Connecting on two hits to drive in two runs, designated hitter Nick Stavinoha led the Sugar Land Skeeters to a 5-3 win over the Atlantic League All Stars at the independent league’s annual All Star Game on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas.
As a result of his performance, the 7,555 fans in attendance saw the 32-year old Houston native receive the mid-season classic’s Most Valuable Player award at the conclusion of the game.
The Skeeters and the All Stars traded runs, to tie the score, by the end of the second inning. However, Sugar Land added two additional runs in the third inning to take a 3-1 lead into the late innings.
Both squads added two runs to the scoreboard in the seventh inning to round out the scoring.
In typical all star fashion, both teams utilized numerous pitchers, with the majority of the 17 hurlers taking the mound for no more than one inning.
The Skeeters used a total of eight pitchers during the game, including starter Tracy McGrady.
The former NBA star for the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks, pitched 1.1 innings, giving up one earned run on one hit while getting his first strike out of his professional career.
McGrady was very busy during the Atlantic League’s mid-season classic at Constellation Field. In addition to being Skeeters starter, T-Mac pair up with Lamar Little League player Will Dolan to win the pre-game Home Run Derby.
McGrady and Dolan topped three other pairs to take the home run derby crowd.
Fans were also treated to seeing legends from the past with former Chicago White Sox first baseman Grover “Deacon” Jones and former Houston Astros first baseman Bob Watson serving as honorary managers for the opposing squads. Jones served as the honorary manager for the Skeeters, while Watson serviced were provided to the All Stars.
Jones, who played for the White Sox for three seasons between 1962 and 1966, batted .286 in 60 plate appearances for the Sox. After his retirement from playing professional baseball, he served as a coach for the Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres.
Watson, who played for the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves, was a two-time MLB All Star (1873, 1975). He also served as the general manager of the Yankees, and in 1996, became the first African-American GM to win the World Series.
The Atlantic League will return the action on Friday, July 18 with Somerset visiting Bridgeport, Southern Maryland at Camden, York at Long Island and Sugar Land hosting Lancaster.