Sunday in the Alaska Baseball League belongs to the sluggers and the stars.
The league's home run derby, featuring 14 hitters, begins at 1 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium. There should be plenty of fence-clearing shots based on the surprising number of wood-bat homers being hit this season.
The annual all-star game follows at 4 p.m. Players from the Anchorage Bucs, Anchorage Glacier Pilots and Peninsula Oilers will team up on the South squad and players from the Fairbanks Goldpanners, Mat-Su Miners and Chugiak Chinooks will play on the North team.
Among those who will be showcased in the home run derby are Bill Cullen of the Miners and Tyler Spoon of the Pilots, who lead the league with seven home runs apiece. Zach Esquerra of the Bucs and Kris Kwak of the Chinooks each have six.
Each hitter will get 10 outs in the first round. The top four advance to the second round, where they will get another 10 outs. The top two move on to the final round, where they get another 10 outs. Whoever hits the most ball out of the park in the finals will be named the State Farm Home Run Derby champion.
After that comes the all-star game, a nine-inning affair that could turn into a marathon. Each pitcher is guaranteed an appearance, which means lots of stoppages -- the South team has 13 pitchers and the North team has 10.
All-stars were chosen by the league's coaches and general managers.
The home run derby and all-star game are the highlight of the three-day Scout Showcase, where Major League Baseball scouts check out the talent in the ABL, which is a summer league for college players.
Rain wiped out most of Saturday's action. The Mat-Su Miners beat the Fairbanks Goldpanners 5-2 in a game shortened to five innings, but two other games -- the Pilots-Chinooks and the Bucs-Oilers -- were rained out and will not be rescheduled.
Reach Beth Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
North team (Goldpanners, Miners, Chinooks)
Pitchers -- Matt Nadolski (Goldpanners), Carl Robinson (Goldpanners), Clint Manzo (Chinooks), Caleb Dirks (Chinooks), Mike Jeffreys (Chinooks), Matt Marsh (Chinooks), Clint Freeman (Miners), Jake Long (Miners), Andrew McGee (Miners), Jay Calhoun (Miners).
Catchers -- Kurt Schlangen (Goldpanners), Adam Humes (Chinooks), PJ Torres (Miners).
Infielders -- Branden Berry (Miners), Kristopher Kwak (Chinooks), Tino Lipson (Miners), Kevin Casey (Goldpanners), Blake Miller (Goldpanners), Tyler Shryock (Chinooks), Paul Politi (Goldpanners), Erik Harbutz (Miners).
Outfielders -- J.J. Turbin (Chinooks), Bill Cullen (Miners), Bobby Boyd (Miners), Ian Miller (Miners).
Utility -- Chad Carroll (Goldpanners).
Head coach -- Jim Dietz (Goldpanners). Assistant coaches -- Tim Kelly (Goldpanners), Jamie Sluys (Goldpanners), Jon Tatum (Goldpanners), Chris Gordon (Miners), Nate Fritz (Miners), Joel Pedretti (Miners), Jon Groth (Chinooks), Jordan Vierra (Chinooks), Chris Beck (Chinooks).
South team (Pilots, Bucs, Oilers)
Pitchers -- Trey Teakell (Glacier Pilots), Kyle Freeland (Glacier Pilots), Travis Pitcher (Glacier Pilots), Sam Johns (Glacier Pilots), Jacob Rhame (Bucs), Mike Theodore (Bucs), Scott Grist (Bucs), Braden Shipley (Bucs), John Straka (Oilers), Jordan Mills (Oilers), Jon Maciel (Oilers), Nigel Nootbaar (Oilers), Logan McAnallen (Oilers).
Catchers -- Jeff Kremer (Glacier Pilots), Riley Heinzer (Oilers).
Infielders -- Chase Compton (Bucs), Collin Ferguson (Bucs), Ryan Leonards (Bucs), Josh Miller (Oilers), Kevin Swick (Glacier Pilots), Alex Staehely (Oilers).
Outfielders -- Jordan Brink (Bucs), Danny Susdorf (Bucs), Micah Green (Glacier Pilots), Tyler Spoon (Glacier Pilots), Jordan Luplow (Glacier Pilots).
Utility -- Axel Johnson (Glacier Pilots), Matt Daugherty (Glacier Pilots).
Head coach -- Conor Bird (Glacier Pilots). Assistant coaches -- Jason Clements (Glacier Pilots), TJ Anson (Glacier Pilots), Tony Cappuccilli (Bucs), Cameron McMullen (Bucs), Dan Ellis (Bucs), John Stevens (Oilers), Kyle Richardson (Oilers), Dave Stevens (Oilers).
Home run derby contestants
Bill Cullen, Miners (7 home runs); Tyler Spoon, Pilots (7 ); Zach Esquerra, Bucs (6); Kris Kwak, Chinooks (6); Trey Richardson, Oilers (4); Zach Mathieu, Bucs (3); Clint Freeman, Miners (3), Adam Humes, Chinooks (3); Kevin Cornelius, Pilots (3); Brenden Kalfus, Bucs (1); Chris Lee, Panners (1); Matt Daugherty, Pilots (1); P.J. Torres, Miners (0); Jon Maciel, Oilers (0).
By BETH BRAGG
Anchorage Daily News