Wild Things put 6 on all-star team

July 7, 2014
Washington’s Stewart Ijames leads the Frontier League East Division with 13 home runs and 41 RBI. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The East Division-leading Wild Things had six players, including three starters, named Monday to the Frontier League All-Star Game that will be played July 16 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.

Two-thirds of the East outfield will be manned by Wild Things as right fielder Stewart Ijames, who leads all East Division players in home runs (13) and RBI (41), and center fielder Danny Poma garnered starting spots. Poma leads the East in batting average at .331 and stolen bases with 18.

The other Washington player who will be in the lineup is C.J. Beatty. The Wild Things’ regular left fielder will be the East Division’s designated hitter. Beatty is batting .272 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI.

Chosen as a reserve was slick-fielding third baseman Carter Bell, who is third on the Wild Things with a .278 batting average. He leads all Frontier League third basemen with a .991 fielding percentage, having committed only one error in 111 total chances.

Selected to the East Division pitching staff were Washington’s Jonathan Kountis and Shawn Blackwell. Kountis leads the league with 16 saves to go with a 1-2 record and 1.66 ERA in 21 relief appearances. Blackwell has a 5-0 record, 2.58 ERA and is tied for third in the league in wins (5). In his last outing, Blackwell threw a complete game with nine strikeouts in Washington’s 7-1 win Thursday over Southern Illinois.

Washington’s six selections are the most for any East Division team. Lake Erie will have five representatives. Evansville, Florence and Traverse City each have three players on the East team.

It will be the second all-star game appearance for Ijames, Beatty and Kountis. Ijames and Beatty represented Washington last year, when the game was played at Consol Energy Park, and Kountis played in the all-star game in 2012 as a member of the Lake Erie Crushers.

Rounding out the starting lineup for the East will be Florence catcher Joe Staley and outfielder Cole Miles, Greys first baseman Joe Rapp, Lake Erie second baseman Vincent Mejia, Southern Illinois shortstop Ryan Cavan and Evansville third baseman Shayne Houck.

Reserves will be Evansville first baseman Nik Balog and second baseman Josh Allen, catcher Emmanuel Quiles and shortstop Jose Sanchez of Lake Erie, catcher Jake Rhodes of Traverse City and Greys outfielder Cameron Monger. The remainder of the pitching staff includes Todd Kibby and Zac Treece of Lake Erie, Casey Delgado and D.J. Johnson of Traverse City, Southern Illinois’ Derrick Miramontes and Chuck Weaver of Florence.

Among the players chosen as starters for the West are River City catcher Josh Ludy, who leads the league with 15 home runs and 48 RBI, and Windy City outfielder Kyle Robinson, who has a league-best .388 batting average. The West pitching staff is led by Gateway’s Aaron Newcomb (7-2, 3.62).

The managers for the East and West teams will be determined by the standings. The manager of the team in first place after games Wednesday night will manage his respective division. The manager will select an additional three players for his all-star team.

Washington has a one-game lead over Evansville. Both teams are idle until Wednesday when they will play doubleheaders at home. The Wild Things will play Lake Erie and Evansville is hosting Traverse City.

Rosters were selected by league managers, coaches, general managers and media.

Chris Dugan has been covering local sports for more than 30 years and has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986. He was named sports editor in 2006. Before joining the O-R, he was sports editor at the Democrat-Messenger in Waynesburg. He is a former member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. If you have an idea for a story, send him an email at dugan@observer-reporter.com.

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