WHITING — He had just one inning to pitch, but Jimmy McNamara said he was more nervous for this outing than any of his other starts in the 2014 Midwest Collegiate League season.
“When you’re throwing six or seven innings, you can give up a run or two and then throw up some zeroes after it,” the Lake Central High School product said. “But you can’t come in here with all of these people and give up two runs in your only inning.”
Luckily for McNamara, he didn’t have to wait long to take the mound Wednesday night in the MCL All-Star Game. For the second straight year, he was named the starting pitcher.
“I was really hoping I could throw first just so I could get it over with, instead of spending another hour or two thinking about it,” he said.
McNamara pitched a scoreless first inning to begin the contest, which was again held at Oil City Stadium, the home of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
The South All-Stars racked up 15 hits en route to a 10-3 win over the North All-Stars. The South has won three straight MCL All-Star Games.
Southland shortstop Bobby Sheppard (Oak Forest, Illinois) made his first appearance at the MCL All-Star Game after posting a league-best .458 batting average in the first half of the season.
“I knew I was playing well and doing the right things with our team,” Sheppard said.
“I was pretty excited when they told me I was going to be on the All-Star team.”
Sheppard is part of the red-hot Vikings squad that won eight straight games heading into the MCL All-Star break, largely on the strength of their offense. Playing in the All-Star Game did nothing to slow down the Vikings, either, as two of Southland’s All-Stars helped the South grab an early lead.
After Sheppard doubled and scored, Jeff Boehm — a Mount Carmel High School graduate — crushed a two-run home run over the right-field fence to give the South All-Stars a 3-0 first-inning lead. The South added two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth.
The North All-Stars again included Oswego East product Bobby Smith, who represented the Chicago Zephyrs for the second straight year.
“I love the atmosphere here, getting to play baseball under the lights. It’s a lot of fun being here,” Smith said. “But it’s just another game. We want to go out there and have a good time, like usual.”Tags: Baseball