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Three teams dominate NWL Stars

Salem-Keizer, Spokane and Vancouver rack up nine of 13 roster spots
August 30, 2005
Spokane outfielder Steve Murphy was named the Northwest League's Most Valuable Player as the Indians combined with the league's top two teams -- Salem-Keizer and Vancouver -- to account for nine of the 13 players named to the 2005 All-Star team.

Murphy, the league leader in slugging percentage (.533), doubles (23) and extra-base hits (36), is joined on the squad by Spokane shortstop German Duran and Lizahio Baez, who was selected as a designated hitter.

Salem-Keizer landed a league-high four players on the roster, led by first baseman Will Thompson, who is leading the NWL in hitting (.384) by nearly fifty points. Volcanoes' third baseman Pablo Sandoval and outfielder Mike Mooney, who rank third and fourth, respectively, in the batting race, are also on the team, along with the league leader in saves, Brian Anderson.

The league's top team, Vancouver, is represented by right-handed pitcher Mike Madsen, who is 5-1 with a league-low 1.85 ERA, and left-handed reliever Brad Kilby.

Also on the team is the league's top power hitter, second baseman Luis Valbuena of Everett, who leads the NWL with 12 homers and 48 RBIs.

Yakima's Josh Ford is the All-Star catcher, Tri-City's Travis Becktel rounds out the outfield and Boise's Darin Downs is the left-handed starter on the roster.

Salem-Keizer, in addition to having four players on the team , also had the league's Manager of the Year in Steve Decker.

Here's a complete list of the 2005 Northwest League All-Star team:

1B -- Will Thompson, Salem-Keizer
2B -- Luis Valbuena, Everett
3B -- Pablo Sandoval, Salem-Keizer
SS -- German Duran, Spokane
DH -- Lizahio Baez, Spokane
C -- Josh Ford, Yakima
OF -- Mike Mooney, Salem-Keizer
OF -- Steve Murphy, Spokane
OF -- Travis Becktel, Tri-City
LP -- Darin Downs, Boise
RP -- Mike Madsen, Vancouver
LH Relief -- Brad Kilby, Vancouver
RH Relief -- Brian Anderson, Salem-Keizer

Manager of the Year -- Steve Decker, Salem-Keizer
Most Valuable Player -- Steve Murphy, Spokane