Former Hillcats Pitcher Bieber Wins All-Star Game MVP
Lynchburg, Va. - Former Lynchburg Hillcats and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber was named the MVP of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 9. In front of his hometown fans in Cleveland, Ohio at Progressive Field, Bieber struck out the side in the 5th inning. He caught Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras looking, fanned Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte and froze Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to retire the side in order. Bieber helped lead the American League All-Stars to a 4-3 win over the National League, marking the seventh consecutive victory for the AL.
Bieber is the third player in All-Star Game history to win the MVP award in his home ballpark, joining Pedro Martinez at Fenway Park in 1999 and Sandy Alomar Jr. also in Cleveland in 1997. The Orange, Calif. native is also the first pitcher to win All-Star Game MVP since Mariano Rivera in 2013 and is just the fifth pitcher to do so in the past 40 years.
The 24-year-old was a late addition to the All-Star team. He replaced Texas Rangers starter Mike Minor, who wasn't eligible to play because he pitched two days prior to the Mid-Summer Classic.
Bieber donned a Hillcats uniform just two seasons ago, when he went 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts for Lynchburg, before earning a promotion to Double-A Akron in July of 2017. In 90 innings with the Hillcats, Bieber struck out 82 while walking just four, posting a WHIP of 1.10.
Overall in 2017, combining his time with Single-A Lake County, Lynchburg and Akron, the right-hander went 10-5 to go along with a 2.86 ERA over 28 starts. Bieber led the Cleveland Indians farm system with 173.1 innings pitched, and his 2.86 ERA ranked second. He needed just 47 minor league games to earn the call-up to The Show.
A former walk-on at UC Santa Barbara, Bieber was drafted by the Indians in the fourth round in the 2016 MLB draft. He is the 20th Gauchos player to play in the Major Leagues.
The Hillcats continue their series with Down East on Thursday in the middle game of the three-game set. Left-hander Kirk McCarty (2-2, 4.74) will start for Lynchburg against Sal Mendez (5-0, 2.22) for the Wood Ducks. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Grainger Stadium.
Max Gun will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on July 17 for a six-game home stand against Fayetteville and Frederick. Homestand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday's post-game fireworks show will be presented by Pepsi while Saturday's will be presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.
The Lynchburg Hillcats are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Hillcats are eight-time Carolina League Champions, having most recently won the Mills Cup Championship in 2017. The Hillcats play their home games at City Stadium, which has been home to Minor League Baseball in Lynchburg since 1963. Visit the Hillcats online at Lynchburg-hillcats.com, and follow the Hillcats on Twitter (@LynHillcats), Instagram (@LynHillcats) and Facebook (Lynchburg Hillcats). For more information about the Lynchburg Hillcats, please contact Max Gun at email@example.com.
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