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Baseball: Alonso's Valdes pushes Hillsborough All-Stars to win in 14 innings

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Thu. May 31, 2012 | Rodney Page | Email

Baseball: Alonso's Valdes pushes Hillsborough All-Stars to win in 14 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — The Hillsborough senior All-Stars scored three runs in the top of the 14th inning Thursday to defeat Pinellas 8-5 in the Senior All-Star Classic at Tropicana Field. Alonso’s Ryan Valdes broke the tie with an RBI double off Canterbury’s Harrison Hall.

Wharton’s Collin Woody greeted Countryside reliever Eric Russell with a two-RBI single to pad Hillsborough’s lead.

It was the fifth win in six games for the Hillsborough squad.

Hillsborough pitchers allowed only five hits and struck out 14. Pinellas All-Stars also struck out 14.

Two long days: Valdes was named Hillsborough’s most valuable player for getting the winning hit. He was the only player on either team to play every inning  and went 1-for-6 with a walk.

“We only had five outfielders, and one of them left to go to a banquet so I got to play the whole way,” Valdes said. “That was fine with me. I love the Trop. I love the Rays. To get to play here and win was great.”

Seminole’s Brett Phillips was the Pinellas MVP, connecting on a three-RBI triple in the second inning against Riverview’s Dylan Drawdy.

The game was just part of the day for Phillips. He arrived at Tropicana Field at 8 a.m. to work out for Rays scouts.

“I had a blast,” Phillips said. “These could have been my last amateur at-bats, depending on the draft, so I just relaxed and had fun.

“Playing in the Trop for my last high school game is awesome. I was in here before the lights were even on.”

Small school, big arm: After striking out East Bay’s Enmanuel Rodriguez for the final out in the fifth inning, Calvary Christian’s Zach Wolfe pointed to his dugout and smiled. Wolfe guaranteed his teammates he would strike out the side in his inning, and he delivered.

“I actually told everybody before I went out there that I was going to strike out the side,” said Wolfe, who had 111 strikeouts this season. “I’m sure everybody thought I was this small kid from a small school that was going to get shelled. But I know I have good stuff. I think I showed everybody.”

Eating up innings: Jefferson’s Corbin Olmstead wasn’t in Hillsborough’s rotation of nine pitchers, but when he was pressed into action in the 11th he came through. Olmstead threw three scoreless innings and picked up the win. Robinson’s Josh Jenkins pitched the 14th to save the three-run lead. Olmstead struck out five and gave up one walk.

“We just wanted to do whatever we could to go home with that W,” Olmstead said. “I’m glad that I could be a part of that.”

Charting the draft picks: Bloomingdale’s Richie Martin, who is likely to be selected in next week’s first-year player draft, was 1-for-6 with a triple. Hillsborough’s other expected high draft pick, King’s Keon Barnum, opted not to play.

In addition to Phillips, two other likely picks contributed for the Pinellas All-Stars. East Lake RHP Eric Hanhold threw one inning and gave up a run on one hit and two walks and struck out two. Dunedin RHP Colyn O’Connell pitched three scoreless innings and gave up one hit.

Photo: Riverview's Dylan Drawdy, center, celebrates with Hillsborough All-Star teammates Eric Schindler of Freedom, left, and Jefferson's Corbin Olmstead.

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