The Coastal Plain League has announced the coaches for the 2019 All-Star Showdown in Savannah, Ga. on July 7-8. The All-Star Event will take place at Historic Grayson Stadium, home of the Savannah Bananas.
The two-day Showdown will feature six teams consisting of 12 players each broken down as follows: West Division All-Stars, East Division All-Stars, North Division All-Stars, South Division All-Stars, Fan Voted All-Stars and Team Savannah. The coaches for each team were selected based on first-half winning percentages while also taking into account NCAA rules for Division I or II coaches coaching prospective student athletes. With all of these factors considered, the East Division All-Stars will be led by Fayetteville head coach David Anderson and assisted by Kevin Soine of Holly Springs. In the West, Charles Bradley of Gastonia will be the head coach with Matt Reed of Forest City joining as his assistant. For the South it will be Savannah's Tyler Gillum as the head coach and Danny Higginbotham of Macon as the assistant while the North will be led by Bryan Hill from Wilson and assisted by Russ Burroughs of Edenton. Finally, the Fan Team will be coached by Keith Ritsche of Asheboro with Ryan Vruggink of Florence joining him as his assistant. Team Savannah will be coached by the Savannah Banana's assistant coaches.
The Divisional team rosters were selected based on votes from CPL head coaches, broadcasters and one media representative per team while the Fan Vote team was compiled from a 48 hour poll in which almost 6,000 unique votes came in. The event will kickoff on Sunday as it has in past seasons, but instead of a traditional Home Run Derby - or the Skills Challenge introduced last season in Lexington County, S.C. - as the sole highlight that night, there will be more.
One representative for each of the six teams will participate in a Home Run Derby to determine the seeding of the Showdown. The top two seeds will be given a "bye" and move on to the semi-final games to be held on Monday. The remaining four teams will compete in the quarterfinal games on Sunday, with the winners advancing to Monday's semifinals. Each game of the Showdown will be three complete innings in length with tie-breaker rules for any games that remain tied following the third inning of play. So, for Sunday, fans will see a Home Run Derby and six innings of baseball (two quarterfinal games), followed by two semi-final games and the championship for a combined nine innings on Monday.
An additional component to the Showdown is that of two pitchers pools: a semifinals arms pool and a championship arms pool - these arms will be the highest vote getters from the initial All-Star ballots voted on by coaches, broadcasters and team media reps. The next highest vote getters are listed on the Divisional teams below and the final six pitchers will come from the Fan Vote team and Team Savannah. The two teams that advance from Sunday's quarterfinals will have their head coaches draft their three pitchers for semifinal action; and the same for the two teams that advance to the championship. This way, each pitcher in the Showdown only throws once.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,600 alumni drafted and 124 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.