West team takes AFLAC High School Classic with 8-4 win

Shepherd named MVP of All-American game

Youth baseball

August 14, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

In a rather lackluster game that took three hours, 43 minutes to play in 100-degree heat, the West outlasted the East, 8-4 in the third AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic in Aberdeen yesterday.

It was the second AFLAC game that advertises that it has the top 38 rising seniors in the nation, although there were no players from Maryland, to be played at Ripken Stadium.

The West took advantage of three leadoff walks, three errors, a wild pitch and two singles to score five runs in the top of the eighth inning to take an 8-4 lead.

Devin Shepherd, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound outfielder from Oxnard High in Oxnard, Calif.,, singled in the sixth run for the West. Shepherd, who went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runsand an RBI, was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

"It feels good to win the award because I didn't come in here trying to do that," said Shepherd.

"The game was professionally run, raising money for kids with cancer is great and I'm proud to be a part of it. I wish there had been more emphasis on the kids with cancer."

Game proceeds, sponsorships and donations resulted in $100,000 raised for the Division of Pediatric Oncology at Johns Hopkins' Kimmel Cancer Center.

The West had 2-0 and 3-2 leads before the East scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings on RBI singles by Derrick Robinson and Bill Rowell to take a 4-3 lead.

Kyle Drabek, the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek, got the win by holding the East scoreless over the last two innings.

Gerald Sullivan, who received the first sportsmanship award named after the AFLAC honorary chairman, Cal Ripken, took the loss. Sullivan was charged with three of the last five runs by the West.

NOTE: Cody Johnson, who struck out four times in the game, received the Jackie Robinson AFLAC National High School Player of the Year Award at an awards dinner held on Thursday. Johnson is an outfielder/first baseman from Mosley High in Panama City, Fla., who hit .489 with 10 homers, 30 RBIs and 30 runs this spring.

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