Former St. Louis Cardinals player Kerry Robinson knows the significance of playing a high school baseball game at Busch Stadium.
Robinson played twice at the old Busch Stadium during his days at Hazelwood East High School, and when he accepted a coaching position at the Delta Dental SmilesLeague All-Star Baseball Game it was an opportunity to remember days of the past.
“This is a big deal for these guys because I know that when I was in high school I got to play against Pattonville and had a great time,” Robinson said. “So this is a great opportunity to get out here and be like Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday and all of those guys that they see on TV.”
Thirty-two area high school seniors selected by high school coaches to play in the all-star game Monday night. The rosters were divided up randomly.
Scott Cooper is another former Cardinals player and a Pattonville High School graduate. He talked to his players about what it was like for him to play at Busch during his high school career, and he also coached the Blue Team to a 6-4 win over the Green Team last Monday evening.
“I think that for the players, this was more of a bragging rights situation,” Cooper said. “But everybody was a winner tonight because these kids got to be a big leaguer for a night, and I drew on a couple of my stories of playing in the old Busch Stadium.
“But I thought we played well and we had a pretty good team.”
Parkway Central High School’s Lucas Mueller won the Home Run Derby earlier in the evening with a total of four points. The Colts third baseman and pitcher credits former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi for serving up good pitches to crush in the contest.
“That was awesome,” Mueller said. “I’ve been excited about this game for the last week, and Simontacchi was throwing me some good pitches, and I guess I decided to hit one out. It was kind of nice.”
Mueller is currently undecided as to where he’ll play college ball, but Robinson is pretty sure that he’ll catch on somewhere.
“Lucas had some pop in his bat and he showed us some home runs in the home run derby,” Robinson said. “He struggled a little bit during the game, but the kid’s got some skill and he did a good job pitching for us in the end with a nice fastball. He definitely has some talent.”
Parkway West High School’s Logan Hershenow took Most Valuable Player honors after a solid showing on the mound against the Green Team.
“It was a lot of fun and a very cool experience,” Hershenow said. “For us to win the game made it that much better.”
Rockwood Summit’s Brendan Coleman took third in the Home Run Derby after batting .301 with five home runs during the 2011 regular season.
“It’s a lot of fun to come out here and you get to play with all of the guys that you compete against all year,” Coleman said. “You get to make some friendships with guys from teams that you normally want to destroy during the season.”
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