Times Staff Report
Winston-Salem Dash outfielders Michael Earley and Brady Shoemaker were named starters, and right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich was named a reserve for the 2012 Carolina League All-Star team, the league office announced Thursday. Earley, Heidenreich and Shoemaker will suit up in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, which is set for June 19 at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem.
In his first season of High-A baseball, Earley is eighth in the league with a .314 batting average, tied for eighth with eight home runs and seventh with 35 RBI in 59 games. Among Carolina League outfielders, Earley is inside the top four in all of the above categories. An Anderson, Ind., native, Earley posted a five-game multi-RBI streak from April 26-30 during Winston-Salem's 10-game winning streak, the longest by a Carolina League squad this season.
Heidenreich is also making his first trip around the Carolina League, and the right-hander is 5-2 with a 4.29 earned run average in 12 starts. Heidenreich places tied for fourth in wins, sixth in innings pitched (71.1) eighth in WHIP (1.19). The Coronado, Calif., native has worked through five innings in 11 of his 12 outings. He posted the Dash's only complete game April 16 at Myrtle Beach.
Shoemaker has hovered around the Carolina League's leaders in many offensive categories. The Brazil, Ind., native is third in batting average (.333), tied for the lead in home runs (11) and tops the CL in RBI (46). He also paces all CL swingers with 127 total bases and 50 runs scored. Shoemaker has only posted consecutive hitless games once, and he has hit safely in 47 of his 62 games this season. Shoemaker earned the Carolina League's Batter of the Week honor for his efforts May 7-13.
"We are thrilled that Michael and Brady are All-Stars," Dash skipper Tommy Thompson said. "That's something people will never forget. That's something you can't take from them. They deserve to be here for this event."
Earley, Heidenreich and Shoemaker have helped the Dash to a 38-24 record, the best in the Carolina League and the third-best in all of High-A baseball. The Dash's magic number to clinch a Southern Division first half championship is five with seven games remaining.
The 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, presented by BB&T, is set for Tuesday, June 19, at 7:15 p.m. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. for batting practice and the Home Run Derby sponsored by United Airlines. A limited number of tickets are available by logging on to wsdash.com or calling (336) 714-2287.