• Fike's Taylor shrugs off ribbing, leads East all-stars to win

  • After falling behind in the count 3-0 to the first batter he faced, Logan Taylor heard a few jeers from his teammates in the dugout in Tuesday night’s American Legion Zone 2 All-Star Game.

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  • After falling behind in the count 3-0 to the first batter he faced, Logan Taylor heard a few jeers from his teammates in the dugout in Tuesday night’s American Legion Zone 2 All-Star Game.
    The ribbing was all in good fun, but regardless, Taylor found a way to shut up his buddies over the proceeding four innings. Taylor, who played for Blue Springs Post 499/Fike and represented Zone 2 East, recovered to notch a strikeout in that initial at-bat and ended up tossing four innings of scoreless one-hit ball to lead the East squad to a a 5-0 triumph at Hidden Valley Park.
    “It’s just a fun atmosphere with everyone being here and all the parents and stuff,” said Taylor, who was joined by Fike teammates Carson Messner, Dylan Farrell, Dominic DeFeo, C.J. Egelston and Reece Eddins. “It was fun to end the season on this.”
    While Taylor kept the West all-stars at bay, Eddins got the East offense going with an RBI single in the second to score Oak Grove Post 379’s Cole Doherty. Eddins then came around to score on Oak Grove’s Colton Hilbrenner’s fielder’s choice. Eddins later added another single and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
    “I was just trying to have fun and give it my best,” Eddins said. “You want to show what you can do and just have fun with other guys you don’t normally get to play with and the coaches too.”
    What Eddins described was the theme of Tuesday night’s laid-back contest. Players came in, exited and re-entered on a whim. That’s not to say there wasn’t at least a little desire to come out on top.
    “We’re all big-time competitors,” Taylor said. “This is probably about as competitive as it will get. These are the best guys around here, so you definitely want to compete against everybody. You want to do good, but have fun while doing it.”
    The East squad plated another run in the fifth with a formula that’s boosted the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s many times throughout this season. A’s leadoff man Wylson Lamb started the inning with a single and then stole second and third. A’s shortstop David Stober then drove him home with a single to put the East team up 3-0.
    “After a couple of years, you pretty much know several players from every team,” said Stober, who was one of seven A’s all-stars, along with Lamb, Corbin Hare, Brandon Bennefeld, Grant Gavin, Jay Corwin and Jeremy Lufft. “You get to talk to everyone and the families are here. It’s just all-around fun.”
    A pair of local players also had a hand in the East’s fourth run as Lufft stroked a single in the seventh and later scored on Hi Boy Drive In/Post 340’s Darby Raines’ single.
    Page 2 of 2 - Raines was playing in his first all-star game and was joined by Hi Boy teammates Blake Sellers and Trevor Jeffries. He said initially, there was some awkwardness sitting in the dugout with guys he’s been battling all summer. But it didn’t take long to get over that.
    “At first it was a little so-so,” he said. “Then about the second inning everybody started lightening up and messing around.”
    The East scored its final run in the ninth when Bennefeld singled, stole second and later scored on an error.
    Other Eastern Jackson County players representing the East squad were Oak Grove’s Levi Harmon, Dakota Hearn and Tim Collins.
    The Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws placed seven all-stars on the west team as Dalton Woods, Adam Jameson, P.J. Seufert, Brett Conrow, Gaeton Gronberg, Quentin Bradford and Seth Soto made the squad. Independence Post 21 sent five players in Ross Paschall, Chase LaFavor, Cody Gregory, Bobby Brock and Connor Polacek and the Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears sent three in Cody Jackson, Gannon Ogle and Eli Henderson.
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC

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