TROY, NY - Josh Lopez knocked in the game-winning runs with a two-run single in the ninth as the South squad topped the North, 5-2, in the 2017 New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, home of the Tri-City ValleyCats.
Lopez's line drive to left in the final frame brought in Ben Breazeale of Aberdeen and Ulysses Cantu of Mahoning Valley to break a 2-2 tie. The Spikes catcher then scored the game's final run as he came home on Tristan Gray 's RBI single.Andrew Summerville then entered the game with two outs in the ninth and struck out Oscar Rojas of Hudson Valley to close out the win. Summerville was called into the contest by Spikes honorary bench coach Josiah Viera, who came out to make the pitching change in the ninth.
The late heroics from Lopez and Summerville followed the news announced earlier in the night that the 2018 NYPL All-Star Game would head back to Central PA. The Spikes are slated to host the annual event at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park next August, with a variety of activities designed to bring the community together for a one-of-a-kind extravaganza.
State College left-hander Daniel Castano , the NYPL's current wins leader, started the game for the South and yielded two hits and a walk during a scoreless inning. Castano threw 20 pitches, 10 for strikes.
Scott Hurst and Yariel Gonzalez completed the Spikes' complement of All-Stars, and each started the game for the South. Hurst played center field and went hitless in three at-bats, while Gonzalez manned third base and went 0-for-2.
The South got an RBI single from Oscar Gonzalez of Mahoning Valley in the fifth to open the scoring, with Gray adding a home run in the seventh to tie the game.
Gray earned the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player honors with his two runs batted in.
Zac Law of Hudson Valley and Colby Bortles of Connecticut each produced solo homers for the North squad.
Luis Ramirez of Williamsport earned the win, while Reggie Johnson of Tri-City took the loss.
State College had six players selected for the game, but Evan Mendoza was promoted to Single-A Peoria this past Thursday.
The Spikes' All-Star quintet will rejoin the rest of the team in West Virginia on Wednesday as State College begins a six-game homestand with the opener of a three-game series against the Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates). Right-hander Johan Oviedo (1-0) is set to go for the Spikes against an as yet unnamed West Virginia starter.
Catch all of the action on Wednesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 6:50 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Monongalia County Ballpark. The Spikes' radio broadcast can also be heard worldwide through the "Listen Live" link on StateCollegeSpikes.com, provided by the club's flagship radio home, Newsradio 1390 WRSC, as well as the TuneIn Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.