O’Donnell Named MVP, West Trims East, 8-5
ELMIRA — Alex O’Donnell has been making the most of his final season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
On Wednesday night, the Jamestown Jammers shortstop added to his legacy.
O’Donnell singled twice, walked and stole three bases en route to being named the Most Valuable Player as the West Division All-Stars earned their first victory over the East Division All-Stars in eight years, winning the PGCBL All-Star Game, 8-5, at Dunn Field.
“This is a fun day all around. The opportunity to get in front of some scouts and do some things … we’re just playing and having fun,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a credit to (manager) Anthony (Barone) and all my teammates on the West Division.”
“It’s a great representation of our team and the Jamestown Jammers,” Barone added. “It’s a culmination for Alex for the last couple of years and all the hard work he’s put in. It couldn’t happen to a better young man. I’m just so proud of him. He should really enjoy this.”
The five-man Jammers contingent was in the middle of all the early action as the West Division eventually built up an 8-0 lead.
Jammers catcher Ben Livorsi and O’Donnell teamed up to pick a runner of second base and help Elmira starter Rhyse Dee out of the top of the first inning.
“We were kind of making eye contact when he was at short,” Livorsi said of he and O’Donnell. “The guy was getting basically halfway off the base and we were lulling him to sleep a little bit. I pulled the trigger and got us out of a jam.”
Jamestown center fielder Chase Keng and O’Donnell got the West Division offense jump-started in the bottom half of the frame with a pair of singles before both came around to score when Watertown’s Alex Mumme reached on an error and the throw went down the first-base line.
Newark’s Allen Murphy made it 3-0 with an RBI double before he was thrown out trying to advance to third base on a fly ball to center field on the defensive play of the night by Utica’s Khalyd Cox.
Jammers starting pitcher Isaiah Moten made an appearance in the top of the second inning, but wasn’t on the mound for long because he retired the East Division on just seven pitches with a fly out to right field and a pair of groundouts.
Livorsi walked with one out in the bottom of the second inning, but was stranded when Keng struck out for the final out of the frame.
Jamestown relief pitcher Ryan Boyer threw a scoreless top of the third inning, picking up a pair of strikeouts while also walking a batter.
“It was really cool to see Keng and O’Donnell lead off with hits, and having Boyer and Moten throw scoreless innings, Livorsi having a back-pick,” Barone said, ” … All five of our guys played a really big part in that lead early in the game.”
“Those guys have been consistent for us all year,” Livorsi added about the two Jammers pitchers. “It’s no surprise that they threw two goose eggs up on the scoreboard.”
O’Donnell led off the bottom of the third inning with a single off the third baseman’s glove, then stole second. The Mercyhurst University product also stole third and scored when the catcher’s throw went off the third baseman’s glove into left field.
The West Division took a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Geneva’s Zac Miller hit a two-run home run to left field. With one out, Keng struck out before O’Donnell walked and was stranded in the final plate appearance of the night for the Jamestown players.
“The teams are better than their records show in our division,” Barone said. “We have a lot of good ballplayers in the PGCBL. It’s really nice to have them all gathered here. Being able to meet a lot of the guys and coach different talents makes it really exciting for me.”
The five-man Jammers contingent then sat around and watched as a number of West Division pitchers held the East Division scoreless with just one hit for most of the night until the winners of the previous seven all-star contests put up five runs late to make the game close.
“It’s been really awesome to come out here and play with the best people in the league … competing against the best as well,” Keng said. “We knew that we could compete with the best. It wasn’t that big of a surprise for us to get out here and show what we’ve got.”
Most of the Jammers returned to Jamestown following last night’s game to get ready for the final stretch of the season, beginning with tonight’s 7:05 game against Geneva at Diethrick Park.
“It’s great camaraderie between our division. Any time you play a game you want to win,” Barone said. ” … For us to get off the schneid and win one was good for us. We’re really happy.”
NOTES: Murphy won the home run derby by hitting two round-trippers in the 30-second second round to beat Adirondack’s Anthony Boselli (0), Mohawk Valley’s Ryan Toohers (1), Cox (1), Oneonta’s Kyle Ruedisili (1) and Saugerties’ Tyler Kelder (1). … In the one-minute first round, Murphy (2), Boselli (2), Toohers (2), Cox (3), Ruedisili (2) and Kelder (2) advanced while Geneva’s Nick LaBrasca (0), Elmira’s Jordan Westburg (1), Amsterdam’s Elvis Peralta (0), Glens Falls’ Andrew Stanley (0), Mumme (1) and Albany’s Ubaldo Lopez (0) did not.