CLINTON — With the Midwest League All Star Game finally here, Clinton will be well represented.
Five LumberKing standouts made the 2013 squad: outfielders Dario Pizzano and Jabari Henry, catcher Tyler Marlette and pitchers Dylan Unsworth and Tyler Pike. The distinction earned high praise from manager Eddie Menchaca, who said on Wednesday that the honor extends beyond the first half of the season with each player harboring hopes for a career in the big leagues.
“It’s a amount,” he said. “There’s 25 guys on the roster and to have five going -- they’re well-deserved players -- it’s a credit to our organization... to the staff for keeping them consistent. It goes down on their resume, their baseball card. It goes down in our organization as far as these guys were in the All Star game representing the Seattle Mariners and the LumberKings.”
This year’s game will be held in Dayton, Ohio, home of the Cincinnati Reds Single-A affiliate Dayton Dragons. Although Unsworth recently went on the seven-day disabled list (his status uncertain for whether he will play in the game), the rest of the All Stars verbalized their excitement for having the opportunity.
With a team-leading 53 strikeouts, Menchaca called Clinton’s left handed ace “one of the best lefties I’ve seen in this league,” crediting his deception and delivery.
Pike posted a 4-3 record with a 2.90 earned run average through 12 starts thus far. Both numbers make put him in the top 15 among players in the league. Through 59 innings, he’s allowed only 19 earned runs.
“I didn’t think I had an outstanding first half, so it surprised me a little bit,” Pike said. Since he’ll make his next start on Sunday, he doesn’t think he’ll actually throw in the game. “But it’s a great honor to be voted in by the coaches. Hopefully it’ll get me more motivation to get me going.”