In just 2 hours and 15 minutes, the nine pitchers selected to represent the Kaiser Division for the 2004 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League all-star game did the unthinkable, combining for a no-hitter as the Kaiser Division topped the Wolff Division, 3-1 at St. John's Monday night.Since the 35th annual all-star game was postponed a week due to rain on July 12, the pitching staff seemed more than well-rested.Brian Honeyman, a former pitcher at Archbishop Molloy High School, recorded the win after tossing a 1-2-3 seventh inning."Everyone did their job," said Honeyman, a sophomore at St. Francis College who retired the Wolff all-stars in order in six of the nine innings. Playing in front of family and friends, Honeyman, a Flushing native, called the experience "unbelievable" and an honor just to be selected.Honeyman, a starting pitcher who is undefeated this season and has an ERA of under 1.00 for the Metro Cadets wasn't the only one writing his name in the record books. Starter Milton Feliciano, as well as Chris Lopez (fifth inning) and Bryan Halberg (sixth inning) joined their regular season teammate in the festivities."I'm ecstatic, at a loss for words," said Pat Carey, Metro Cadets first-year coach Pat Carey who coached the Kaiser all-stars, of the unusual accomplishment. He also admitted that everyone was aware of the no-no, recalling how Halberg approached him about it prior to his jogging to the mound.Of Honeyman's play this season, Carey added: "He's been lights-out. You give him the ball and you know they're not going to score any runs. I love to give him the ball every day."Despite their inability to record a hit, the Wolff all-stars managed to score first. With runners on first and third and two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Lopez found himself in the pitching staff's lone jam of the evening.When Nolan Neiman broke for second base, Kaiser starting catcher Stephen Puhl's throw was off target. As soon as Puhl released, David Jeans sprinted home, evading second baseman T.J. Varrichio's errant throw to home to put the Wolff all-stars ahead, 1-0.After two strikeouts to open the bottom half of the sixth inning, Will Henderson smashed a triple into right centerfield. Second baseman Evan Kiesel's throw to third sailed into the stands, allowing Henderson to trot home and tie the score.One inning later, Ken Devenney, a sophomore at St. John's, pinch-hit for Dan Garcia. Devenney worked the count to 2-and-2 and then provided the turning point. His slow roller to short enabled him to just beat the throw."The whole inning was made (possible) by him running down to first base," Carey said. "He made that inning with his hustle."Caleb Moore, who replaced Puhl behind the plate, followed with an RBI-triple as Devenney raced around the bases to score the winning run. Moore was named the game's most valuable player."I knew the ballpark," said Devenney, adding it was a "home-field advantage," of sorts. "He hit it to deep left centerfield, near the scoreboard," he said. "I was waiting at second and then I just took off."Javier Martinez added insurance with an RBI-groundout later in the inning to make it 3-1.Kaiser and Wolff honored. ACBL hall-of-famers Jack Kaiser and Bob Wolff, along with Rudy Riska, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Head coach of the St. John's baseball team for 18 years, Kaiser, the ACBL's President in 1972 and now a member of the league's advisory board called the event "wonderful and marvelous"Known as the "voice of Madison Square Garden" and an inductee in the Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, Wolff served as commissioner for five years during the 1970's. "I've been very fond of this league for a long time," said Wolff, who called the Don Larsen perfect game in the 1956 World Series. "It's tough for kids to become pros," he added, noting how 15 scouts attend the all-star game. "The kids have a chance to get contracts. If they do well in the league, they have a good shot."In this year's MLB draft, 28 members of the ACBL were selected. Past selections include major leaguers such as Matt Morris, Craig Biggio, John Flaherty, Jamie Moyer, and former St. John's standout and New York Met pitcher Frank Viola.Reach contributing writer Joseph Manniello by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community News Group
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