HICKORY, N.C. -- Outfielder Dominique Taylor of the Lexington Legends figured he had the game-winning hit when he drove in two runs in the 10th inning in Tuesday night's South Atlantic League All-Star Game.
He had to settle for the game's Most Valuable Player honor, since his Southern Division team was matched by the North in the bottom of the inning. The 55th annual midsummer classic ended in a 4-4 tie at L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Hickory Crawdads.
"You can't end in a tie," Taylor said. "It's baseball. You have to have a winner."
By pre-determined rule, the All-Star event wouldn't go beyond 10 innings. It's the second time in five years that the game ended in a tie.
The Southern Division loaded the bases in the 10th on a fielder's choice and two two-out walks issued by Jimmy Yacabonis of the Delmarva Shorebirds.
The Royals prospect's go-ahead two-run single -- a high bouncer up the middle -- drove in Legends teammate Frank Schwindel and Victor Caratini of the Rome Braves.
"I knew I wasn't going to start, so I just wanted to have a quality at-bat," said Taylor, who also doubled in the seventh.
In the bottom of the 10th, J.P. Crawford of the Lakewood BlueClaws and teammate Samuel Hiciano doubled. Reese McGuire of the West Virginia Power followed with a sacrifice fly and Shorebirds infielder Trey Mancini sliced a two-out RBI single down the right-field line to knot the game.
"I'm glad we could get the tie at least," Mancini said. "It was pretty exciting. The crowd was really into it.
"On the 2-1 pitch I swung about as hard as I could. I guess I wanted to end it," he added. "Then [Robert Coles of the Savannah Sand Gnats] threw me a curveball … and I got it in a good place."
The teams combined for 17 hits. Greensboro Grasshoppers outfielder Carlos Lopez and Hagerstown Suns outfielder Rafael Bautista each supplied two of the Northern Division's 10 hits.
Bautista followed his eighth-inning single with a stolen base and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on an 0-2 wild pitch by Sand Gnats pitcher Akeel Morris. On the next pitch, McGuire roped a triple to right-center field.
The Southern Division had taken the lead in the third on Charleston RiverDogs outfielder Aaron Judge's two-run single.
"It was a great opportunity getting to play with a bunch of guys I've seen but not met," said Judge. "I was just happy to get three at-bats and get the hit."
Lopez plated the game's first run after tripling into the right-field corner with two outs in the second. He scored on Augusta GreenJackets hurler Kevin McGowan's wild pitch, barely sliding under McGowan's tag.
Bob Sutton is a contributor to MiLB.com.