Published June 27, 2012
West bats prevail in 31st annual high school baseball All-Star Game, beat East squad 16-6
By Mike Moore email@example.com Follow Mike on Twitter.
DETROIT — In his many years of service with the Beverly Hills Groves baseball team, Jim Crosby has won countless games at a variety of venues.
Comerica Park isn’t one such place.
“I’m 0-1 here. That’s not good,” Crosby said with a smile after the 2012 Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association East West All-Star Game June 26. “But you know what, this was a lot of fun. That’s all that matters.”
Crosby, the long-time Groves skipper, managed the East team in a 16-6 loss that lived up to the All-Star offensive hype with a combined 28 hits between the two teams.
“It’s disappointing, but what can you really do?” Crosby said. “We had two bad innings, and that was the difference. But that (West) team could really hit the ball. I mean, we used 10 pitchers, and as much as our team hit, they really raked the ball.”
The East got off to a good start in the game, the 31st annual contest put on by the MHSBCA.
Troy Athens senior Tommy Eng led the game off by taking a pitch to the body. He eventually got to third on a pair of wild pitches and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Buster Sunde.
The East added two more runs in the top of the second, only to see the West answer with a pair of its own.
In the third, Sunde walked, reached third on a double by Bloomfield Hills Andover senior Gabe Berman and scored on a wild pitch.
The 4-2 lead didn’t last long, though.
The West scored five times in the bottom of the third and once in the fourth to grab an 8-4 advantage. Even after the East narrowed the gap to 8-6 in the top of the fifth, the West sent 12 batters to the plate in the sixth, pounded out seven hits and scored eight times, all but ending the game.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but managing a game like this, where you really don’t know all these guys, is tough,” Crosby said. “I mean, you see a pitcher give up a few hits, do you take him out? Is he settling down? It’s all part of it. That’s what you get in All-Star games.”
Since a 3-1 East victory in 2008, the West has won three of four games, averaging 13 runs in the three wins.
The high score was somewhat surprising considering the starting pitchers.
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett senior Alex Darr, who went 16-1 in 2012 with a 0.50 ERA, and Holt High senior Justin Allemam (8-0, 0.40 ERA), were named co-Mr. Baseball winners the night before, then faced each other in the game.
“That’s the best lineup I’ve ever faced,” Darr said with a laugh after the game.
Groves senior Jake Balicki finished the game with two hits, two runs scored and pitched a perfect seventh inning. He was named Most Valuable Player of the East squad.