Led by former Gamecock standout Max Schrock, the Northern Division edged the Southern Division – that had four Columbia Fireflies on its roster – 2-1 in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night.
Playing second base for the North, Schrock went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in both of his team’s runs.
In the top of the first inning, Schrock hit an RBI double off Fireflies ace P.J. Conlon, who ended up the hard-luck loser in the low-scoring affair. Conlon pitched the first inning, surrendering hits and a run to the first two batters he faced, before settling down and escaping the inning without allowing further damage. He didn’t give up another hit or any walks while recording one strikeout.
Fireflies pitcher Alex Palsha faced one batter in the game, recording an out.
Pitchers dominated the night, with both teams combining for 21 strikeouts.
In the seventh inning, fans got to check out Mariano Rivera III, the son of all-time major-league saves leader and 13-time New York Yankees All-Star Mariano Rivera. The elder Rivera was in the stands and watched his son work a 1-2-3 inning, beginning with a flyout from Luke Matheny – the son of St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny – and ending with a strikeout.
Columbia had two everyday players on the Southern roster, but neither made much of an impact. Vinny Siena started at second base and went 0-for-3 while David Thompson was the lone player who didn’t play for the South.
The Fireflies will have another day off before starting the second half of the season with a four-game homestand on Thursday at Spirit Communications Park against the Augusta GreenJackets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.