Crabs extend dominance to All-Star Game

Bauers named MVP after two-run double, Faria tosses perfect inning

Jake Bauers is presented with his Top Star Award by Florida State League president Ken Carson. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Erin Brown / Special to MiLB.com | June 20, 2015 11:12 PM

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Charlotte Stone Crabs carried their dominance into the All-Star break and into the Florida State League All-Star Game itself.

Sparked by first baseman Jacob Bauers, starting pitcher Jacob Faria and a collective dominance on the mound, the South Division All-Stars cruised to a 6-0 blanking of the North All-Stars on Saturday night at Tradition Field.

Bauers, acquired by the Rays in the three-team trade that sent Wil Myers to the Padres, earned MVP honors after opening the scoring with a two-run double.

Faria, who leads the league with 10 wins and a 1.33 ERA, started for the South and struck out two in a perfect inning.

The 11-man South pitching staff limited the North to six hits -- two through the first six innings -- and struck out eight. Stone Crabs southpaw Chris Kirsch worked around a walk in a hitless third to pick up the victory.

"Just like any other game, you want to get a good tone going for the rest of the game," Faria said.

Bauers -- Tampa Bay's No. 21 prospect -- put the South in front for good when he followed a single by Jupiter's Yefri Perez and a walk by Rays No. 3 prospect Willy Adames with a double to left field.

"The pitchers were great tonight," Bauers said. "I thought one run was going to get the job done, and it ended up being enough."

The 19-year-old also contributed defensively with a big scoop in the third. Hammerheads third baseman Brian Anderson fielded a high infield chopper off the bat of Brevard County's Chris McFarland and Bauers handled the off-balance throw for the out.

The South extended its lead with a four-run outburst in the fifth.

St. Lucie's Jeff McNeil and Ft. Myers' Alex Swim hit back-to-back singles before Bradenton's JaCoby Jones -- the Pirates' 13th-ranked prospect lined a triple to right.

"It was my first at-bat, so I was excited to get in the game," said Jones, who batted for Adames. "It was a 2-0 count and [Luis Alberto Niebla] just put a fastball over the plate. Luckily, it went into the gap and two runners scored."

Jones trotted home on a base hit by Marauders teammate Reese McGuire to make it 5-0. Two outs later, Palm Beach's Luke Voit singled home McGuire.

"We definitely strung together some good at-bats," Bauers said. "The guys got some good barrels and they ended up finding holes. Sometimes that's all you need."

Lakeland's Ben Verlander got the North's first hit in the second and finished 2-for-4. But aside from a leadoff walk by Tigers No. 26 prospect Dominic Ficociello in the third, the North struggled to get men on base. Tampa Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar, grounded into a double play, beginning a string of eight straight batters retired by the South.

Until Verlander and Tampa's Mike Ford hit back-to-back singles in the seventh, the North did not get a runner past second base.

"I'm surprised because it's the All-Star Game and they've got a lot of good [hitters] over there," Faria said. "Kudos to our guys to keep them off the basepaths."

Clearwater's Colin Klevin took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while recording two outs in the third. Threshers teammate Ulises Joaquin, Brevard County's Preston Gainey and Dunedin's Wil Browning registered two strikeouts apiece over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Erin Brown is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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