Duvall leads way at Sally All-Star Game

League's top RBI man delivers home run, three RBIs in contest

Augusta's Adam Duvall tops the circuit with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. (FotoJoe Photography)

By David Driver / Special to MLB.com | June 21, 2011 7:37 PM

SALISBURY, Md. -- Adam Duvall was not sure how many at bats he would get in Tuesday's South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

"I was actually banking on two," said Duvall, who had a league-high 17 homers and 53 RBIs in the first half of the season for Class A Augusta.

So that gave the Giants' third base prospect a sense of urgency when he came to bat for the South Division in the third inning after he fanned in his first at-bat in the top of the first. He hit a two-run homer off Roman Mendez (Rangers) in a five-run uprising en route to the South's 6-3 win before a sellout crowd of 7,410 fans at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

"I saw the ball pretty good," Duvall said. "I was not sure how I would do after [competing in] the Home Run Derby."

He added an RBI single in the fourth and was named the midsummer classic's Most Valuable Player at game's end.

"I really wanted to have fun. This was my first All-Star Game," said Duvall, who was drafted in the 11th round by the Giants out of Louisville in 2010.

Cory Vaughn (Mets) added a two-run homer in the third. Savannah's center fielder is the son of former big leaguer Greg Vaughn, who made the trip from California to watch the game.

"We saw a lot of first-pitch fastballs and that is what I got," Cory Vaughn said. "It was a great time."

Greenville left fielder Brandon Jacobs (Red Sox) had a double, a single, a walk and scored a run. A 10th-round pick in 2009 by the Red Sox, Jacobs turned down a chance to play football at Auburn.

"I feel I made the right decision. It was a hard decision," he said. Jacobs hit .242 last year at Lowell, but is hitting .323 this season in the South Atlantic League. "It was cool to play against guys you hear so much about."

The hometown crowd was pulling for North stars stars such as Delmarva's Manny Machado (Orioles) and Hagerstown's Bryce Harper (Nationals), who also drew some jeers from the pro-Oriole crowd. The top pick in last year's Draft was pulled from the pregame Home Run Derby by the Nationals.

The North took a 1-0 lead in the first. Third baseman Blake Kelso (Nationals), whom Harper called the best player in the first half for the Suns, led off the frame with a single and took third on Machado's single to center.

Harper swung and missed on a 3-0 pitch from South starter Taylor Whitenton (Mets). He grounded to second on the next pitch to score Kelso. Lakewood's Jim Murphy (Phillies) then lined out to center to score Machado from third for a 2-0 lead.

But the South answered in the third. Augusta's Carlos Willoughby (Giants) led off with a single, advanced on Jacobs' double and scored on a fielder's choice by Asheville's Bryce Massanari (Rockies).

Duvall followed with a two-run homer and, two batters later, Vaughn also smacked a two-run shot. Mendez gave up five runs while recording just two outs.

In the top of the fourth, Jacobs walked and Duvall drove him in with a single to left.

Hickory's Christian Villanueva (Rangers) had an RBI single in the seventh to cut the lead to 6-3.

"We were able to get some hits and some home runs," said Sand Gnats manager Ryan Ellis, who served as the skipper for the North. "It was very fun to be here. It is something you can't take for granted. You never know if you will be in an All-Star Game."

David Driver is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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