The nearly two decade old Harry Andreassen All Star Game between the Powerline Baseball League and the Battle River Baseball League was a landslide victory for the PBL on Sunday afternoon. The PBL would win 15-8 improving their record to 10-6-2 vs the BRBL since 2000. The fifteen runs scored by the PBL is the most by either either league since 2004 when the PBL defeated the BRBL 16-5.
Right out of the gate the PBL All Stars would dominate the BRBL with a 7 run top of the first against a Stettler pitcher. The first eight hitters of the game for the PBL would reach with RBI singles coming from Armena’s Doug Morris, Tofield’s Craig Neufeld and Holden’s Randall Ziegler. The big hit of the inning was a bases load double from Armena’s Luke Ryan scoring Vaughn Rempel and Sheldon Pederson. By the end of the inning the PBL All Stars has sent eleven hitters to the plate and it was quickly 7-0 PBL.
The BRBL All Stars would chip away in the bottom half of the first against the PBL starting pitcher from the Edmonton Expos, Gary LeBlanc. After a leadoff error LeBlanc would run into some trouble after a passed ball put the BRBL on the board. A one out RBI single to BRBL’s Jackson Berry would make it 7-2 before LeBlanc would load the bases with a walk to Brayden from the Amisk Oilers. LeBlanc would get out of the jam with a hard lineout off the bat of Stettler’s Jordan as Doug Morris would catch the hot shot and tag out Berry at second base on the play.
While the PBL was held off the board until the top of the fourth inning, the BRBL would add to their total in the bottom of the second inning. LeBlanc would walk the bases loaded with two out before hitting Brendan Anholt from Amisk to make it a 7-3 game.
It wasn’t until the top of the fourth when the PBL would score again. Once again it was lead off hitter Vaughn Rempel from the Edmonton Expos who would get things rolling for the PBL. After a single, his second of the game, Rempel would score when Leduc’s Alex McIntosh would drive him home with a single up the middle. The Royals’ first baseman Luke Ryan would would make it a 9-3 lead with a single to left field before McIntosh would make it 10-3 on a wild pitch and Ryan would score himself on a Dustin Huebert RBI ground out. Heading into the bottom of the fourth it was now 11-3 PBL.
Four more PBL insurance runs would get added in the top of the fifth inning as the first four hitters would reach base, all of whom would come in to score later in the inning. Holden’s Randall Ziegler led off the inning with a single up the middle ahead of Roadrunners’ Lance Zimmer reaching via error to the BRBL’s third baseman. Vaughn Rempel would collect his third and final base hit of the game with another single up the middle against the BRBL. Rosalind’s Sheldon Pederson would cash in Ziegler and Lance Zimmer with a two RBI single to left field, Camrose Axemen second baseman Zach Willms would score Rempel on a RBI ground out and Luke Ryan would hit his second double of the game, and for third time this afternoon, score Sheldon Peterson. Ryan’s double would end the scoring for the PBL on the afternoon and extend the lead over the BRBL to 15-3.
Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh, PBL leading 15-4 and the BRBL would creat a mini-rally off of Holden Blue Jays pitcher Steve Hrabec. Aided by a couple of errors, the BRBL All Stars would plate four in the inning with a RBI single by the Rivals Greg Duvall and a two RBI double from Jackson Berry. Berry would finish the game 5 for 5 with a double, 3 RBIs and a run scored for the BRBL.
The defensive play of the game may have come in the bottom of the seventh when Rosalind third baseman Ryan Yuha would make a great play moving away from his momentum on a deflection. Amisk’s Brayden would hit a comeback off the glove of Stephen Hrabec, which Yuha then reached back to his right for while moving left to make a great throw from his knees to get the out at first. It was a great play that joined Doug Morris’ diving catch at short and near double play in fourth inning, Cal Zimmer’s diving catch in the sixth inning on a sinking line drive in centre and Stephen Hrabec’s catch on the mound on a rocket come back line drive that turned into a double play.
The win was a great showing for the two leagues in the annual Harry Andreassen All-Star Game. It also marked the first afternoon time slot for the game, as it has traditionally been hosted in Camrose with an evening first pitch with the game finishing under the lights.
During the game the fans took a moment to show appreciation to local umpire Peter Rodgers who volunteer his time for the game. A familiar face with both leagues, the veteran umpire was acknowledged for his continued support of the PBL and BRBL.
The Powerline Baseball League will now shift it’s focus to the Championship, which will see game three between the Armena Royals and the Leduc Milleteers on Tuesday evening in Armena. On Sunday afternoon Leduc’s Dallas Woodman and Alex McIntosh were teammates with Armena’s Luke Ryan and Doug Morris. In a couple days they will be advisories in what has become a terrific series to end the 2018 PBL season. First pitch for game three will be 7:00pm at Anniversary Park in Armena.