07/18/2006 8:04 PM - KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Stars of all ages took center stage Tuesday evening at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, as the East rallied in the ninth inning to claim a 7-6 victory in the 2006 Northern League All-Star Game, and Kansas City's own Buck O'Neil became the oldest professional baseball player in the history of the game when he led-off the contest for the West Division.
Kansas City's Greg Jacob's, who was victorious in Monday's Home Run Derby, brought home fellow T-Bone Craig Hurba with a sac-fly to tie the game, and KC's Chad Sosebee singled home the winning run to cap a frantic two-run ninth-inning rally and give the East the victory.
O'Neil, 94, who signed with the Kansas City T-Bones last week, was dealt to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks just prior to the start of Tuesday's game. Buck worked a walk from East starter Jonathan Krysa before giving way to pinch-runner Stubby Clapp. After the completion of the top half of the first, T-Bones' owner John Ehlert announced a second trade that brought O'Neil back to his hometown club and the East squad. He then drew another walk to kick-off the bottom of the first.
After the dealing was done, the East squad grabbed a 1-0 lead on a solo shot to right by Gary's Jay Pecci in the bottom of the first.
The West All-Stars geared up their offense in the top of the second, as Calgary's Aaron McEachran singled to right to get things started, and Winnipeg's Aaron Mendoza followed with a double to center to put runners on second and third with nobody out. After Calgary's Manabu Kuramochi worked Krysa for a walk, Edmonton's Clapp delivered the big blow, clearing the bases with a double to left field to give the West a 3-1 advantage.
The East Division responded in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs of their own off Edmonton's Brett Lawson to take a 4-3 lead. Eric Cole's one-out double to deep center field brought home Gary's Chris Curry and Schaumburg's Rob Watson to tie the game, and Kansas City's Charles Peterson followed with an RBI double to put the East All-Stars on top.
Clapp came through again in the top half of the sixth, singling home Sean Walsh, then scoring on the second of Fehlandt Lentini's three hits on the night to put the West back on top by a score of 5-4. The duo teamed up again in the eighth, as Lentini drove home Walsh after a Clapp base-hit.
Pecci stepped up for the East in the bottom of the eighth, singling off Fargo's Brandon Harmsen before coming home on Nelson Gords sharp single to center that was mishandled by Lentini.
It was the hometown T-Bone's turn to shine in the ninth, as Hurba tripled to deep left-center field off Fargo's Brian Adams, then came home with the tying run on Jacobs sacrifice-fly to left. Pecci delivered with two-out, singling and swiping second to set up Sosebee's game-clinching hit.
Kansas City's Byron Embry worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the victory, while Adams was tagged with the loss.
Clapp led the West's offensive attack, going 3-for-3 with a walk and 4 RBI's en route to being named the game's MVP, while Lentini added three hits and 2 RBI's on the night.
Pecci keyed the East's attack, finishing 3-for-3 with two walks to go along with his home run and stolen base.