COLUMBUS — The top players of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and International League (IL) produced a bunch of offensive fireworks in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday at Huntington Park.
The two teams piled up a bunch of records and near-records in the game, finishing with 19 runs on 29 hits in a contest the PCL won 12-7, the league’s consecutive victory in the midsummer classic.
“In Albuquerque, every game is 20 hits and 10 runs, so this was nothing different,” said Isotopes third baseman Josh Fuentes, who was named BUSH’S All-Star MVP for the PCL after delivering a homer and an RBI single.
“I think this is a special group of hitters, and I thought we proved that by getting a lot of hits and a lot of runs.”
The game was played before a crowd of 10,516 — the largest crowd for a Triple-A All-Star Game since Buffalo hosted 18,025 fans in 2012. And that loud crowd was treated to one of the largest offensive outbursts in the history of the game, which was first played in 1988.
The 12 PCL runs marked the third-most for one team and the most since the IL posted 13 in a 2003 in Memphis. And the 19 runs for both teams were the most scored in the contest since the IL won the 2003 game, 13-9.
The two teams combined for 29 hits — 15 for the IL and 14 for the PCL — the largest total in the history of the contest.
Norfolk infielder Drew Dosch planned to attend this year’s Triple-A All-Star Game the moment he learned it would be played at Huntington Park.
“I’ve been joking with teammates that I’m going to Columbus whether I was on the team or not,” Dosch said.
The reasons were pragmatic for the native of Canal Winchester, Ohio — a Columbus suburb. He and his wife, Carly, are in the process of buying a home in his hometown.
“It was a matter of signing some papers and making sure the loan work was completed,” Dosch said. “Everything is moving forward in the house process, and we’re really excited that it should be done in the next month or so.”
But the Orioles infield prospect took time away from business on the home front for Wednesday’s contest between the best players in the International League and the Pacific Coast League.
“To play in this game has been a goal,” Dosch admitted. “When I found out this past offseason that the game would be played here, I made it one of my goals to be here if I was playing for Norfolk. So it’s exciting to represent Norfolk and Baltimore in this game.”
Isotopes’ Fuentes leads way in PCL All-Star repeat
The 26-year-old earned his spot by ranking ninth in the IL with a .293 average. The third baseman leads the Tides with 19 doubles and has five homers and 31 RBIs.
“I made a few changes to my swing path last year, with the idea to get more doubles and drive in more runs,” Dosch said. “It was new to me, so this offseason and this season, my goal is to show more consistency with my swing.
“If I could make up the roster for the big league team, I would have been in Baltimore the year I was drafted. But that’s not in my control. So I just go out and play hard every night, and I feel confident that if I do that well enough for long enough, my opportunity will come.”