Trailing, 2-0, with just one hit through eight innings, the East decided to wait until it was down to its final three outs to start scoring. That ninth-inning rally, spurred by a go-ahead two-run single from right fielder Brian Goodwin, was enough to lift the East to a 4-2 win in the Aflac All-American game Saturday at Dodger Stadium, a game that featured some of the top high school senior baseball prospects in the country.
"I was just trying to put something in play," said Goodwin, who was two for four and was named the game's MVP. "If it didn't find a hole, try to make them make a play. I'm not a power guy so I wasn't expecting to hit it out or anything, just hoping to get a hit somewhere."
East center fielder Donovan Tate began the inning with a tough at-bat against West pitcher Slade Heathcott. After fouling off several pitches, Tate reached on an error. Heathcott then got Luke Bailey to fly out to right before catcher Michael Zunino beat out a ground ball to the left side. Winning pitcher Austin Maddox then flied out to left, and third baseman Richie Shaffer walked to load the bases for Goodwin with two outs
"I had been squaring it up pretty well all day, so I wasn't really nervous," said Goodwin, of Rocky Mount (Fla.) High.
A wild pitch brought in Tate and allowed Zunino and Shaffer to move up. Goodwin then took an inside-out swing on a fastball and poked it between short and third for the go-ahead hit. Goodwin would come around to score the fourth run on an errant pickoff throw from Heathcott following a walk to Keyvius Sampson.
Maddox, who struck out three hitters in 1 1/3 innings, retired the West in order in the bottom of the ninth to finish the game.
For eight innings, the East was stifled by a West pitching staff that in one stretch retired 15 consecutive hitters. The West used eight pitchers, including three from Southern California. El Toro High's Chad Thompson, Temecula Valley's Brooks Pounders and Capistrano Valley's Tyler Matzek each pitched 1 2/3 innings to preserve an early West lead.
The West gave its pitchers a slim cushion in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, West second baseman David Nick, from Cypress, struck out, but the third strike got by Maddox, who caught the first four innings for the East, and Nick reached first. Nick advanced to second on a walk to Jonathan Walsh. Jonathan Singleton, from Millikan High, struck out, but Heathcott lined a single to left, scoring Nick and giving the West a 1-0 lead.
Matt Davidson of Yucaipa drove in the West's other run in the fourth against East pitcher Daniel Tuttle. After catcher Max Stassi doubled to center, Davidson, who won the pregame home run derby, lined a double into the left-field corner to knock in Stassi and put the West ahead, 2-0, but it was a lead that would not hold up.
The inaugural Aflac All-American high school baseball game was played on Aug. 23, 2003, at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Fla.
The game is played by the top 38 rising high school senior baseball players in the country.
Proceeds are donated to the host city's local children's hospital.--