Corey Thurman of the York Revolution was the starting pitcher for the Freedom Division all stars on Wednesday.
Corey Thurman has been on some big stages in his baseball career.
But the butterflies were still fluttering inside the right-hander in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Wednesday night.
The fans greeted the York Revolution starting pitcher with cheers when he took the mound to start for the Freedom Division team. But things didn’t start off as well as Thurman would’ve liked. The former major leaguer fired three straight balls to begin the game.
“It was just something I had to figure out in my head. I just said ‘Forget it, just go with it. Quit letting the nerves get to you,’” Thurman said after the game.
Thurman fired his next pitch over the plate for a strike, and once he got that, he didn’t look back, tossing scoreless first and second innings for the Freedom Division team, striking out one and giving up just one hit.
“Once I got the strike I was like ‘OK, now I’m ready, let’s go to work,’” Thurman said.
Thurman set the pace for the rest of the Freedom Division pitchers, as he and six other pitchers combined to shut out the Liberty Division squad, 7-0.
The game seemed like it would be a pitching duel through the first three innings until York’s Val Majewski smacked a solo homer to right field in the bottom of the fourth off Liberty Division pitcher Nic Green (Southern Maryland).
The homer marked the first run of the game and it brought Sovereign Bank Stadium’s sold-out record crowd of 8,053 fans to their feet to cheer for their hometown star.
The attendance is the second-largest in Atlantic League All-Star Game history, finishing just behind Somerset, which set the mark in 2008 with 8,290 fans.
Majewski finished 2-for-4 on the night, with two runs and an RBI. He likely would’ve taken home the game’s Most Valuable Player award had it not been for his Freedom Division teammate, Michael Hernandez (Somerset).
Hernandez had a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the fifth and added an RBI triple in the seventh for his second hit of the night, which helped him earn the MVP award.
For some reason, Hernandez seems to have no problem in York. In his two seasons in the Atlantic League, Hernandez is batting .429 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 13 games at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
“I couldn’t tell you why,” Hernandez said. “I know I feel comfortable in the box here. I see the ball pretty good. It’s a real nice place.”
Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren, who managed the Freedom Division team, said he wasn’t surprised by Hernandez’s performance.
“He really hits well here. I told him that I tried to trade for him but they wouldn’t let me bring him here,” Etchebarren said.
Revs’ catcher Octavio Martinez, outfielder James Shanks and infielders Eric Eymann and Vince Harrison started the game alongside Majewski.
Shanks finished 1-for-3 while Harrison, Eymann and Martinez went a collective 0-for-6.
Revolution starting pitcher Matt DeSalvo, who was selected to the game, did not see action. Etchebarren said he wanted to rest DeSalvo because his throwing arm is a bit sore, which is understandable considering the right-hander has tossed a league-leading 962/3 innings.
Though Majewski didn’t take home the MVP award, it still proved to be a good night for the Revs’ outfielder. Competing in the Atlantic League All-Star Home Run Derby before the game, Majewski was part of the winning derby team despite only hitting one homer to right field.
“I’ve been in all-star games before. I’ve been in (derby contests) before. I wanted to put on a good show. Unfortunately, the home run derby, I disappointed myself and the fans,” Majewski said. “But as far as the game, we put on a good show and having the home team win was awesome.”