All-Star Monday Recap
Rebel Yell: Ridling Wins Derby
Peoria’s Rebel Ridling belts 12 homers in derby, Great Lakes’ Dee Gordon wins Skills Contest
Clinton, IA – Strong throws, pinpoint bunts and tapemeasure blasts highlighted All-Star Monday at Alliant Energy Field as the Skills Contest and Home Run Derby champions were crowned. Great Lakes’ shortstop Dee Gordon won the Skills Contest with a pair of three-point bunts in the sudden-death bunt-off round, and Peoria’s Rebel Ridling blasted 12 home runs, including five in the finals to take the Derby title.
Gordon scored 19 points on throws from short, before besting Cedar Rapids’ Alexi Amarista, Clinton’s Terry Serrano and Clinton’s Nate Tenbrink in the four-way bunt battle. His final two bunts both rolled into the three-point circle, giving him the first-ever Skills title.
Ridling belted three first-round home runs and cracked four more in the second, taking the lead on the field of 13 hitters. Wisconsin’s Brett Lawrie reached the finals with two home runs each in the first and second rounds.
Lawrie batted first in the finals, blasting a ball off the scoreboard in left-center for his only shot in 10 outs. Ridling then stepped to the plate, lifting off with several clouts over the wood wall. Just three outs into the final round, he claimed the title with a home run off the scoreboard. Ridling then added three more to finish with a final total of 12 home runs.
Gordon and Ridling were presented with a 2009 Midwest League All-Star Jacket courtesy of Nike and a Fossil watch on behalf of Don’s Jewelry in Clinton.
A rundown of the derby (total home runs in parentheses): Kane County’s Jason Christian (0), Jeremy Barfield (0), Dusty Coleman (0) and Steve Kleen (1), Burlington’s Nick Francis (3), Fort Wayne’s James Darnell (0), Great Lakes’ Jaime Pedroza (3) and Kyle Russell (2), Peoria’s Josh Vitters (1) and Lansing’s Brian Van Kirk (1).
Denny Almonte, Clinton’s only hitter in the derby posted no home runs in the first round.
The 2009 All-Star Game festivities continue with the 45th Midwest League All-Star Game scheduled for a 7:00 PM start. Gates open at 4:00 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at www.kcln.com.