XENIA – With a reported 18 Major League Baseball scouts in attendance, several local players helped lead the South team to a 6-1 victory over the North in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League All-Star Game July 16 at Grady’s Field in Xenia.
Roger Bacon High School 2011 graduate and current member of the Cincinnati Steam Brian Bien was 0-1 but drove in a run via a sacrifice fly during the South’s three-run second inning that put them ahead for good.
Bien’s Steam teammate Jason DeFevers scored on the aforementioned sac fly after grounding into a fielder’s choice that produced the team’s second run of the game.
DeFevers has put together quite a first season with the Steam and is a big reason the team sits just one game out of first place. He ranks first on the team with 17 RBI and is second in doubles (seven) and hits (30).
“I made a couple adjustments with the swing and I’ve been swinging it real well lately,” the catcher said after the South’s victory. “I’m having fun and these guys are great to play with.”
First-year Steam coach Brad Gschwind made his all-star coaching debut leading the South to victory. It was chance for the 25-year-old Lakota West graduate and former Steam player to sit back and watch his guys perform on the big stage.
“Our guys have played well all year and these six guys are deserving of the opportunity to play in the all-star game,” the coach said. “They’ve had a good year for us and they did well tonight.”
Bien and DeFevers were joined by teammates Scott Sebald, Matt Jefferson (Northern Kentucky University), Jacob Bodner (Xavier University) and Derek Lance (University of Tennessee).
Sebald’s all-star experience was a quick and productive outing. After starting for the Steam July 14, Sebald was limited to facing just one batter in the all-star game. It took the former Colerain High School star just one pitch to retire his man.
“We talked about it before the game; (coach) said even if it’s one pitch you’re done,” Sebald said of his outing. “I saw the kid hit it and I just started laughing and said ‘well, come get me now.’”
Hamilton Joes pitcher and Cincinnati Hill Christian Academy graduate Jacob Banks tossed one inning in the game, and made it interesting for the South squad. The right-hander, who has only walked eight batters in 19 and 2/3 innings of work with the Joes this season, hit the first two batters of the inning before loading the bases with just one out. After the North scored its lone run of the game off Banks, the Miami University pitcher worked out of the jam.
“I worked harder once I got full bases trying to get out of there without too many runs,” Banks said. “It was a great experience. I didn’t throw well, but it was a great experience being able to play with and talk with all the best players in our league.”
Moeller High School graduate and Southern Ohio Copperheads outfielder Patrick Jones went 0-for-5 for the South team, while Badin graduate and Hamilton Joes second baseman T.J. Nichting went 0-2 with a stolen base.