al-macks-10th miami-mvp award-game storyAlabama’s Aiden Macks helped get things going for the West team in a high-scoring game, and then delivered the deciding run as the West edged the East in the 12U contest of the 10th Annual International POWER SHOWCASE Thursday morning at Miami Marlins Park. Mack’s big day also helped earn the MVP award, as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and two RBI’s.

“It felt really good to get a hit at Marlins Park,” Macks said. “It’s really fun getting to play with all the different people from all different places.”

Ohio’s Lex Boedicker doubled to left field with two outs in the top of the first, and Macks put the West on the scoreboard with an RBI double to center field. In the fifth Texas’ Ross Donaldson reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored when Macks rolled an RBI single up the middle of the field.

Donaldson scored to put the West up for good in the second, after Florida’s Giovanny Cueto doubled to the left field corner and scored on an error to tie things up for the East. Donaldson singled to deep left, Indiana’s Parker Dean reached on an error to put runners on the corners and Oklahoma’s Gavin Moore rolled an RBI single up the middle. Dean then scored on a double-steal play to put the West up 3-1.

The West pulled ahead with a big third inning. Mississippi’s Sean Smith, Kansas’ Ashton Larson, Ohio’s Brennan Hamilton and Louisiana’s Landon Victorian all scored as the East gave up for unearned runs. Victorian had an RBI single, and the bats were quiet until Macks RBI single in the fifth. At the time it simply added to a big lead for the West, but by game’s end it would serve as the difference.

Down by a large margin, the East chipped away to get back into things. Florida’s Devin Fitz-Gerald reached on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Florida’s Jeter Polledo smacked an RBI double through the infield. Polledo then scored thanks to an RBI groundout from Georgia’s Jacob Conner.

As is often the case, good defense helped lead to good offense. In the top of the seventh the East infield defense helped spark the team, as New York’s CJ Picone made a nice play to set up a 4-6-3 double play with Cueto and Conner. The next inning the East scored three more runs on five consecutive hits.

North Carolina’s Isaiah Witherspoon sent a liner past first with two outs to start the scoring burst, North Carolina’s Austin Hawke came up with a single to deep center and Picone delivered a two-RBI single up the middle. New Jersey’s German Beltran then lined an RBI single to center.

Donaldson added one final run for the West on an RBI single to left that plated Texas’ Blake Mitchell, who singled and stole a base to get into scoring position.

The East score the final run of the night in the bottom of the ninth. New York’s Brody DeGroodt walked and came in on an RBI walk to Florida’s Tony Casanova.


By Rick Duteau

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