Little League hosts action-packed All-Star game

Club Porterfield sneaks by Club Roberts, 13-12.

The All-Star majors players. —Chris Roberts

Updated May 31, 2017

The Martha’s Vineyard Little League All-Star game, featuring players selected from the five Major League teams, put on an exciting display of talent and spirit on Saturday at Penn Field in Oak Bluffs. The substantial crowd of well-wishers were vocal in their appreciation of both the fine baseball and the long-absent sunshine.

The game’s format called for a handful of players to be chosen from each of the five Major League teams, then randomly separated into two squads. The resulting matchup was Club Roberts (named for coach and league vice president Chris Roberts) vs. Club Porterfield (for coach and league safety coordinator Chris Porterfield). With the coaches deftly rotating position players and pitchers in and out of the lineups, every All-Star saw considerable action.

This was a seesaw contest from the outset, filled with clutch hitting, defensive gems, and shut-down pitching in crucial spots.

Through the first five innings, 22 runs were scored, with “home team” Club P clinging to a 12-10 lead. During that stretch, the team’s big hits — both two-run doubles — were delivered by Eamon Savard in the second inning and Jacob Sylvia in the fifth.

For “visiting” Club R, Jack deBettencourt singled home two runs in the first, and Josh Lake did the same in the fourth. Two outstanding defensive plays kept Club R in the game. In the fourth, Cole Lambert, Cam Napior, and Ashley Brasefield turned a nifty 4-6-3 double play to end a Club P rally. And in the fifth, a sensational diving grab by left fielder Kaleb Watt saved at least one run.

So it all came down to the final frame. Trailing by two runs, Club R tied the score at 12, and had runners at second and third, with one out. That’s when Club P hurler Nate Story bore down, fanning the next two batters to end the inning.

Then, with two outs In the bottom of the sixth, Club P’s Jack Lionette stroked a sharp single to right field, scoring Charlie Porterfield to win the game, 13-12. It was the only safe lead of this well-played and entertaining contest.

The game was preceded by a series of skill competitions in which the players were grouped with their league teammates. The skill areas were base-running speed, outfield relays to home plate, double-play efficiency, and a home run derby. The highlight of the competitions was a four–home run outburst by Hardy Eville of the Pirates, each one a “no doubt about it” clout into the trees beyond the left field fence.

All in all, it was a day of summerlike exhilaration for both players and fans.

Skills Competition results

Base-running relay: Cubs win with a time of 26.6 seconds.

Cut four relay: Red Sox win with a time of 20.6 seconds.

Turn two (four double plays): Red Sox win with a time of 31.3 seconds.

Home run derby: Hardy Eville of Pirates wins with 18 points.