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Flashback: 2014 Carolina / California All-Star Game

June 17, 2020 - Carolina League (CarL) - Wilmington Blue Rocks News Release

Wilmington, DE - Bakersfield teammates Kyle Waldrop and Ben Lively are moving up in the world, going to Cincinnati's Double-A affiliate in Pensacola in the second half. And they ended their California League stints in fine form Tuesday night.

Waldrop homered and drove in all of his team's runs, while Lively started and threw two hitless innings to get the win as the Cal League held on for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina League in the annual All-Star Game between the circuits at Frawley Stadium.

Waldrop hit an RBI single and a two-run shot to give the West Coast contingent all the offense it needed. He also reached on an error.

The homer proved to be the crucial hit as Waldrop crushed a fastball from Christian Binford of the host Blue Rocks that sailed over the center-field fence with room to spare.

"I got a hold of it, got a fastball on the first pitch and I put a good swing on it," Waldrop said. "It was an awesome experience; it was a lot of fun." The 22-year-old outfielder led the league with a .359 batting average in the first half. He entered the break with 20 hits in his last 42 at-bats, a stretch that included two homers and seven RBIs.

Lively also had a big night to cap a stellar first half. The big right-hander threw 19 of 25 pitches for strikes, fanning two batters and making some Carolina League All-Stars look overmatched.

"I knew I was only throwing two innings, just [wanted to] to the same things I've been doing," he said. Lively also was excited to be headed back to Pensacola, where he grew up. He learned about the promotion after his most recent start on June 7 and led the league with a 2.28 ERA and 95 strikeouts while going 10-1 in 13 first-half starts.

"My phone hasn't stopped buzzing," he said with a smile. "The cat's out of the bag now."

Cal League manager Denny Hocking of the Inland Empire 66ers saw plenty of Lively during the season and has become a big fan of the 22-year-old.

"I really enjoyed my two days with him," Hocking said. "I'm excited for him. [The promotion] is well-deserved. He dominated that league in a league that's not so easy to dominate."

The pitchers from both leagues dominated on Tuesday as the teams combined for only 11 hits.

The Cal League broke through in the second as Visalia's Brandon Drury hit a leadoff double off Salem right-hander Justin Haley. Waldrop lined a single to left field to open the scoring.

Two innings later, Lancaster's Teoscar Hernández reached on a wild third strike against Binford. After an errant pickoff attempt, Hernandez took third on a groundout by Drury and trotted home on Waldrop's blast.

Carolina fought back in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Glynn Davis after Myrtle Beach's Jorge Alfaro tripled off Lancaster's Josh Hader. Lynchburg's Kyle Wren added a run-scoring single in the eighth off Lake Elsinore right-hander Trevor Gott and stole second and third. But Gott struck out Winston-Salem's Tim Anderson to end the inning.

Hocking brought in 66ers right-hander Austin Adams to pitch the ninth, but he gave up singles to Carolina's Erik Gonzalez and Wilmington's Cam Gallagher. San Jose's Steven Okert retired the next three batters to record the save.

Okert was the last of the nine pitchers used by Hocking. The Carolina League also got plenty of good pitching, with Alex Claudio (Myrtle Beach), Branden Kline (Frederick) and Mark Peterson (Wilmington) holding the Cal League hitless over the final three frames.

"They threw some really good arms against us tonight," said Carolina League manager Darryl Kennedy from the Blue Rocks. "I thought we threw pretty good, too. It was a really good ballgame."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to

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