All-Star experience bittersweet for City Kings’ Kennedy

Following a mini slump, the third baseman from Springboro was looking for a spark. He got one when he was named to the Prospect League All-Star Game.

And he saw an even larger one at the game Wednesday night in Kokomo, Ind.

During the game, a transformer blew near Memorial Stadium, sending sparks flying. It delayed the game about 20 minutes. About 25 minutes later a lightning display postponed the game in the top of the fifth. It was canceled after a 49-minute delay. The West was declared the winner after leading the Kings’ East Division 4-3.

Kennedy was scheduled to enter in the sixth inning.

“Leading up to those two weeks I thought I had a pretty good chance (of making the All-Star team),” said Kennedy, one of five Kings named to the East roster. “I guess the coaches thought highly enough of me to put me in the All-Star Game and for that I’m thankful.”

Fellow infielders Cale Dineen and John Goodrich and pitchers Andrew McDonald and Andrew Fisher joined Kennedy as Kings’ All-Stars.

Fisher was the lone King to see game action. He pitched one inning, allowed two hits, two runs, walked one and struck out two.

“It was pretty disappointing. All the hype leading up to the game the last two days. Being one inning away,” Kennedy said of not being able to play.

The trip wasn’t a total bummer.

Kennedy said spending about three hours driving with his teammates and Kings manager Rick White salvaged the experience.

“We got to talk to him for three hours and pick his mind about baseball,” Kennedy said. “We listened to the stories he has and the personalities he’s run across. It was awesome.

“That was something I was really excited to hear. You never stop learning, especially from someone that’s been in the professionals.”

The Kings take those tips into the second half. Champion City is 3-6 (14-25 overall) but just three games back of Kokomo in the East.

Champion City returns from the All-Star break with a pair of home games against Chillicothe on Friday and Saturday at Carleton Davidson Stadium. Both games are 7 p.m. starts.

For his part, Kennedy is hitting .259 with five doubles, one homer, 13 runs and 13 RBIs. The senior-to-be at Ball State University hit .277 with 15 doubles, four homers and 34 RBIs for the Cardinals (32-26) last season. He also finished with a .954 fielding percentage.

“I think our demise in the first half was because of injuries, injuries, injuries,” Kennedy said of the Kings’ first-half finish. “We couldn’t keep people healthy. Now that we’ve got some rest at the break and got some fresh arms, we can definitely make a run at it.”

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