Jun 26, 2013 3:04 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Hooks outfielder George Springer belted a pair of home runs and earned MVP honors in the South Division's 6-0 shutout of the North in the Texas League All-Star Game Tuesday at Springdale's Arvest Ballpark, home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
Springer homered in the sixth off Springfield's Tim Cooney and in the eighth against the Cardinals' Heath Wyatt. He went two-for-three with a walk, a stolen base and three runs batted in.
"First half went great and now I'm just kind of looking forward to getting this going," Springer, who will join Triple-A Oklahoma City, told MiLB.com after the game. "It's tough, I'm going to miss those guys down there. But as a player, it's what you shoot for. I've got the opportunity and I'm going to make the best of it."
Four other Hooks participated in the game. Catcher Rene Garcia started behind the plate and though he did not get a hit, he flashed the arm that leads Texas League in catching would-be base stealers. Garcia picked Arkansas' Jett Bandy off first base and caught the Travs' Randal Grichuk trying to swipe second.
All three Corpus Christi pitchers who were selected tossed a shutout inning. David Martinez, the league's leader in wins, allowed one hit in the second inning. TL ERA leader Jake Buchanan escaped a jam in the fifth inning after he allowed two hits. And flame-thrower Mike Foltynewicz posted a perfect sixth.
Frisco's Neil Ramirez (1-0) started for the South and earned the win, backed by a pair of two-out runs in the top of the second inning. Jake Blackwood of San Antonio scored on a fielding error charged to North starter Tyler Matzek of Tulsa and the RoughRiders' Odubel Herrera followed with a base hit to score Garcia.
Matzek (0-1), who took the loss after he allowed two unearned runs, fanned five hitters in two innings on the mound.
Brett Nicholas, also of Frisco, hit a seventh inning home run off Arkansas' Michael Cisco and San Antonio relievers Chris Rearick and Matt Stites struck out two hitters each in their lone frames on the hill.
Hooks outfielder Domingo Santana earned a spot on the TL South roster, but did not participate due to injury. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic is hitting .249 with 14 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Corpus Christi resumes the second half Wednesday at Whataburger Field against the Springfield Cardinals. Ruben Alaniz (3-7, 5.68) will start for the Hooks against the Cardinals' Richard Castillo (5-3, 2.93).