SOUTH BEND – The brand-new All-Star Game rule instituted this year actually came into play Tuesday night for the 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game from Four Winds Field. After being tied 3-3 after nine innings of play, it was announced the game would be decided by a sudden death Home Run Derby.
Each team picked one representative to try and hit as many home runs as possible in a 90-second time period. For the West, manager Erick Almonte selected Kane County’s Blaze Alexander. For the East, it was an easy decision for South Bend’s Buddy Bailey as he picked the Home Run Derby champion from Monday night, Bowling Green’s Chris Betts.
Betts, who opened the game at catcher for the first inning, needed over a dozen swings before he crushed his first sudden-death homer well over the right field wall. He quickly deposited the game winner deep into the Four Winds Field spectators in right for the walk-off win, 4-3, for the East. Like Monday night, he threw the bat a mile in the air and was mobbed by his teammates near the pitcher’s mound.
Alexander, who did not participate in last night’s Derby, hit just one home run in his 90 seconds of allotted time.
The game got to 3-3 after Delvin Perez used a pair of throwing errors by the East in the eighth to come around and score.
West Michigan’s Ulrich Bojarski had a pair of sacrifice flies for the East and Great Lakes’ Miguel Vargas added an RBI double.
Clinton’s Jerar Encarnacion, who did participate in the Home Run Derby Monday night, hit the game’s only homer in regulation, a two-run shot in the fourth that had the West claiming a 2-1 lead.
By default, Fort Wayne’s Henry Henry got the pitching win as the final pitcher of the night, getting the final out of the top of the ninth.