Ethier Sweeps Texas League All-Star Game Awards

June 23, 2005

From Dallas Morning News

FRISCO - Midland's Andre Ethier won the Texas League home run derby held after the third inning Tuesday night.

Then he took advantage of what amounted to extra batting practice to win the Texas League All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award.

His single up the middle snapped a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, lifting the West to a 5-0 victory over the East in the game played in front of 10,398 fans at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark.

Ethier said the home run derby was tiring and had him trying too much to hit for power. But it made him relax in a clutch situation in the seventh.

'In a way the extra swings helped me,' said Ethier, who reached the All-Star break batting .328 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs. 'I had to be real quiet and real easy with my swing' in the seventh inning.

Ethier and his Midland RockHound teammates - with the help of a few RoughRiders - put an end to a pitchers duel with all five runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Midland catcher Jeremy Brown, featured in the best-selling book Moneyball for his ability to draw walks, drew one to start the rally. Another RockHound, Jason Perry, followed with a single, setting up Ethier, who bounced a ground ball up the middle to score Brown for a 1-0 lead.

'Andre's an all-around good hitter,' Brown said. 'He's doesn't have to hit for power to be effective.'

Frisco's All-Star contingent also chipped in. Jason Hart, who won the Topps Minor League Player of the Year in 2000 with Midland, drilled a single to center for a 2-0 lead. After Midland's Omar Quintatilla made it 3-0 with Frisco's Drew Meyer picked up an RBI with a ground out to second for a 4-0 lead.

Seven West pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts. RoughRiders right-hander Edison Volquez struck out two of three batters he faced in fourth inning. The West also had excellent outfield play from Ethier and a sparkling play by Meyer at second in the ninth inning.

For winning the home run derby, Ethier won a trip for two to Cozymel. He won a personalized bat for winning MVP honors. He also watched before the game as his alma mater, Arizona State, eliminated Nebraska at the College World Series.

'That wasn't expected,' Ethier said of the Sun Devils' win. 'And I didn't even know I was in the home run derby until I showed up to the ballpark. I don't consider myself a home run hitter.'

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