SANFORD, Fla. – The East All-Stars used a 9th inning rally as the Futures League All-Star Game played to a 5-5 tie at historic Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Andrew Smith (Winter Park) got the start for the East, working around an error to throw a scoreless first. He would be matched by West starter Collin Booten (Winter Garden) as both pitchers threw two innings without allowing a run.
The West got on the board first in the 3rd inning. Collin Teegarden (Leesburg) singled to lead off the inning and stole second two pitches later. Jonnie Benniefield III (Winter Garden) would later score him on a 2-out RBI single.
The East were quick to answer, though, tagging Ronnie Ingram (Leesburg) for two runs in the bottom half of the frame.
After a single by Christian Julius (Sanford) and a double by Quinton Martinez (Winter Park), Connor Scheitzach (Winter Park) would come to the plate looking to give the East their first run of the game. Ahead 2-0 in the count, Scheitzach laced a double scoring both Julius and Martinez to give the East a 2-1 lead.
Michael McArdle (Sanford) and Colby Woodard (Leesburg) would each throw scoreless 4th innings before the game was put in to a brief weather delay midway through the 5th frame.
Once the lightning was out of the area and the game resumed, Connor Scheitzach wasted no time at all in adding to his already outstanding day. With two outs and a runner on, the West Virginia Wesleyan commit hit a towering two-run blast off of Colby Woodard (Leesburg) to extend the East’s lead to 4-1.
The East All-Stars seemed to be cruising to a victory until the West mounted a charge in the 8th inning. Teegarden led off the inning with a double. Jaylen Dorsey (Leesburg), Andre Walden (DeLand), Benniefield, and Spencer Taylor (Leesburg) followed with four straight singles, driving in four runs and giving the West a late one run lead.
The East was not done, however. Quinton Martinez (Winter Park) was able to get on base, leading off the bottom of the 9th with a walk. That would bring Connor Scheitzach back to the plate with the chance to put a stamp on his performance. It was not Scheitzach that would bring in the game-tying run though. Rather it was the West’s poor defense that wrote the story of the final inning.
With a 1-2 count on Scheitzach, Martinez took off for second. The throw sailed in to center field as Martinez quickly got up to head to third. It seemed that was as far as he would get until the ball inexplicably went under Dorsey’s glove, allowing the runner to come all the way around to score the tying run, knotting the game at 5 apiece.
Jonnie Benniefield was able to shake off the errors and retire three batters in a row, ending the Futures League All-Star Game in a 5-5 tie.
With his 2-3, 4 RBI performance, Connor Scheitzach has been named the MVP of the game.
Futures League action resumes on Monday, July 10th with just over two weeks remaining on the season before playoffs begin on the 26th.