern League was realigned prior to the 2010 season upon Richmond's arrival in the league.
Wednesday's attendance of 9,477 makes the Baseballtown All-Star Classic the most attended Eastern League All-Star Game of all-time, besting the 9,306 fans that came out for the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game in Altoona. Combined with Tuesday night's crowd of 9,055 for the Baseballtown All-Star Classic Home Run Derby, a grand total of 18,532 fans witnessed the first all-star game in Reading since 1974.
Campbell's game-winning hit capped off a ninth inning where the Eastern Division mounted a two-out rally that started with Hanzawa's ten-pitch at-bat, where he fouled off five pitches before he was walked by Harrisburg reliever Hector Nelo. Trenton's Kevin Mahoney followed the walk with a single to right field. After the single, Campbell stepped to the plate to deliver his late-game heroics.
Campbell entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning in place of Reading's Darin Ruf. He ended the night as the winner of the Top Star award, given to the game's most valuable player, by going 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Eastern and Western Division rosters traded the lead throughout the game. New Hampshire's Mike McDade gave the Eastern Division a one-run lead in the first inning behind a RBI double. Harrisburg's Chris Rahl, who also won the Baseballtown All-Star Classic Home Run Derby the night before, hit a run-scoring single to tie things in the second inning.
The Fisher Cats' McDade led the Eastern Division charge again in the third inning when he scored second baseman Cesar Hernandez of the R-Phils on a single. New Hampshire teammate Mark Sobolewski followed with a RBI fielder's choice to give the team a two-run lead before the Western Division's Jordan Lennerton of the Erie SeaWolves rocked a two-run home run to right field in the fourth inning.
McDade was 4-for-4 with a two-run double, while Lennerton was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Niuman Romero of the SeaWolves also had a multi-hit game, ending the night with two singles.
The Baseballtown-All Star Classic is proudly sponsored by All-Star Distributing, Crowne Plaza Reading, Susquehanna Bank, Betty's Salads, READING AIR, Y102 Rock Hits, Penske, Service Electric, 830 AM WEEU, VF Outlet, Comcast SportsNet, 69 News Berks Edition, The Works Wyomissing, and the Reading Eagle.