Winningham rules at Sally All-Star Game

Mets prospect nabs BUSH'S MVP award in rain-shortened game

Dash Winningham ranks third in the South Atlantic League with 46 RBIs and tied for fifth with 11 homers. (Cliff Welch/

By Michael Echan / Special to | June 20, 2017 11:19 PM

COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- A fictional Minor League pitcher once said sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

Whatever happened to Bull Durham's Ebby Calvin LaLoosh was uncertain, but the sentiment remained true as the 58th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game ended in a 3-3 tie after seven rain-soaked innings Tuesday at Spirit Communications Park.

Gameday box score

The tarp remained on the infield until an hour prior to the game. The skippers and umpires agreed to start the game on time, with the provision that if the game was halted, it would be called then and there.

"I was surprised they got the game in," said Columbia Fireflies manager Jose Leger, the skipper for the Southern Division. "I was looking at the radar and I didn't know if we'd get a break to get this game in. It was a good decision because even though it was a consistent rain, it wasn't hard and the field was still playable."

The South took control of the game immediately. Columbia first baseman Dash Winningham gave the home team an early lead with a two-run double to center field off Northern Division starter Nick Fanti.

Video: Winningham gets the South on the board

Winningham played the whole game, going 1-for-2 with a walk en route to BUSH'S MVP honors.

The North countered by plating three runs in the second. Kannapolis shortstop Mitch Roman laced an RBI double to right and Hagerstown first baseman Aldrem Corredor brought in two with a single up the middle. All three runs came off Greenville left-hander Logan Boyd.

Rome outfielder and leadoff man Randy Ventura drove in what turned out to be the final run of the game in the bottom half of the inning, ripping an RBI double to left off Kannapolis' Alec Hansen.

The Southern Division had two opportunities late in the game to take the lead. In the sixth, Charleston catcher Donny Sands ripped a line drive deep into left as West Virginia outfielder Ty Moore turned to his left to give chase.

Aggressiveness fueling breakout for Columbia's Humphreys

Despite the rain, Moore maintained a visual lock with the ball, stretched out his glove and hauled in the ball just steps in front of the wall.

Video: Moore makes the catch at the wall

"It was really tough," said Moore, Pittsburgh's 12th-round pick in 2015 out of UCLA. "You never know how or if the ball is going to carry or if it's going to die in rain like this.

"Unfortunately, I had to keep my eye on it. I couldn't put my head down and turn to run because of the rain. If I had looked away, I don't think I would've been able to keep up with the ball."

Moore's focus and determination garnered him Defensive Player of the Game honors.

Fireflies reliever Adonis Uceta ran into a jam during the seventh. The Dominican Republic native loaded the bases on hits by Delmarva's Chris Clare, Aldrem Corredor of Hagerstown and the Suns' Blake Perkins -- the latter on a comebacker that deflected off the righty and toward third base. But Uceta struck out the side to escape any damage.

MiLB include

The rain intensified during the bottom half of the seventh. South pinch-hitter Roldani Baldwin of Greenville skied a 2-2 pitch foul behind home plate. Hickory catcher Ricardo Valencia tossed his mask and looked skyward for the ball, but it fell less than a foot away from his glove.

Two pitches later, Baldwin laced a double to left-center off Intimidators southpaw Kyle Kubat, but Ventura grounded out to short for what became the final out of the game.

The Northern Division's bullpen was nearly untouchable after the first three innings, allowing one base runner -- on the double by Baldwin -- over the final four frames. Power reliever Jordan Jess struck out the side in a perfect fifth.

Michael Echan 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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