MIDLAND — Chesaning senior Jacob Turnwald and the North all-stars beat the South all-stars 11-7 Tuesday in the fifth annual Dow Diamond North vs. South Baseball All-Star Game.
Turnwald was the lone area representative for the North, which featured players from Bay and Saginaw counties. The South, which encompassed players from Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee counties, featured three area players — New Lothrop’s Kollin Lienau and Nathaniel Lane and Corunna’s Ethan Hollister.
None of the four area all-stars recorded hits, but each contributed in other areas to their respective teams.
“It’s just nice to be out here — it’s a new experience,” said Turnwald, who played second base. “It’s really cool to see everything just as it is. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew there were going to be a lot of people out there who could play. Second base was a little different. I’ve never played second base, usually, I play shortstop.”“
Turnwald said he was a bit nervous coming into the contest. The team did not have a practice together and he normally plays shorstop or pitcher. He did not bat, in part because his left hand was bandaged up.
“It was a little difficult with this injury,” Turnwald said. “I did it at home, working with sheet metal.”
Turnwald, however, played error-free at second, including a fine stop going to his right and then flipping the ball over to the North shortstop for the second out in the top of the ninth.
The North built a 6-0 lead after the first two innings, but the South rallied for four runs in the fourth.
The North finally put the game away with five runs in the seventh.
Lienau, New Lothrop’s All-State shortstop, also did not play his regular position, manning second and third base for the South. Lienau — who broke his left hand while being hit by a pitch midway through the season — got hit again Tuesday.
This time, though, it was a harmless hit on his leg in the first inning. He grounded out twice, with the second driving in a run.
“It’s just an honor to be here with all of the good players,” Lienau said. “The pitching today was really good. Everybody was throwing in the high 80s and everybody could hit and field. It was just fun to play.”
Lienau also played in the Mott Bruin Club All-Star Classic in Flint earlier this summer. Several players from that game also played in this one.
Fellow Hornets senior Nathaniel Lane made back-to-back running catches in right field for the South to end the eighth inning. Runners were on second and third at the time as the South trailed 11-4. The team was able to score three times in the top of the ninth but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Lane went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a pop out to the catcher. Still, Lane said it was a thrill to play in a stadium like Dow Diamond, where the Class-A Great Lakes Loons play their home contests. The Loons are a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We were all having fun,” Lane said. “They (the North) were just hitting it where we weren’t tonight. It was a lot of fun and it was an honor is what it is.”
Corunna senior Ethan Hollister, listed as a utility player, played second base and relief pitcher.
He grounded out twice.
Hollister came on in relief for the South in the seventh inning but gave up five runs on five hits.
He did get the final out in the seventh when he turned around and threw out a baserunner trying to steal second.
Hollister said it was the first time he’s ever been to Dow Diamond.
“It was fun playing with all of these great players,” Hollister said. “The field was really nice — it was really smooth and the grass is cut really short. I liked it a lot. It didn’t go as planned, but I had a lot of fun and I made a couple of friends along the way.”
Bay City Western catcher Nick Dardas was voted the Most Valuable Player for the North. Dardas went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two doubles.
Outfielder Brock Henson of Fenton was named the MVP of the South, batting 2-for-2 with a double and two stolen bases.