McCall gets key hit in All-Star triumph

Astros prospect earns MVP honors after hitting two-run double in first

Dexture McCall is presented the Top Star Award by New York-Penn League president Ben Hayes. (Patrick Cavey/MiLB.com)

By David Driver / Special to MiLB.com | August 18, 2015 11:17 PM

ABERDEEN, Md. -- Tri-City's Dexture McCall entered the New York-Penn League All-Star Game in a 4-for-30 funk as his average fell to .266.

You wouldn't have guessed it by the aggressive approach he took at the plate against four different pitchers on Tuesday night.

The Astros outfield prospect and his teammates came out swinging with three runs in the first inning as the North All-Stars beat the South, 4-2, before 3,622 fans at Ripken Stadium, the home of the Aberdeen IronBirds.

McCall, a 2011 31st-round Draft pick out of Hillsborough Community College in Florida, opened the scoring with a two-run double off starter and Williamsport right-hander Mitch Gueller (Phillies). McCall, who was named All-Star MVP, said he hit a two-seam fastball.

"I was like, 'If he gives me that one more time I am going to crush it down the line,'" he said. "[The game] was an outstanding experience. It was just a beautiful atmosphere."

The double scored Batavia teammates Anfernee Seymour and Stone Garrett. Seymour reached on a fielder's choice in the first, singled in the third and was hit by a pitch and scored again in the fifth.

"It is truly an honor," Seymour said. "The Marlins organization has really helped me. I am glad to represent them."

Garrett singled and scored in the first, doubled in the third and walked in the fifth. He and Williamsport's Josh Tobias of the South All-Stars were the only players with two hits. 

"It's an All-Star Game, so you know the guys are going to show off their fastball," Garrett said. "It was a great night for all of our [Marlins] guys."

Before the first pitch, it was announced that the game would last 8 1/2 innings, even if the host South team was trailing, due to recent injuries and promotions. And with a shortage of pitchers, there was a 25-pitch limit for each hurler, even if he did not record three outs in an inning.

Tri-City's Bobby Wernes made it 3-0 with an RBI fielder's choice, but the opening inning ended with two outs since Gueller reached his pitch limit after giving up four hits. The Phillies prospect leads the league with seven wins and a 1.84 ERA. 

The North extended the lead in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Batavia catcher Brad Haynal, but the South answered in the bottom of the inning as State College's Michael Pritchard (Cardinals) singled, took third on a base hit by Williamsport's Mark Laird (Phillies) and dashed home on a wild pitch by Muckdogs right-hander Jordan Holloway (Marlins). Laird scored on Lowell third baseman Victor Acosta's throwing error to make it 4-2.

West Virginia's Dario Agrazal (Pirates) pitched the bottom of the eighth, even though he was listed on the South roster, since the North needed another pitcher.

Another Hillsborough product named to the North squad was Staten Island outfielder Jhalan Jackson (Yankees), who did not play due to back problems. McCall and Jackson are good friends but did not play together in college; Jackson was drafted in the seventh round by the Yankees this spring out of Florida Southern.

Notes: McCall, Jackson and other All-Stars took in the Orioles-A's game on Monday in Baltimore. "It was a great experience. I hope to be there one day," McCall said ... A pair of products from Virginia colleges faced each other in the top of the ninth. Aberdeen closer Ryan Meisinger (Orioles) retired Hudson Valley's Joe McCarthy (Rays) for the last out on a grounder to second. Meisinger was drafted this June out of Radford, while McCarthy reached the College World Series with the University of Virginia in the College World Series.

David Driver 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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