American League Victorious in Rookies All-American Game, Silas Ward Named MVP

The American League defeated the National League, 15-4, in the 12U Rookies All-American Classic Game on Sunday morning at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Silas Ward was named the MVP of the game after going 2-for-4 with three RBI and a stolen base to fuel the American League offense.

“It feels awesome,” Ward said on winning the award. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

Ethan Robinson, the starting pitcher for the American League squad, threw 50 pitches and recorded three shutout innings. He finished with seven strikeouts and only allowed one hit. Robinson’s fastball sat in the low 70’s, topping out at 73. His breaking ball ranged from 58-60 miles per hour.

On the mound to start the game for the National League was Landon Bowden, who tossed 76 pitches in three innings. With the exception of a five-run second inning, Bowden pitched well, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first and retiring the side in his final frame. He averaged a 60 MPH fastball, topping out at 61, and also featured a changeup at times.

Robinson began the game by striking out the side. In the bottom of the frame, National League starting pitcher Landon Bowden loaded the bases with one out after walking Derek Hernandez. With a chance to put the first runs on the board, Bowden got Sean Collins to strike out looking and forced Robinson to ground to the shortstop to escape the jam.

After Robinson retired the side in the top of the second, the American League erupted in the bottom of the second, highlighted by an RBI single off the bat of Silas Ward. Ward stole second base, advanced on a drop-third strike and later scored on a catcher’s interference. The American League took advantage of four walks, two errors and a hit-by-pitch to plate five runs.

In the third inning, the National League managed to break up Robinson’s perfect game on a Nehomar Ochoa single. Robinson responded by striking out three of the next four batters to end the inning. Landon Bowden bounced back well in the third inning, retiring the side to finish his outing.

Ashton Larson, the second pitcher for the American League, retired the side in the top of the fourth. The National League threatened in the top of the fifth with runners on the corners, but Larson forced Dylan Richardson to fly out to right field. Larson contributed on the offensive side as well, knocking in Derek Hernandez on a double to center field.

Larson grounded out in his second at-bat, bringing Archie Andrews home. Blake Mitchell added an RBI triple, and scored on a single off the bat off Josh Surigao to extend the American League lead to 9-0 through five. Andrews, the grandson of famous orthopedic surgeon, Dr.  James Andrews, is the youngest participant in the Power Showcase’s history.

The National League got on the board in the top of the sixth inning after Jake Tanguma reached second on a throwing error by the shortstop. In the next at bat, Eddie Copper doubled in Tanguma. Copper was thrown at attempting to steal third by Jake Bell, and Larson forced two infield flyouts to end the sixth. The American League answered with three more runs in the bottom half of the sixth, highlighted by Bell’s RBI single.

Larson threw 50 pitches through three innings, allowing just one run and one hit, and struck out three batters. His fastball ranged from 58-61 MPH, topping out at 63. Larson’s curveball sat in the 30’s. Jason Barrera, the second pitcher for the National League, tossed 67 pitches through three frames, allowing seven runs. He frequently hit 60 on the gun for his fastball, but didn’t top that number. Barrera’s breaking ball leaned toward the high 30’s.

The National League strung together two runs with two outs in the top of the seventh, starting with Nic Frink’s triple to deep left that scored Nehomar Ochoa. Frink came home on a wild pitch. After a single and a pair of walks, Josh Surigao finally got the third out of the inning to keep the score at 12-3. Surigao held the National League scoreless in the eighth, despite giving up another two-out triple to Frink, who was caught stealing home to end the inning.

The American League extended the lead to 14-3 in the bottom of the eighth on a pair of RBI singles by Silas Ward and Jack Bell. After the National League added one in the top of the ninth, the American League struck again in the final frame on a RBI groundout by Josh Surigao.

There was once again a good crowd of parents and families on hand, who got to witness their children playing on the same dirt and grass as Rangers’ greats. Granbury, Texas, native Justin Crites, the father of the American League’s Kyler Crites, spoke with a tone of envy about his son’s opportunity.

“It’s a dream we’ve always had as adults or dads,” said Crites. It’s stuff we always wanted to do. For them to get out there, we kind of get to live through them. We love baseball, so for them to be out there is a huge deal.”




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