Tyler Collins hit a 3-run Homerun and won the MVP in the ABL All-Star. (SMP IMAGES / Theron Kirkman)
Sydney Blue Sox outfielder Tyler Collins was named MVP of the inaugural ConocoPhillips 2011 ABL All-Star game Wednesday night, continuing his impressive form so far this season. The 21-year-old Texan went 2-for-5 with a pivotal 3-run home run and guided the World All-Stars to an 8-5 victory over Team Australia.
Serving as the designated hitter for the World team, Collins reached base twice during the first three innings to help his side take an early 4-0 lead and then put the game beyond doubt with a 3-run blast in the seventh.
After the Australian team had managed to fight back and make it 4-3, the Blue Sox slugger stepped up with two men on and sent a Cameron Lamb fastball over the left-field wall to blow the game open and give the World All-Stars an unassailable 7-3 lead. "I was just looking for a pitch I could handle", Collins said. "I got a pretty good pitch to hit and I put a good swing on it".
When asked about his MVP performance, Collins played down the award. "It was an incredible honour just to play in the game", he said. "There are a lot of great players in this World line-up and we came out with a victory today and I couldn't be happier".
Fellow Blue Sox players Mitch Dening, Chris Oxspring and Dae-Sung Koo also put in commendable performances. Dening played centre-field and hit second for Team Australia, going 1-for-3 with two walks, and pitchers Oxspring and Koo each threw a scoreless inning of relief for their respective teams.
Oxspring gave up two hits and a walk in the fourth inning, but managed to induce an inning-ending double play off the bat of Denny Almonte with a little help from right-fielder Josh Roberts, who cut down Mychal Givens with a perfect throw to home plate. Koo then pitched around a 2-out walk to Dening in the ninth to pick up the save and preserve the 8-5 victory for the World team.
After a break this weekend for Christmas, the Blue Sox will return to action on Thursday the 29th of December when they start a 5-game series against the fifth-placed Melbourne Aces in Melbourne. The Sox will be looking to cement their spot in the playoffs as they enter the regular season's final month.
The next and final regular season home game begins on Wednesday the 11th of January against the Adelaide Bite at "Blue Sox Stadium" at Blacktown International Sportspark. So get your tickets
today! Check back for the promotional schedule for the final home seriesl
This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.