Updated July 21 2004

Four Homers Boost National CPL All-Stars to Victory, 9-1 Over American CPL All-Stars

After an amazing 66 home runs were hit over the wall Monday night during the Home Run Derby, fans weren’t disappointed Tuesday night either. During the 2004 Coastal Plain League All-Star Game at American Legion Field in Florence, S.C., four homers soared through the air, all by players on the National CPL All-Star squad (Brian York of Asheboro and Pfeiffer, Jason Hurst of Edenton and Georgia Southern, Dusty Bensko of Wilmington and Illinois and Jamie Tucker of Asheboro and Pfeiffer), helping them to a 9-1 victory over the American CPL All-Stars.

After a 35-minute rain delay that came after just two outs in the first inning, the National All-Stars got things started off early in the top of the second inning when Mike Rucci of Outer Banks (Rowan) drove in Hurst from third. Then, in the top of the third and one on for the National squad, Hurst made his way to the bat and homered over the left-field wall, making it 3-0.

In the bottom of the third, Outer Banks’ Keith Beauregard (St. Anselm) made an unbelievable catch, robbing Thomasville’s Steve Singleton (San Diego) of a sure home run, when Beauregard scaled the wall in right-center field to snatch the catch and keep the American All-Stars scoreless. York tacked on another run for the National All-Stars in the top of the fifth with a home run of his own. But the best was saved for the seventh inning.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, the National team decided to go to work once more. Thomasville’s Justin Henry (Ole Miss) reached first on an error by American third baseman Kelly Sweppenhiser (VMI) of Peninsula to start things off. Hurst moved Henry over off a single, bringing up Bensko, the winner of the Home Run Derby, to knock one over the wall once again, bumping the score to 7-0. Tucker would homer two batters later to drive in two more before the American squad was able to switch out.

After the seventh inning stretch, Wilmington’s Matt Sutton (UNC-Wilmington) reached first on an error and turned into extra bases as he slid into second safely. Sweppenhiser bumped Sutton over to third on a sacrifice fly to right-field. Then, Sutton scored the American All-Stars’ only run after being driven in by Asheboro’s Trent Goree (Texas at Tyler).

On the mound, Edenton’s Danny Powers (Central Missouri State) picked up the win for the National team. He struck out two in two innings, while giving up the only two hits for the American squad. Meanwhile, Wilson’s Erik Walker (Charlotte) was tagged with the loss after surrendering the first run of the contest and giving up two hits.

After the game, the 2004 Coastal Plain League All-Star Game Players of the Game were announced. Hurst from Georgia Southern was named the 2004 SW Bat Offensive Player of the All-Star Game after finishing 3-of-4, with two RBIs and three runs scored. Then, largely due to his amazing grab in the bottom of the third, Beauregard from St. Anselm took home the honor of being named the 2004 Diamond Defensive Player of the All-Star Game.

Monday night, CPL fans were on hand for a real treat, as the Home Run Derby was a real success. Six players from the National Team and six players from the American Team competed against each other for the title. In the first round, each player was given eight outs (anything other than a homer), with the top three per team advancing to the next round. The same rules applied for round two, but only the top hitter from each team advanced to the championship round. In the championship round, each of the two hitters was given 10 outs to get as many homeruns as they can. Players used wooden bats for each round and were allowed to use aluminum bats for up to two outs per round only. For each homer hit with a wooden bat, the player received three points, while only one point was awarded for a homer hit with an aluminum bat.

On the whole competition, 66 total homers were hit out of the park, with only one of those coming at the hands of an aluminum bat. Ties between players in the first round saw four players from each team advance to the second round. In the end, it all came down to Bensko, representing the National Team, and Jon Willard of Wilson, representing the American Team, that made it to the championship round. After a brilliant show, Bensko took home the crown after smashing eight homers over the wall for 24 points, while Willard came up just short with six homers for 18 points.

Below is a complete listing of the results from the Home Run Derby:

Round 1:

National Team: Brian York (Asheboro/Pfeiffer) – 6 homers for 18 points

    Mike Rucci (Outer Banks/Rowan) – 5 homers for 15 points

    Shane Buschini (Thomasville/San Diego) – 4 homers for 12 points

    Jacob Dempsey (Outer Banks/Winthrop) – 7 homers for 21 points

    Dusty Bensko (Wilmington/Illinois) – 5 homers for 15 points

    Jason Hurst (Edenton/Georgia Southern) – 2 homers for 6 points

American Team: Drew Martin (Spartanburg/Spartanburg Methodist) – 1 homer for 3


      Doug Hogan (Florence/Clemson) – 2 homers for 6 points

      Kelly Sweppenhiser (Peninsula/VMI) – 0 homers for 0 points

      Matt Sutton (Wilmington/UNC-Wilmington) – 0 homers for 0 points

      Jon Willard (Wilson/South Carolina) – 2 homers for 6 points

      Schuyler Williamson (Peninsula/Army) – 1 homer for 3 points

Round 2:

National Team: Brian York (Asheboro/Pfeiffer) – 3 homers for 9 points

    Mike Rucci (Outer Banks/Rowan) – 0 homers for 0 points

    Jacob Dempsey (Outer Banks/Winthrop) – 1 homer for 3 points

    Dusty Bensko (Wilmington/Illinois) – 5 homers for 13 points (1 homer

hit with aluminum bat for 1 point)


American Team: Drew Martin (Spartanburg/Spartanburg Methodist) – 0 homers for 0


      Doug Hogan (Florence/Clemson) – 2 homers for 6 points

      Jon Willard (Wilson/South Carolina) – 5 homers for 15 points

      Schuyler Williamson (Peninsula/Army) – 1 homer for 3 points

Round 3 (Championship Round):

National Team: Dusty Bensko (Wilmington/Illinois) – 8 homers for 24 points


American Team: Jon Willard (Wilson/South Carolina) – 6 homers for 18 points


**Dusty Bensko (Wilmington/Illinois) wins the 2004 CPL All-Star Home Run Derby**

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier college summer baseball league, featuring 12 teams playing in three states (N.C., S.C., Va.) The league is certified by the NCAA and Major League Baseball, and gives college standouts the chance to refine their skills with wooden bats during the summer months. Players are housed with local families for the summer and past experiences have been positive for both players and hosts.



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