The 2012 NECBL All Star Game took place in Montpelier, Vermont, last night at Recreation Field, the home of the Vermont Mountaineers. The game was won by the Western Division by a score of 11-6. The Muskrats placed four players on the Eastern Division squad, Danny Collins (Troy), Vince Conde (Vanderbilt), Wil Leathers (Spartanburg Methodist), and Nic Manuppelli (Youngstown State). Also, the voice of the Laconia Muskrats, Casey Williams, was chosen by the league to serve as the broadcaster for the game.
Prior to the game the NECBL put on a Skills Competition run by MLB scouts. Players ran the 60 yard dash, catchers were timed on their throws to second base, and outfielders were judged on arm strength and accuracy on their throws to home. The highlight of the Skills Competition was the Home Run Derby. Representing the Muskrats was Danny Collins, the NECBL league leader and record holder in home runs. Collins did not disappoint the crowd in Montpelier as he hit 7 home runs as the first hitter in the first round. His first round total was 1 short of Sanford’s Jordan Betts. Collins, Betts, Holyoke’s Paul McConkey, and New Bedford’s Alex Black advanced to the final round eliminating 6 others. Collins belted 5 home runs in the championship round and was crowned the 2012 Home Run Derby Champion. Collins was the starting thirdbaseman for the Eastern Division and had two at bats, going 0 for 2. Vince Conde and Wil Leathers both entered the game as substitutes in the middle innings. Leathers played second base and went 1 for 3 with a single. Conde played shortstop and went 0 for 1. Nic Manuppelli was named the closer for the Eastern squad and pitched the bottom of the ninth. Manuppelli struck out the side and hit 94 mph on the stadium radar gun. Manuppelli was the only pitcher to register 3 strikeouts in the game.
In three years the Muskrats have placed 13 players in the NECBL All Star Game. The Muskrats return to action tonight down in New Bedford. Tonight’s game against the Bay Sox is a makeup from an Opening Day rainout. The Muskrats have 6 games remaining with the regular season coming to a close on July 31st at home against the Mainers.