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Tuesday night’s 2017 All-Star Game at RCGT Park in Ottawa, Ontario turned out to favor the pitchers’ from the Can-Am All-Stars and American Association All-Stars rather than the batters. Both teams’ used 15 arms and combined for 20 strikeouts in the game.

Early on it was the New Jersey Jackals tandem of Johnny Bladel and Brian Burgamy that gave the Can-Am League the advantage. Bladel, led off with a double into the left center field gap, preceding a single from Burgamy into right field.

In the fourth inning, Anthony Gallas from the St. Paul Saints hammered a double into the left center gap. Moving over to third on a ground out, Gallas came into score on a ground out by Matt Chavez from the Wichita Wingnuts.

Held hitless for three innings, the Can-Am All-Stars broke up that drought on a two-out single by Cody Regis of the Rockland Boulders. Another tandem came through in the clutch, first with Kalian Sams of the Quebec Capitales drawing a walk and teammate Yordan Manduley putting the Can-Am All-Stars up 2-1 belting a single into center as Regis raced around the bases to come into score. Daniel Grauer provided some extra insurance drilling a single back up the middle plating Manduley from second base.

“It was awesome getting a chance to play in front of the home fans and putting on a good show an amazing feeling,” said Grauer.

On where this ranks in career accomplishments, Grauer added, “It’s very high up there and a lot different than winning a championship but this is more personal.”

The American Association made things interesting in the eighth inning. With one out Jayce Ray from the Sioux City Explorers drew a one out walk followed by Josh Romanski from Winnipeg belting a single into center. On the play centerfielder Sebastien Boucher from Ottawa tossed the ball back into the infield but when second baseman Dylan Tice from the Rockland Boulders was unable to field the ball cleanly, Ray took off from second and came into score trimming the deficit. However, that is close as the American-Association would get as Maxx Tissenbaum of Quebec threw Romanski out at second on an attempted steal.

In the ninth, New Jersey closer Johnny Hellweg came in to pitch and after allowing a leadoff walk to Gallas proceeded to retire the final three hitters to record the save. Edilson Alvarez from the Trois-Rivieres Aigles earned the win while Tyler Alexander of the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks was tagged with the loss.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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