Campbell's Walk-Off Wins Eastern League All-Star Game





• See also: Eastern League All-Star Game Box Score


READING, Pa.—How unprepared was Binghamton first baseman Eric Campbell for delivering the Eastern Division's game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Eastern League all-star game?

He washed the shaving cream off his face, courtesy of Portland right fielder Bryce Brentz (Red Sox), with Gatorade. The water cooler was the next one over.

Campbell, named the game's MVP, stroked a two-out single to right field, scoring Reading shortstop Troy Hanzawa (Phillies) who had walked and advanced to third on a single from Trenton second baseman Kevin Mahoney (Yankees) to provide the Eastern Division with a 5-4 win before 9,477 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
 
"I've had a couple (walk-offs) in my career, but nothing like this," said Campbell, an eighth-round pick by the Mets in 2008 out of Boston College. "Thankfully the two guys in front of me had awesome at-bats.

"Nobody really worries when they go 0-for-3, but it's definitely nice to win the game. I was looking for a fastball, and once (losing pitcher Hector Nelo of Harrisburg, a righthander) got behind in the count, I knew he was coming with a fastball."

Eastern Division DH Mike McDade of New Hampshire (Blue Jays) went 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Erie first baseman Jordan Lennerton (Tigers) went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs for the Western Division. His sacrifice fly in the sixth inning tied the score at 4-4, just as his two-run homer in the fourth made it 3-3.

McDade's run-scoring double in the first and RBI single in the third, along with a run-producing fielder's choice from his New Hampshire teammate Mark Sobolewski, a third baseman, in that inning helped the Eastern Division build a 3-1 cushion.

New Britain righthander Dan Turpen (Twins) worked one-third of an inning to earn the victory. Bowie righthander Zach Clark (Orioles) got roughed up on his 29th birthday. He allowed two earned runs and four hits while throwing 18 pitches in the third.

Prospects Missing

Nine Eastern League players made the trip to Kansas City for Sunday's Futures Game, including two of the league's top prospects, ruling them out for Wednesday's Double-A contest. Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos won Futures MVP honors by going 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. He hit .341 in Erie's 10 games leading up to the break.

Mets righthander Zack Wheeler was in uniform for the EL but did not pitch. He retired the two batters he faced with just seven pitches at the Futures Game. Wheeler has gone 8-4, 2.62 for Binghamton with 88 strikeouts in 93 innings.

Valle Of The Stars

Reading catcher Sebastian Valle (Phillies) made his fourth straight all-star appearance. The 21-year-old played in the Future Games last year, and also had made all-star teams for the Florida State (2011), South Atlantic (2010) and New York-Penn (2009) leagues.

Tough Break For Chen

Akron's Chun Chen (Indians) did not make it to Reading for the all-star game because he jammed his thumb in a game against Bowie on July 8, according to Aeros teammate (and lone minor league knuckleballer) Steve Wright. Chen, who who ranks fourth in the league with a .321 average, has spent most of his time at first base this season after ranking second in the EL in passed balls last season with 18 in 82 games.

Unlikely Derby Champ

Harrisburg right fielder Chris Rahl (Nationals) has hit 57 home runs in 841 minor league games over eight seasons, but he claimed the EL home run derby thanks to quirky rules.

He connected for just six homers in the competition, but because one of those shots blasted off a bucket lift beyond the right-center field wall, Rahl received 100 points, earning him a total of 340 in the unorthodox exhibition. The bucket lift was just one of several odd targets the players could strike for bonus points.

"I've never been in a home run derby," said Rahl, a fifth-round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2005 whom Washington acquired in a minor trade in April 2011. "And I've definitely never done anything like that. It was bizarre but fun."