TAMPA, Fla. -- Four Clearwater Threshers helped lift the Florida State League North division to its third consecutive All-Star win, as the North blanked the South division, 5-0 in the 2018 FSL All-Star Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.Listi finished with three RBIs, while pitchers Bailey Falter and
TAMPA, Fla. -- Four Clearwater Threshers helped lift the Florida State League North division to its third consecutive All-Star win, as the North blanked the South division, 5-0 in the 2018 FSL All-Star Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
Listi finished with three RBIs, while pitchers Bailey Falter and Jakob Hernandez added a scoreless inning each in the combined four-hit shutout. Arquimedes Gamboa started the game at shortstop and played the first five innings, finishing 0-for-2 at the plate.
With the North up 1-0 in the third inning, Listi stepped up with runners at the corners and one out facing Fort Myers Miracle lefty Andrew Vasquez.
Down in the count two strikes, Listi pushed a fastball the opposite way into right for a single, scoring Daytona's Taylor Trammell.
"I was kind of chasing stuff down a little bit today," Listi said, "just waiting to see something up and get a good pitch to hit. And I put a good swing on it."
The 24-year-old was one of the league's top hitters throughout the first half, batting .344 with nine homers and 16 doubles on his way to an All-Star appearance in his first full professional season.
"It's awesome," Listi said. "I'm honored, I'm humbled to be able to do it. All glory to God for allowing me to be here."
Listi came through again for the North in the seventh inning. With two on and two out following a Riley Adams RBI double, Listi pulled a 1-0 pitch from Charlotte's Spencer Jones through the left side to score two more runs and put the North division ahead, 5-0.
Falter earned the win for the North, making it back-to-back years that a Threshers pitcher has picked up the victory in the All-Star Game (Jose Taveras did so in 2017). The 21-year-old lefty worked around a walk and a double to toss a scoreless second inning. His only pitches outside the strike zone in that frame all came in succession, as he issued a four-pitch walk to Jaylin Davis with one out.
A fifth round draft pick in 2015, Falter went 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in nine starts in the first half for Clearwater. He walked only 10 batters total during that span, including a streak of 16.2 innings across three starts in which he did not issue a single free pass.
Hernandez kept the shutout in tact by working a perfect seventh inning in his first career All-Star appearance. He needed only eight pitches to retire the side on a pair of ground outs and a flyout.
The 21-year-old left-hander was drafted by the Phillies in the 21st round in 2017 out of the University of Texas-Arlington. With an upper-80s fastball backed by a deceptive delivery, the southpaw ranked fourth amongst FSL relievers at the break in strikeouts per nine innings. In 17 games, Hernandez carried a 3.62 ERA, and had struck out 44 batters in 32.1 innings.
Gamboa earned the start at shortstop, playing flawless defense while finishing 0-for-2 at the plate. The 20-year-old popped out to right in the second, and lined out to center in the fourth.
The switch-hitter batted .269 with an on-base percentage of .352 in 57 games before the All-Star break. He hit his first home run of the season on June 7, and hit .319 in the final two weeks leading up to the All-Star game.
Two other Threshers players - first baseman Darick Hall and pitcher Sixto Sanchez - were named FSL All-Stars but did not attend. Hall was promoted to Double-A Reading on June 1, and Sanchez was placed on the disabled list on June 9.