Miners send four to tonight's All-Star game

HOMER CITY — The Federation League All-Stars will take on the All-Stars from the Indiana County League 7 p.m. tonight at First Commonwealth Field in Homer City. Both leagues have selected standout players from each of the teams, nominated and voted upon by each leagues’ players.

All of the proceeds will go to Pennsylvania Junior Legion Baseball regional and state tournaments, which will also be held at First Commonwealth Field.

“It is the most outstanding facility in (Indiana) County,” Nick Pinizzotto, manager of the Indiana County All-Stars, said. “It will provide a really nice atmosphere.”

In addition to the facility, the All-Star game will be played with wooden bats.

The contest will last nine innings rather than the usual seven.

“We play nine innings because we take so many players, and it is easier to play everyone,” Korry Lindemuth, Brookville Grays player and webmaster for the Federation League, said. “Also, we are traveling a great distance and might as well play as much as (we) can.”

Last year, the Federation and Indiana County leagues played inter-league games instead of playing an All-Star game. Each team from the Federation League played each team from the Indiana County League once during the regular season.

Lindemuth said it seemed like an obvious choice to have an All-Star game this year rather than the inter-league format.

“With gas prices so high, and kids having weekend plans, it was a no-brainer to get away from it for this year,” Lindemuth said. “The people I have talked to, they seemed excited about the (upcoming) All-Star game.”

The last All-Star game was played in 2009 at Brookville. The Indiana County League All-Stars took the victory despite a Federation League lead heading into the eigth inning.

“It is for fun, but we do want to win,” Paul Roman, manager of the Federation League All-Stars, said. “Last time we played, we lost, and we all remember it; trust me.”

Roman, who is also manager of the Sykesville Senators, said that while he will act as manager for the Federation League team, it will be more of a joint effort.

The managers from at least three other teams, including the Brookville Grays, will be present to assist with coaching.

“There will be total involvement of all five teams,” Roman said. “We try to make it an entire league thing.”

Members of the teams will be traveling from throughout the area, including Clarion, St. Marys, DuBois, Brookville and Punxsutawney.

Although the game will be played far from home for many people on the Federation League team, a large crowd is expected for both sides.

Lindemuth thought the timing of the event would also be a huge draw.

“I think families will come out and support,” he said. “It’s a good night for fathers to get away during Fathers’ Day weekend and watch their sons play some good competitive baseball.”

The game’s warm ups will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the Indiana County League acting as the home team.

Mark Bertig will act as the public address announcer and will introduce the players and give a special presentation. Bertig will also present the Star-Spangled Banner.