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(Photo by Sunil Sunder Raj)

(Photo by Sunil Sunder Raj)

On Wednesday night in the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ball Park, Zach Wilson of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs filled up the stat sheet, facing off against five other players in the home run derby and playing in the game. Entering the contest, Wilson had hit 12 home runs on the season.

Participating his first home run derby, Wilson belted eight home runs equaling Garrett Weber of Lancaster to advance to the championship round. The number of home runs tailed off in the final round as Wilson mustered enough energy to edge out Weber four to three.

“A lot more tiring than I thought it would be but going into that second round I was exhausted and never knew how tiring it would be until I got two swings into the second round,” said Wilson. “Overall a good time when it’s a home run and a blast.”

When it came to the All-Star Game, the ball kept jumping out of TD Bank Ballpark as the Freedom Division and Liberty Division teams’ combined for five home runs. Down 2-0 after the first inning on a two-run missile by Jovan Rosa (New Britain), the Freedom Division responded in the second on back-to-back round trippers by Sean Halton (Lancaster) and Kevin Ahrens (Sugar Land).

However, it was Wilson that provided the fireworks in front of a packed house of 8,175 fans, launching a game-winning, three-run moonshot over the center field wall that earned him MVP honors.

“Honestly, you want to go out here and have some fun but out here with a great group of guys and overall a great game that we won,” said Wilson. “Winning the derby and MVP a good feeling. Somerset (Patriots) always puts on a good atmosphere with the on the field stuff and in the stands. They are always upbeat and make it fun here.”

On playing for Southern Maryland in the All-Star Game, “They have treated me well the past 2 ½ years so it’s good to represent a good organization that is rebuilding and coming back up strong.”

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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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