Chavis provides all the offense in All-Star win

Carolina League RBI leader smacks two-run first-inning double

Michael Chavis' .318/.388/.641 slash line gives him a Carolina League-leading 1.029 OPS. (Patrick Cavey/

By Damien Sordelett / Special to | June 20, 2017 10:35 PM

SALEM, Virginia -- Michael Chavis enjoyed a historic first half of the Carolina League season at Salem Memorial Ballpark. He added to the memories Tuesday in the All-Star Game at his home park.

The 10th-ranked Red Sox prospect provided all the offense with a first-inning double and nine pitchers combined on a five-hitter as the North Division claimed a 2-0 victory over the South before a crowd of 5,802.

Gameday box score

"Looking into this game and looking through our lineup and stuff like that, especially watching the Home Run Derby, you'd never guess that two runs would win this ballgame," Chavis said after being named the BUSH'S Most Valuable Player. "It's definitely been a special experience for me. It's my first All-Star Game, so just coming in, I was just happy and just excited to see how everything plays out."

Chavis, a 2014 first-round Draft pick, tied the franchise record for career homers at the 22-year-old ballpark with 12 in 31 first-half games. The record is shared by Blake Barthol and John Lindsey. He leads the league with 17 homers and 55 RBIs.

"I'm just having a lot of fun," Chavis said. "It's been a special season."

The North's first three batters reached against Myrtle Beach starter Adberty Alzolay, who went 6-1 with a 2.83 ERA in the first half. Wilmington's Nicky Lopez laced a single to left, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Frederick's Austin Hays walked. Both scored on Chavis' double into the left field gap.

Video: Salem's Chavis plates two with double to center

"If I could have hit a jam-shot fly ball and scored the winning run, anything could have been good because it's been such a special season," Chavis said.

Lynchburg right-hander Shao-Ching Chiang, who's second in the league with seven wins, worked around a one-out single in the first to pick up the victory. Eight relievers followed and wrapped up the first All-Star shutout since 1998, when the Carolina League beat the California League, 3-0, in Myrtle Beach.

"I knew we had a really special staff behind us," Chavis said. "They worked with a great pace. … They took care of their business."

The North had a chance to pad to its lead in the second when Salem's Chad De La Guerra laced a two-out double off the right field wall, but the throw from right fielder Daniel Spingola to Pelicans teammate Bryant Flete was executed well, and Flete's toss to Winston-Salem catcher Zack Collins was in time to get Wilmington's Anderson Miller at the plate to end the inning.

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"I think it was just pretty much like a routine tag-out at the plate," Collins said. "Obviously, a good cutoff throw, then a good relay made it pretty easy on me. I just caught it and tagged the guy."

Frederick's Ryan Mountcastle, the North's designated hitter, and Carolina's Freddy Peralta engaged in a 14-pitch at-bat to open the bottom of the fourth. Mountcastle fouled off eight pitches, including five straight with a full count, before the league's fourth-leading hitter laced a sinking line drive to center field that Carolina's Corey Ray snared with a diving catch.

Video: Carolina's Ray makes diving catch in center

"I was trying to keep fighting with him because I know that he's a really good hitter, so I was attacking with my fastball, slider, fastball again, fastball again and slider," Peralta said. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, what's going on here?' I was keeping attacking and he put a really good swing and my center fielder was there."

Peralta needed slightly fewer pitches -- nine -- to retire the next two batters and complete his lone inning.

The South did not put runner into scoring position until there were two outs in the eighth inning against Wilmington's Richard Lovelady. Down East's Luis La O reached on an infield hit and moved upon on a sharp single to center by Winston-Salem's Danny Mendick. Lovelady escape dthe jam by retiring Carolina's Isan Diaz on a fly ball to center.

"The biggest thing is just to get your job done, put a zero up and get it to the ninth inning for whoever else is going to throw," Lovelady said. "That was the biggest thing and that was the only thing I cared about there -- getting a zero up."

Buies Creek's Myles Straw went 2-for-4 with first- and fourth-inning singles, while La O also singled twice.

"We couldn't get the big hit, and it was a fun game," Straw said.

Lynchburg's Argenis Angulo, who's second in the league with 10 saves, struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to close out the win.

Damien Sordelett is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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