The first night of the 2018 CPL ALl-Star Show was a success with the National All-Stars winning the Skills CHallenge 26-11 over the American All-Stars. Tomorrow night, July 9, the All-Star Game will have a first pitch of 7:35 p.m. in Lexington, S.C., home of the Lexington County Blowfish.
The goal of the evening was to showcase the All-Stars skills and this was done with bunting, pitching and hitting contests. Three players from each ALl-Star team were selected to participate in each portion of the challenge totaling nine players on the National and American All-Star skills Challenge teams. Each event the players competed to score runs/points with the total as a team ultimately deciding who won the Skill Challenge trophies.
The first event of the night was the Bunting Challenge that saw players try and place bunts on a target with four scoring zones: one point, two points, three poitns and four points for those that landed the ball in the center of the target. American All-star Danton Hyman (Newberry) of the Morehead City Marlins kicked off the scoring with one run for the American All-Stars but the Nationals roared back ultimately totaling five in the round between Clay Dungan (Savannah / Indiana State) and Derek Perry (Forest City / Pfeiffer.) The round ended with the National All-stars leading the American All-Stars 5-1.
Up next was the Hitting Challenge in which players hit the ball of a tee at targets strategically placed in the outfield. Elijah Henderson (Forest City / Clemson) started the scoring with another three runs for the National All-Stars. His National teammate Patrick Causa soon followed to bring in the most runs of the competition with six during his turn at-bat, pushing the Nationals lead to 16-3 following the Hitting portion of the Challenge.
The final event of the night was none other than the Pitching Challenge that saw pitchers aim at six bats standing vertically on a platform across home plate. American All-Star Charles Hall (Edenton / Tusculum) put the American All-Star team back on the board, scoring a total of three runs. National All-Star Jordan Meritt (Savannah / The Citadel) added another four points for the Nationals while American All-Star Zach Keenan (Morehead City / Tennessee State) did his best to bring the American's a bit closer with four runs during his turn. All was for nought though as the Nationals held a commanding 25-11 lead after what was originally planned as the final round.
However, in a twist a final bonus Home Run Round was added in which the teams were allowed to select one player each to have ten outs to hit as many home runs as possible. The American All-Stars selected Danny Wondrack (Wilmington / College of Charleston) and he came through for the team hitting five home runs, while the Nationals selection Clay Dungan (Savannah / Indiana State) managed only one. In the end though it would not matter as the National All-Stars won the event convincingly with a final score of 26-16.
Written By: Alex Evatt