Zebulon, N.C. - In a back-and-forth game, the 2018 Carolina League All-Star Classic, presented by U.S. Foods, went in favor of the Southern Division All-Stars with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, North Carolina Tuesday night. Wilmington's Kort Peterson was productive at the plate picking up a pair of hits, scored a run and had an RBI. Khalil Lee reached base twice with a walk and a single while Bryan Brickhouse struck out the lone batter he faced. Winston-Salem's Joel Booker earned the All-Star Game MVP and led the Southern Division's offense in the comeback win with three hits, including a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning and drove in four runs.
The Northern Division wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and sent six men to the plate to score three runs in the opening inning. The first three batters reached to load the bases before Potomac's Jake Noll put the Northern Division on the board with a sacrifice fly. Frederick's Preston Palmeiro doubled the lead with an RBI groundout before Peterson ripped a two-out single to center field to drive home Potomac's Carter Kieboom from second to give the North a 3-0 lead.
Lee entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth and the Carolina League leader in walks showed patience at the plate and drew a leadoff walk. Wilmington's D.J. Burt came in as a pinch-hitter three batters later and battled against Carolina's Marcos Diplan before going down on strikes. In the seventh inning, Lee again set the table and reached with a leadoff single to center field, but the Northern Division was unable to score in the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Peterson laced a leadoff double to center field and came around to score a batter later when Lynchburg's Conner Capel singled him home to pull the Northern Division within two runs, 7-5. In the bottom of the eighth and with two outs, Brickhouse was called upon and struck out Myrtle Beach's Jhonny Pereda , hitting triple digits during the at-bat.
Buies Creek's Brandon Bielak earned the win after he tossed the sixth inning and allowed a hit and a walk. Frederick's Tyler Erwin suffered the loss and the blown save as he gave up the lead with three runs allowed on two hits while recording two outs in the four-run sixth inning that helped push the Southern Division to the victory. Pelham, who is second in the league in saves behind Brickhouse, picked up the save for the Southern Division.
The Blue Rocks start the second half of the season with a four-game road trip to Potomac and a clean slate in the Northern Division on Thursday, June 21, with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Fans can catch all the action as Matt Janus will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.