The Threshers' own Jose Taveras earned the win in the FSL All-Star Game in Lakeland on Saturday, as six Clearwater All-Stars helped the North division to a 5-2 win over the South at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Taveras got the starting nod and twirled a perfect first inning, before teammate Cole Irvin worked around a leadoff double to toss a scoreless second. The North division held the South off the board until the ninth, and took the crown for the second-straight year.
After a 52-minute rain delay, Taveras took the hill just before 8 p.m. and made quick work of the South All-Stars. The 23-year-old struck out Charlotte's Jake Cronenworth looking, before getting St. Lucie's Jhoan Urena to line out to first and fellow Met Patrick Mazeika to fly out to right to end the opening frame.
With Taveras on the bump and Deivi Grullon behind the plate, the North featured a starting battery of Clearwater Threshers for the second-straight year. Thomas Eshelman started the game for the North with Chace Numata behind the dish in the 2016 FSL All Star Game in Fort Myers.
Irvin took the baton from Taveras in the second inning. After Bradenton's Logan Hill lined a double to right, the Threshers lefty got three quick outs to end the threat.
Offensively, Grullon finished 0-for-2, while Herlis Rodriguez played all nine innings and went 0-for-3 with a HBP.
Drew Stankiewicz entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, and lined a single to left off St. Lucie's Tyler Bashlor. Stankiewicz played the remainder of the game at shortstop, going 1-for-1 with a walk.
Jeff Singer induced the final two outs in the ninth, allowing an unearned run on one hit.
The Threshers lefty closer entered with one out and a man on in the ninth. He got Jupiter's Kyle Barrett to ground one back to him, before JC Rodriguez flared a single to center to get the South on the board. Cronenworth reached on an error on third baseman Austin Riley, scoring Barrett to make it 5-2, but Singer got Urena to ground out to third to end the ballgame.
Stankiewicz impressed in the rain-shortened Home Run Derby, bashing three home runs in the first round and six in the second round before the skies opened up.
The rain cut competition short, and thus the Derby championship was awarded to the winner of the first round, Palm Beach's Randy Arozarena.
Arozarena had four bombs in the opening round, while Stankiewicz, Casey Hughston (Bradenton), Urena (St. Lucie), and Arvicent Perez (Lakeland) had three, and Rodriguez launched one.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.