Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Texas League All-Star Game Report

Devenski Shines in All-Star Game Start

By Jeremy Schmidt (@Jeremy_IP_TTM)

WHATABURGER FIELD, CORPUS CHRISTI - The 79th Texas League All-Star Game was held Tuesday at Whataburger Field, the home of the Houston Astros’ AA affiliate the Corpus Christi Hooks. The festivities kicked off with a homerun derby; an unusual scoring system was used granting 10 points for a homerun, 5 points for hitting various targets set up in the outfield, and a 2 point deduction for a foul ball. All possible point totals doubled on the final out. The Hooks were represented by 3B/DH Tyler White. Prior to the derby Hooks pitcher Chris Devenski picked White to win stating “Tyler has enough power to put it out there on the berm.” These words held true as White led all competitors with 76 points on 7 homeruns in the first round. White went on to face Springfield catcher Michael Ohlman (66 points on 7 homeruns) in the championship final. White did not disappoint the home crowd as he defeated Ohlman 18 points to 6 by hitting 2 homeruns to Ohlman’s 1.

Tyler White - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

In the All-Star game the South division team fell to the North 9-4 under a beautiful coastal sky. Starting for the South team was Hooks pitcher Chris Devenski, who the Astros acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the Brett Myers trade in 2012. Devenski earned the start by pitching to 7-1 record while allowing a very low ERA of 1.16 over 14 games and 70 innings pitched. He also combined with Hooks teammate Josh Hader on a rain shortened no-hitter. Devenski in his first all-star game planned to “give the home town crowd a good little show, have fun, and not hold anything back.” That is exactly what he did in his two perfect innings, striking out the final two batters he faced.

1B Conrad Gregor, the Astros 4th round pick in 2013, was the only Hooks position player to start. He played all nine innings going 0 for 3 with a walk and stolen base.

With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out in the 5th inning Hooks manager Rodney Linares, who will also be participating in next week’s Futures Game, turned to Hooks reliever and Texas State alum Travis Ballew. Facing the game’s first high leverage situation Ballew allowed a single to the first batter he faced to score both inherited runners. Ballew was able to finish the inning without further runs scoring by sandwiching another single between a groundout and caught stealing.

Homerun Derby champ Tyler White and terrific defensive catcher Roberto Pena both entered as defensive replacements in the top of the 6th inning. Neither player contributed offensively going a combined 0 for 3.

The game got somewhat ugly in the top of the 9th when Hooks closer Jandel Gustave, whose control was off, only recorded one out while walking three and hitting a batter. Three runs, all earned, were charged to him. Linares turned to Aaron West, the last Hooks player available, to relieve Gustave of the bases loaded situation. West was a late addition to the South team; he did not learn of his selection until the morning of the game when pitching coach Doug Brocail informed his of his addition. West escaped the jam allowing only the final run of the game, an inherited run to score on a sacrifice fly.

Game Notes

Current Astros pitchers Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez as well as Fresno utility man Tony Kemp were also selected as Texas League All-Stars.

Former Astro pitcher David Martinez pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the South team, he was representing Texas Rangers’ affiliate Frisco.

Travis Jankowski, college teammate of former Astro pitcher Nick Tropeano, hit a leadoff homerun for the South team. It was only his 4th professional homerun.

Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio was named the Top Star of the Game after hitting a tie breaking 2-run homerun in the 8th inning.

Chris Devenski - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Travis Ballew - 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Jandel Gustave - 1/3 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, HBP, K, 3 R

Aaron West - 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 R

Conrad Gregor - 0-3 BB, SB, K

Tyler White - 0-2

Roberto Pena - 0-1

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