LYNN — The 25th Agganis All-Star baseball game was a tight one Sunday at Fraser Field, with the South squeezing out a 3-1 win over the North.
St. Mary’s Kyle Ouellette capped off an incredible weekend of baseball, going 1-for-1 with a HBP and scoring the winning run to earn MVP honors one day after helping the Spartans win the Division 2 state championship.
“It’s been an unbelievable week for me and for my teammates,” Ouellette said. “We won the game (Saturday) and celebrated together and then some of us came here and it was an honor. Then to receive this award is another honor. It’s kind of indescribable.”
Angelo McCullough (Fenwick) drove in a run and Kyle Finnigan (Classical) and Brett Bucklin (Classical) each scored one run. Seven different pitchers, Billy Stickney (Malden), Finnigan, Max Pegnato (Swampscott), Cameron Erickson (Pope John), Daniel Gillis (Winthrop) and Trey Deloury (Fenwick) all pitched an inning to help lead the South to the win.
“This brings back a lot of memories,” South coach Russ Steeves said “There are so many faces that we’re used to playing on the other side in a lot of games. It was very interesting just sitting back and watching them be on a team together. It ends the season nicely.”
Despite having a quiet day at the plate, Lynnfield’s Jonathan Luders caught the eye of both coaches with some great defense for the North squad, including throwing out a runner at third from right field.
“Luders ended up at short, second and left field too,” North coach Dan Letarte said. “That play in right field you knew he was going to do it. Jonathan is a great kid who’s a late bloomer. That’s a kid that’s going to be a minor league player, no doubt in my mind. The body, the attitude, that kid just eats baseball. He would stay here all day if he could.
“We got some great players, the best around,” Steeves said. “We were throwing the ball and playing great defense. I enjoy it a lot it’s fun to coach. These are the best players around coming together one last time. I love watching (Luders). He plays this game so right, hard until the last play. Andy Duverge (English) made a great catch in right field too. It’s amazing how much talent is around in the North Shore.”
Despite the loss Letarte knew the Agganis game was about having fun and playing the game the right way.
“I just think more about all the kids,” Letarte said. “Luders, we’ve since him since he was 10. Mike Tansey I’ve known since little league, Eddie Campbell, Taidon Perez, all those guys on the team it’s just so much fun. You just want to play hard and play the right way.
“We had the pitchers hit,” Letarte said. “The pitchers never hit before so I told them we’re going to hit and have fun. If they pitch in college they’re probably not going to hit so it’s a fun time. It’s a beautiful day, Russ (Steeves) was great, the umpires were great, just a great game. “
The North got out to an early lead in this one. Logan Burrill (Amesbury) led the first inning with a single and moved to third on an error. Henry Checo (North MVP) plated Burrill with another single to put the North ahead 1-0.
Finnigan finally got a rally started for the South in the fifth, lacing a single and moving to third after an error and a passed ball. McCullough plated Finnigan on a ground out to shortstop to tie the game at 1-1.
Ouelette was hit by a pitch to start the sixth and Bucklin reached on a single. In stepped Deloury, who hit a ground ball to shortstop but an errant throw brought Ouellette around to score and gave the South a 2-1 lead. Bucklin scored on a passed ball later in the inning to cap the scoring for the South.
Bucklin, on in relief in the seventh, closed the door for the 3-1 win.