July 15, 2009 - Golden Baseball League (GBL)
St. George, UT. July 14, 2009 - The 2009 Golden Baseball League All-Star game drew a packed house to Bruce Hurst Field in St. George, Utah to watch the North Division triumph by a score of 9-6 over the South Division. The North Division dominated the night as Calgary Viper OF Fehlandt Lentini (a leadoff hitter) won the home run derby over ex-major league slugger Jim Rushford (Tucson Toros) of the South in the final, the game was won by the North, two North players had their contracts purchased during the game, and the All-Star Game MVP Award was taken by Chico Outlaws OF Truan Mehl of the North squad who went 4-5 with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBIs.
The North jumped out early on South starter Jose Lima with a leadoff home run from Lentini and never trailed as they rode outstanding pitching, Mehl's hot bat, and great defense the rest of the way for the win. In the middle of the 8th inning it was announced that Victoria LHP Isaac Hess, who started the game for the North, had just had his contract sold to the Boston Red Sox and Chico Outlaws LHP Donald Brandt, who pitched a scoreless 5th inning for the North had his contract acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers during the game.
Mehl, 6-2, 200 , had an outstanding all-star game with four hits, three of them doubles and either driving in or scording two-thirds of the runs for the victorious North as he garnered the MVP award for the game. Originally drafted in the 30th round by the Texas Rangers out of the University of Maryland, he played four years in their system reaching as high as AA before being released after last season. Signed by the Chico Outlaws he has had a tremendous first half of the season as he has been near the top of the batting leaders and is currently hitting for a .396 average and has been outstanding in the field as well.
Hess, 23, 5-11, 180 went undrafted out of South Mountain Community College after leading his team to the junior college world series. He signed with the pro independent Frontier League where he had two stellar seasons as he was named the 2007 Frontier League Championship Series MVP and threw a no-hitter during the 2008 season. He joined the Victoria Seals this year and has been dominant from the start as he won Player of the Week and Player of the Month Awards. He was on his way to obliterating many GBL pitching records as he was off to an 8-0 start with 65 strikeouts in his first 11 games (both on record pace and easily leading the league) while posting a 2.47 E.R.A. (second in the league) and walking only 19 batters in 70 innings pitched. He started the All-Star game for the North and threw a flawless first inning, striking out one and retiring the next two batters which was enough for the Red Sox to move to acquire the lefty.
Brandt, 23, 6-3, 195 went undrafted after finishing his collegiate career at Santa Clara University in 2008. He signed with the Yuma Scorpions late in the season that year and was traded prior to the start of this year to the Chico Outlaws. Originally used as a middle reliever and setup man out of the Chico bullpen early in this season, he had so much success that Manager Greg Cadaret moved him to the starting rotation. He had four fine starts prior to the All-Star game and ran his record to 4-1 with a 3.64 E.R.A. (fifth best in the league) while striking out 42 batters in 41 innings pitched and walking only 15. He pitched a scoreless inning giving up no hits against the heart of a tough South Division lineup in the All-Star game, prompting the Brewers to move quickly and acquire his contract shortly after he came off the mound.
Hess and Brandt are the 12th and 13th GBL players acquired by Major League organizations in 2009.