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Thursday, July 29, 2010
FREEDOM’S GROGAN, OHLMANN, AND SHULTS FLOURISH IN ALL-STAR DEBUTS
Freedom Report: A recap of the 2010 Frontier League All-Star Game
Nick Dobreff / Florence Freedom
FLORENCE, KY - Success in the All-Star Game is quickly becoming a Florence Freedom tradition.
For the fourth consecutive year, a Freedom player took home MVP honors in the Frontier League's mid-summer showcase. This time around, it was veteran infielder Tim Grogan.
Grogan hit a 2-run home run in the first inning to give the Western Division All-Stars a lead they would never relinquish. He finished the night 2-3 with the home run and 2 RBI.
"After I hit the home run, I thought (winning MVP) was a possibility, but it was certainly something I didn't think about going in", said Grogan. "It felt good to be recognized personally and as a representative for the Freedom."
Grogan wasn't the only Freedom player to excel, however.
Fellow all-star teammates Stephen Shults and Liam Ohlmann also played large roles in the win. Shults hit a solo home run and finished 2-3 with 2 RBI, while Ohlmann struck out the side in a scoreless inning of relief.
"It made us all proud to play well and represent the Freedom", said Ohlmann. "It gives us some legitimacy that we went out there and performed in front of some of the best players in the league."
Grogan echoed those sentiments.
"It felt good to represent the team so well. And the biggest thing would be if we were able to carry that performance into the second half and make a playoff push."
The game itself was only half of the experience though. The three-day festivities included a country music concert, golf outing, wine tasting, and an all-star luncheon.
Of course no all-star celebration would be complete without the home run derby. Both Grogan and Shults participated in the long ball challenge, which was eventually won by Southern Illinois' Jereme Milons.
Overall, it was a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
"It was fun going to Southern Illinois. They really put on a good show and we were able to play in front of a packed house", said Grogan. "I was also able to spend a few days with my mom and fiancé and being able to share the experience with them made it even more rewarding.
Said Ohlmann, "It was fun to go there and hang out with the guys from the other teams. Obviously everybody who was there is having a great season. It was one of the best baseball experiences I've ever had."