Liberty High School's Jeff Wagner played a key role in the North's 4-0 victory over the South in the 10th Crown North/South All-Star baseball game yesterday at Memorial Stadium.
He scored in the seventh, doubled and stole two bases on two attempts. He was voted Most Valuable Player for the North and received plenty of hugs and kisses from family and friends.
He had been a star for a day, but it didn't take long for him to come back to reality. It was time to go home, though it took a stadium security officer to break the news to him.
"Congratulations," the officer said, "but you have to leave the field now."
It didn't matter because Wagner had had his fun. "It felt great playing in this big stadium," he said. "It was awesome. I liked the atmosphere, and it was a good game."
It was a game with many wild plays, and the North benefited the most, turning three South errors into a 3-0 lead through five innings.
The North could have built a bigger cushion, but in the third inning, Brett Kintz from Towson was called out because third-base coach Joe Binder had given him a boost home.
Kintz walked to start the inning and moved to third after a throw to first sailed into the stands. After C. Milton Wright's Ken Batten popped out to right, Kintz tagged up and headed home, but he tripped over the bag and Binder helped him up.
"I screwed up," said Binder, who coaches at Calvert Hall. "There are really two ways to deal with that. Some coaches believe in having the runner look at home, and he says go. I believe in the base-runner looking at the guy catching the ball and then breaking, so we had a little screw-up there."
In the top of the fourth, with two out and the bases loaded and a 2-0 lead, Batten flied out to right to end the threat.
Ryan Clark, Bryan Bowen, Kevin Loewe and Jerry Fisher held the South to four hits. The South's best scoring chance came in the bottom of the first with two out and Arundel's Scott Young on third. But Russ Curry from Northeast flied out to center.
North.. .. .. 010.. .. 110.. .. 1 -- 4 4 1
South.. .. .. 000.. .. 000.. .. 0 -- 0 4 3
Clark, Bowen (3), Loewe (5), Fisher (7) and Konopacki; Buckheit, Mummert (3), Moore (5), Beard (7) and Colliere. 2B: Wagner.