OGDEN – The best of the best 4A senior baseball players hit the field first in Saturday’s 70th High School Senior All-Star Games at Lindquist Field Saturday.
Coached by Bountiful’s Clark Stringfellow, who won a state championship for the Braves this season, the 4A North team dropped an extra inning affair to the South, 9-8.
However, Braves’ players Ryan Curtis and Ryan Stringfellow, and Shaden Fisher from Woods Cross High School, didn’t disappoint the crowd or themselves during the 10-inning game.
Stringfellow went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored in his final game as a Brave and took home one of the Most Valuable Player awards after the game.
It was exciting for Stringfellow, who said it “felt good to be back out on the field” with a teammate and have his dad coaching him at the same time.
“It was awesome and it showed that all our hard work paid off,” he said. “I couldn’t think of two better guys to spend (the all-star game) with.”
At the plate, Stringfellow legged out an infield single in his first plate appearance and lined another single to center field in his second at-bat.
Curtis followed Stringfellow and collected a base hit for himself, but Stringfellow was caught off guard when he heard two different calls heading to third base.
He was nearly called out but was able to beat the throw.
“All I heard first was ‘come on, come on’ and then I heard ‘stop’ so I was kind of in no-man’s land,” he said of the play. “It all worked out because I came around (to score).”
Curtis’s defensive prowess showed when he made a diving play for the first out of the game on a hit by Mountain View’s Parker Bingham.
Curtis thought he was in trouble when the ball started to drop sooner than he expected, which led to the diving play and the out.
“All I thought was ‘it’s a gapper, it’s a gapper; I better get on my horse,’” he said. “It all happened so fast. I just left my feet and got lucky I guess.”
Curtis collected two hits in the game and scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning.
“I hadn’t swung the bat since state (playoffs) last week,” he said, “but it felt pretty good to get two hits in an All-Star game.”
Fisher, who went hitless at the plate but scored a run in the second inning on a throwing error, was able to pitch one inning and allowed one hit and walked one batter.
“It felt great just to be out here playing baseball,” he said. “There’s no better place to be than playing in a great field like this and it felt good to pitch that inning.”
Clark Stringfellow said he was honored to be chosen to coach the North team and praised the organizers and Ogden for putting together a successful weekend of baseball.
“It’s a great honor to be with these fine young men and there’s a reason why they got chosen to be here,” he said. “It’s an honor to be with the best of the best. Ogden City does a great job putting this on and I was happy to be able to be here with my son and all the other kids.”
The South team won the game in the 10th inning on an RBI single by Spanish Fork’s Hayes Hall. The hit scored Maple Mountain’s Bryson Van Tassell, who led off the inning by striking out but made it to first base when the ball bounced by the catcher.