At The Ballpark: 2019 California League HR Derby and All-Star Game

Lazaro Armenteros, Stockton Ports, June 18, 2019 at California League All-Star Game - photo credit Gail Verderico, @1baseballchick on Twitter

There’s nothing I love more than the pomp and circumstance of an All-Star game, and this year’s game was no different. The game, the Home Run Derby, the induction of Rollie Fingers into the Cal League Hall of Fame, and the Ken Griffey Jr. bobblehead giveaway, brought all the fans to the yard. And early.

The Home Run Derby

In this year’s Derby, the Cal League hitters were paired with youth league hitters. Their combined totals would determine if the teams advanced to the next round. In the North division, Cam Duzenack’s team and Lazaro Armenteros’ team tied, so there was a tie-breaking round. Duzenack’s team won, and they advanced to the final round. In the South, Casey Golden hit 7 to set the bar pretty high. Connor Wong followed with two, and the Cal League home run leader, Luis Castro, didn’t hit any out. Golden’s team won and advanced to the final round to meet Duzenack’s team.

In the final, Duzenack and his partner combined to hit 11 home runs. Golden’s partner hit first and got five homers. Golden’s work was cut out for him, but he was up for the task. Golden hit seven again to claim the Championship!

Casey Golden wins the 2019 Cal League Home Run Derby.

The All-Star Game

The game was won by the North 7-1 and the MVP was the Rawhide’s Mark Karaviotis who ended the game 3-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Mark Karaviotis wins the 2019 Cal League ASG MVP award.

Karaviotis drove in the game’s first run, plating Giants’ #2 prospect Heliot Ramos with a second-inning single up the middle. Jameson Hannah (Stockton) then scored Karaviotis and Stockton teammate Lazaro Armenteros with a two-out triple to left. In the seventh, Karaviotis singled again and scored on an RBI ground out by Jancarlos Cintron (Visalia). The North scored two more in the 8th, courtesy of Karaviotis and Hannah respectively, and one more in the ninth for good measure, off the bat of Visalia’s Camden Duzenack.

Lazaro Armenteros heading into third on a triple.

The South just couldn’t get anything going and couldn’t string together any hits. Their lone run came in the 6th inning off the bat of Lake Elsinore’s Esteury Ruiz. With nobody on and no outs, Ruiz jacked a home run to left center field off Camilo Doval who touched 100 mph a couple of times.

All in all, it was a fabulous event. The Inland Empire 66ers were fabulous hosts and the day went off without a hitch. Fans really seemed to enjoy the Griffey Jr. bobblehead giveaway the pre-game autograph session with the players. The players really seemed to enjoy signing for the fans as well. At the end of the night, we were all treated to post game fireworks. A great way to end a great day! With the second half in full swing, it will be great to watch these players, many of whom are likely to be promoted.

Rollie Fingers is inducted into the Cal League Hall of Fame.

Notable players who had amazing first halves that were named to the team but weren’t able to play in the game were:

Edwin Uceta, P Dodgers

Elliot Ashbeck, P Padres

Ronald Bolanos, P Padres

MacKenzie Gore, P Padres

Evan Miller, P Padres

Robbie Podorsky, OF Padres

Andrew Wantz, P Angels

Torii Hunter, Jr, OF Angels

Carlos Herrera, INF Rockies

Luis Liberato, OF Mariners

Sam Delaplane, P Mariners

Frank Rubio, P Giants

Jose Caballero, INF Diamondbacks

Gail is Bay Area born and raised. She was conflicted on which side of the Bay to root for early on, but eventually sided with the A’s. Gail now lives in Southern California, loves all Southern California baseball, and enjoys travelling around the country watching as many baseball games as she can. Follow her on Twitter @1baseball_gail.

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