Eighteen of the top baseball players in the Metro area have been selected to play in the Japan vs. Metro All-Star Classic, the Metro Sports Report announced Sunday night.
The game will be played on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Kennedy High School at 7 p.m.
The all-star team was selected by Metro Sports Report president Jim Ecker and MSR vice president Mike Koolbeck, with input from Metro coaches.
Kennedy, Linn-Mar and Prairie claimed four spots apiece on the Metro all-star team. Xavier and Jefferson got two berths, while Washington and Marion have one representative apiece.
The Kennedy Cougars, who reached the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament, will be represented by Alex Hayden, Cody Bell, Logan Ambrosy and Adam Lloyd.
The Linn-Mar Lions, who reached the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state tournament, will be represented by Jake Stolley, Michael Redmond, Nate Greve and Austin Stroschein.
The Prairie Hawks are sending Brennan Hammer, Brayton Carlson, Jason Velvick and Ty Mougin to the all-star game.
Mack Mattke and Corbin Woods made the club from Xavier. Colten Jourdan and Chance Tiedtke were selected from Jefferson. A.J. Puk from Washington and Addison of Johnson of Marion round out the club.
"We wish we had room for 25 or 30 players on the team, because there were a lot of deserving players in the Metro this year," Ecker said. "Unfortunately, we
couldn't take everybody.
"We tried to balance the team among pitchers, catchers, middle infielders, corner infielders and outfielders, but there's no doubt we could pick another team that would be very strong as well."
Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer, who won his 600th game this season, will coach the Metro all-star team.
The high school team from Yamanishi, Japan is scheduled to arrive in Iowa on Friday, Aug. 10 for a week's visit to the state. They will play a total of six games in Iowa with two games at Southeast Polk on Aug. 11, two games at Urbandale on Aug. 12, one game at Principal Park in Des Moines on Aug. 13 and one nine-inning game at Kennedy on Aug. 14.
The Japan-Metro All-Star Classic is being organized by the Metro Sports Report, with special help from the Genghis Grill, Carlos O'Kelly's, the Kennedy Baseball Support Group, the Cedar Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Iowa Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
The Genghis Grill will be catering a luncheon on game day for the Japanese team and host families. Carlos O'Kelly's will be catering a dinner on game day for both teams.
"We'd like to thank our sponsors for their generous and kind support," Ecker said. "We're looking forward to a special night of baseball, and their help makes it possible."
Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at the gate. Spectators are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets, or they can sit in the stands.
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