Banner Day For Jammers
Five Named To West Division All-Star Team
The first-place Jamestown Jammers were rewarded for their 20-9 record Tuesday when five players and manager Anthony Barone were named to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League West Division All-Star team.
The game will be played next Wednesday, July 18 at Dunn Field in Elmira.
Representing the Jammers will be shortstop Alex O’Donnell, center fielder Chase Keng, catcher Ben Livorsi, starting pitcher Isaiah Moten and relief pitcher Ryan Boyer.
“All five of those guys are guys I expected to be a nucleus of our team,” Barone said Tuesday afternoon during batting practice at Diethrick Park. “They are all very deserving. Without those five guys, I don’t think we’d be where we’re at right now.”
O’Donnell entered play Wednesday hitting a team-high .379 with six doubles and two home runs while driving in 20 runs and scoring 29.
“Me and Coach (Hayden) Carter talked about it when we were assembling the team last September. … Alex needed to be an all-star for us in order for us to be successful,” Barone said. “He had to take that next step in his career and he has done that for us.”
In his fourth season with the franchise, the Lockport native heading into his senior season at Mercyhurst University has stolen eight bases and made just six errors in 96 chances defensively for a .938 fielding percentage.
“What’s really neat is I’ll be able to coach him at the all-star game as well,” Barone said. “I’m glad I’ll be able to enjoy the experience with him because we’ve been through a lot here together.”
Keng is third on the team in batting with a .320 average. The left-handed hitter has five doubles, a league-leading six triples and a home run while driving in 19 runs and scoring 23.
“My goals this summer were just to be consistent at the plate and get better with a lot of at-bats,” Keng said. “Working on hitting lefties was one of my big things. I think I’ve done that pretty well lately.”
The Houston native heading into his sophomore season at the University of Texas-San Antonio has stolen 11 bases and has to make an error in 46 opportunities.
“He might be one of the most talented players in the league just from an overall athletic standpoint,” Barone said. ” … In my opinion, he’s one of the more athletically gifted players I’ve ever coached here in Jamestown.”
Livorsi is fifth on the Jammers in hitting after seeing his average rise to .281 in recent days. The Minnetonka, Minnesota native has a double, a triple and two home runs while driving in 14 runs and scoring 15.
“Sharing the field with the best in the league and my teammates,” Livorsi said, “is a really good opportunity to have some fun out there and play the game I love.”
Entering his sophomore season at the Saint Louis University, Livorsi has yet to make an error behind the plate.
“The most important thing that he does for us is give us consistency behind the plate,” Barone said. ” … He’s above where he should be as a freshman catcher.”
Moten is the only Jammers pitcher to make more than three starts this season, going 2-1 with a 2.91 earned run average in six starts. The right-hander from Temecula, California has struck out 13 in 34 innings pitched while walking 11.
“It just shows all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off,” Moten said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without this team. They drive me every day to do better.”
Heading into his senior year at Cal State Bakersfield, Moten’s best two starts of the summer came in early June when he threw seven innings in back-to-back starts against Elmira and Amsterdam, allowing just one run each time.
“He works really hard,” Boyer said of Moten. “He wants success. You can tell he’s not complacent. He always wants more. He deserves it.”
Boyer has been the most consistent arm out of the Jamestown bullpen, allowing just five runs (two earned) in 11 appearances covering 16• innings.
“Being a Division III guy, there are stereotypes,” Barone said. “For him to be chosen as an all-star really says how good he is. I think a lot of professional scouts will see that at the all-star game. I expect next year to hear his named called in the draft. He’s that talented.”
The Bradford native, who pitches in his hometown at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has gone 2-0 with a save while striking out 23 batters and walking just three.
“For me personally, it means a lot,” Boyer said of the all-star selection. “Coming from a DIII program and being kind of our local guy, being from just 45 minutes away, it means a lot to represent Jamestown.”
Barone will be looking to manage the West Division team to its first win in four years. In 2015, the East Division won, 18-2, and in 2016 they won again, 9-1. Last season in Amsterdam, the East Division pulled out a 10-8 win in a back-and-forth affair.
All-Star festivities will begin with an afternoon workout attended by scouts from all 30 Major League Baseball franchises before the home run derby at 7 p.m. followed by the game.
Watertown leads with eight players selected to the West Division team. Adirondack, Elmira, Geneva and Newark each have four players on the West Division roster.
“I want guys to play with a chip on their shoulder, but this is a team thing,” Barone said. “… I’m a little disappointed that we only have five guys, but we have good teammates that are just happy for the five guys that are going.”
Albany leads the East Division team with six selections while Mohawk Valley and Utica each have five selections. Amsterdam, Oneonta and Saugerties each have four selections.