Cole Lemmel launched two home runs, members of the Klamath Falls Gems contributed and the Great West League experienced some Northern Exposure Monday in the loop’s annual All-Star game played at Kiger Stadium.
Lemmel hit home runs in his first two at bats, including a two-run shot in the fourth inning which gave the North the lead for good in a 10-4 victory before the game was called in the bottom of the eighth inning with some players complaining about air quality.
Mike Hicks homered on the first pitch he saw, finished with two hits and was among the award winners.
Lemmel was named Most Valuable Player, while Hicks was tabbed the Top Prospect Award winner for his efforts.
“I didn’t think it would be me,” Hicks said after his final game at Kiger Stadium. He will play the remaining eight Klamath Falls road games, but it best man at a wedding in Seattle over the weekend when the Gems host Chico in its final three home games of the season.
“There were a lot of good guys out here. I was blessed. Tonight was my night,” Hicks said.
“At the end of the day, it was fun,” he said. “If you have told me that at the end of the Home Run Derby (where Hicks was third and did not make the finals), I probably wouldn’t have said that. I was really unhappy.”
Lemmel, who also had a double and scored three times, said he was stoked for the game.
“It’s always good to have a good game at the All-Star game,” Lemmel said. “To me, it means you had a good day. It’s a great honor to have that good a game.”
Jay Vincent of San Francisco had a huge second round to win the Home Run Derby, but trailed Jacob Terao of Yuba-Sutter going into the finals, 12-8.
Hicks was third with seven homers. Vincent won the finals, 4-3.
n The Gems are idle today and then play a doubleheader at San Francisco Wednesday. They follow that with a single game at San Francisco Thursday and host league-leading Chico in games at 6:35 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
n Five of the seven players in the Home Run Derby were first basemen. The other two were a catcher and a second baseman.
n Players from the North wore green hats, while players from the South were in yellow.
n Darrin Rutledge of Klamath Falls worked the game as the home plate umpire.
n All six Klamath Falls players participated in the game — Xander Orejudos started at third base, Travis Danielson went in at second base, Myles Harris caught the final four innings and Sam Hersch and Aki Buckson each pitched one inning.
n Combined, Gems players were 3-for-8 at bat with two walks and a stolen base. The pitchers each allowed a run. Defensively, Klamath Falls players handled 10 chances in the field.
n Lemmel, Hicks, Chico’s Brandon Stewart and Matt Kimura, and Medford’s Tommy Ahlstrom all had at least two hits for the North, while Yuba-Sutter’s Steve Robinson and Lincoln’s Matt Fonseca had two for the South.
n Yuba-Sutter’s Brody Clifford and Lincoln’s Will Law hit home runs for the South.