Friday, August 18, 2006

Staten Island All Stars Enjoy Time In Aberdeen

STATEN ISLAND, NY -It was a particularly pleasant NY-Penn League All Star showing for the Baby Bombers this past Tuesday in Aberdeen.

Six players represented them well in helping the American League defeat the National League 4-1. Francisco Cervelli, Seth Fortenberry, Mitch Hilligoss, Nick Larsen, Nick Peterson and Wilmer Pino took part in the game.

In fact, a few played a pivotal role in the AL's triumph. Hilligoss finished 2-for-2 with an RBI to take home Player of the Game.

"It's a great honor anytime you get that," the delighted Staten Island third baseman said. "Probably a couple of more guys deserved it."

Meanwhile, Peterson worked in and out of trouble for one inning to fan all three. It was good enough to be tabbed Most Outstanding Pitcher.

"It was neat winning that along with the game playing in that kind of atmosphere," noted the prominent S.I. closer. "Guys you play with. Guys you play against. It was special."

Peterson also spoke of what the game symbolized.

"It's for the fans. "It's about going out there having a good time...It's more relaxed. You don't really worry about winning the game. Just go out there and have a good time...That's why you have Home Run Derby."

While they were honored, teammate Pino also chipped in with an RBI ground out. The Baby Bomber second baseman has been red hot of late and continued to swing the bat well with a hit in Friday's 1-0 win over Mahoning Valley to put his average at .348.

"He's been an outstanding player all around," Peterson pointed out. "Really pretty much most of the season. He's turned it on lately and has been hitting the ball well. Outstanding in the field. Just all around super player."

Fortenberry came away very impressed with the All Star experience.

"This was my first All Star Game," the Bomber left fielder said. "It was everything I expected it to be. They did a great job by hosting there."

In particular, he was very excited to meet baseball legend and future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken.

"It's very exciting to meet Cal Ripken and hanging out with him for a little bit. He's a great guy and it was a lot of fun getting to be with him. That's something I'll cherish."

Another aspect which was a lot of fun for Fortenberry was to have so many teammates there sharing the experience.

"It was exciting. Hats off to all those guys. They played great. Larsen did good in the Home Run Derby. Hilligoss got player of the game and Peterson walked away with pitcher of the Game."

"It's great," added Hilligoss. "Obviously cause you know your team's having a great year. We all got to enjoy it. I wish everyone had the experience."

For Larsen who also represented Staten Island last year, he was impressed with the job they did which included actual jerseys of the big league clubs that drafted them which each player got to keep.

"It was great," the first baseman remarked. "Everything was done top notch like the big leagues. To be able to keep those jerseys is something you'll take with you. Definitely a motivator for the future."

For S.I. catcher Cervelli, the feeling was extra special and one which hit home.

"They're proud," he said of his family back home in Venezuela. "I play baseball just for them. I play everyday for them."

Of being a part of the festivities, he came away as impressed as everyone else:

"In my short career, it's the best experience. Everything was perfect and like the big leagues...Very good experience. The best experience."

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