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All-Star roster announced for Appy League


The Appalachian League recently announced the rosters for the inaugural Appy League All-Star Game presented by Pennzoil.

The rosters feature 44 of the league’s top players from the East and West Divisions, as nominated and voted on by the league’s managers.

The 2021 Appy League All-Star Game is scheduled to take play at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27, at Calfee Park in Pulaski, Virginia.

Both rosters are comprised of 10 pitchers and 12 position players.

The East Team pitchers are Nate Ackenhausen, Brooks Ey and Ben Harris of the Bluefield Ridge Runners; Jacob Speaker of the Burlington Sock Puppets; Tyler Judge and Grant Leader of the Danville OtterBots; Lucas Reed and Paco Hernandez of the Pulaski River Turtles; and Zane Probst and Justin Showalter of the Princeton WhistlePigs.

The position players for the East Team are catcher Eric Grintz, infielder Mike Seegers and outfielder Mike Eze of Bluefield; outfielder Benji Gilbert of Burlington; catcher Ryan Johnson, infielders Mark Trotta and Jackson Beaman, and outfielders Ross Lovich and Cameron Leary of Pulaski; and infielders AJ Jones and Brady Day, and outfielder Dylan Rogers of Princeton.

The West Team features pitchers Paul Gervase and Rhian Mann of the Bristol State Liners; Drew Gillespie, Luis Gonzalez and Manuel Rodriguez of the Elizabethton River Riders; Bryce Mayer, Zane Robbins, Austin Troesser and Cameron Wagoner of the Greeneville Flyboys; and Andrew Ronne of the Johnson City Doughboys.

The position players for the West Team are infielders Cort Maynard and Mathew Golda and outfielder Taylor Jackson of Bristol; catcher Chase Adkison, infielders Marcus Brown and Robin Fernandez, and utility player Sam Thompson of Elizabethton; catcher Eddie Micheletti and outfielders Homer Bush Jr. and Jonathan Hogart of Greeneville; and infielder Joe Vetrano and outfielder Jaxon Crull of Johnson City.

The Elizabethton River Riders, Greeneville Flyboys and the Pulaski River Turtles lead all Clubs with seven selections for the 2021 All-Star Game. Six Bluefield Ridge Runners earned All-Star nods for the East while the Bristol State Liners and Princeton WhistlePigs boast five all-star selections.

The Johnson City Doughboys claimed three spots for the West team and a pair of Burlington Sock Puppets and Danville Otterbots will represent the East team in the inaugural event.

In total, fourteen Division-I conferences will be represented in the game, including four of the five power-five conferences.

The Big 12 leads all conferences with seven players, including Brown, Crull, Golda and Hernandez, who all play collegiately at Oklahoma State.

The Appy League All-Star Game presented by Pennzoil will be streamed live on at 7 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 27. Tim McMaster, Bo Porter, Sam Dykstra and Alexa Datt will have the call for MLB Network. The game will air on tape delay on MLB Network on Saturday, July 31.

Be sure to follow along with all the action on, and by following @AppyLeague on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2021 Appy League All-Star Game rosters are as follows:

(East Division)

Name; Position; Team

Nate Ackenhausen; LHP; Bluefield Ridge Runners Jackson Beaman; INF; Pulaski River Turtles Brady Day; INF; Princeton WhistlePigs Brooks Ey; RHP; Bluefield Ridge Runners Michael Eze; OF; Bluefield Ridge Runners Benji Gilbert; OF; Burlington Sock Puppets Eric Grintz; Catcher; Bluefield Ridge Runners Ben Harris; OF/LHP; Bluefield Ridge Runners Paco Hernandez; RHP; Pulaski River Turtles Ryan Johnson; Catcher; Pulaski River Turtles AJ Jones; INF; Princeton WhistlePigs Tyler Judge; RHP; Danville Otterbots Grant Leader; RHP; Danville Otterbots

Cameron Leary; OF; Pulaski River Turtles Ross Lovich; OF; Pulaski River Turtles Zane Probst; RHP; Princeton WhistlePigs Lucas Reed; RHP; Pulaski River Turtles Dylan Rogers; OF; Princeton WhistlePigs Mike Seegers; INF; Bluefield Ridge Runners Justin Showalter; RHP; Princeton WhistlePigs Jacob Speaker; RHP; Burlington Sock Puppets Mark Trotta; INF; Pulaski River Turtles

(West Division)

Name; Position; Team

Chase Adkison; Catcher; Elizabethton River Riders Marcus Brown; INF; Elizabethton River Riders Homer Bush Jr.; OF; Greeneville Flyboys Jaxon Crull; OF; Johnson City Doughboys Robin Fernandez; INF; Elizabethton River Riders Paul Gervase; RHP; Bristol State Liners Drew Gillespie; RHP; Elizabethton River Riders Matthew Golda; INF; Bristol State Liners Luis Gonzalez; RHP; Elizabethton River Riders Jonathan Hogart; OF; Greenville Flyboys Taylor Jackson; OF; Bristol State Liners Rhian Mann; RHP; Bristol State Liners Bryce Mayer; RHP; Greeneville Flyboys Cort Maynard; INF; Bristol State Liners Eddie Micheletti; Catcher; Greeneville Flyboys Zane Robbins; RHP; Greeneville Flyboys Manuel Rodriguez; RHP; Elizabethton River Riders Andrew Ronne; RHP; Johnson City Doughboys Sam Thompson; UTIL; Elizabethton River Riders Austin Troesser; RHP; Greeneville Flyboys

Cameron Wagoner; RHP; Greeneville Flyboys Joe Vetrano; INF; Johnson City Doughboys

The Appalachian League is a summer collegiate baseball league that is part of the MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, a pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States and will also be an integral part of the identification and development process for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and other future national teams.

The League is comprised of 10 Clubs in deep in the heart of the Appalachia Region of the United States: Bluefield, Virginia and West Virginia; Bristol, Virginia; Burlington, North Carolina; Danville, Virginia; Elizabethton, Tennessee; Greeneville, Tennessee; Johnson City, Tennessee; Kingsport, Tennessee; Princeton, West Virginia; and

Pulaski, Virginia. The Appalachian League is one of the longest-running baseball leagues in the history of professional baseball.

It began in 1911, however disbanded in the middle of the 1914 season. The league reformed in 1921 before again closing midway through 1925. A third iteration of the Appalachian League started in 1937 and found success paying during World War II while other Minor Leagues ceased operations before once again folding in 1955.

The modern Appalachian League began in 1957, its first year as a short-season league for Minor League Baseball, and has now undergone a new transformation in 2021 as it becomes a summer collegiate baseball league in partnership with MLB and USA Baseball.