Barnes, North have fun despite loss to South in VBL All Star Game

The North may have lost to the South on the field in the Valley Baseball League All Star Game on Sunday night, but North manager Butch Barnes said the score on the field wasn’t what mattered.

“We entered this contest trying to be as fair as we could to everybody. Get everybody equal playing time, get everybody equal at-bats,” Barnes said in an interview Monday. “You can ask anybody out there we had fun in our dugout. We were pretty loose even though we got beat we were pretty loose. I was happy.”

The South won the game, 10-4. They built a 4-0 lead over the first two innings and held on for the win. Waynesboro’s Zach Sterry was named the South Most Valuable Player, while Purcellville’s Ray Hernandez was the North MVP.

Sterry went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Hernandez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the North.

The South had 17 hits in the game, while the North had nine. Strasburg’s Dylan Ingram had a triple, an RBI and a run scored for the North.

Barnes, the Strasburg Express manager, said they accomplished what they set out to do.

“We came out 100 percent healthy, and everybody had a good time and some people played pretty well,” Barnes said. “…I told them that game (Sunday night) was about showcasing your own talent, but then it was about building relationships and friendships that could last forever.”

It was Barnes’ first time managing in the VBL All Star Game and he said he really enjoyed the experience.

“You got to get everything lined up, and make sure everybody’s in the game. …It’s a little bit troubling and it takes a little bit of time, but it’s fun,” Barnes said.

In one of the pre-game festivities, Strasburg’s Haiden Lamb ran a 6.260 in the 60-yard dash to win the event.

Barnes said that there was a mix-up and the award was originally given to two other players, but Lamb will be receiving his award. Barnes said that Lamb was originally disqualified by someone in the press box for a false start, but Barnes said the timers start on the runners movement so there are no false starts in the contest.

“He ran a 6.260 — that is flying. They’re going to get him his certificate. They realized they made a mistake,” Barnes said. “…He was running against (Strasburg teammate) Drew Avans and Drew’s fast too, and he absolutely smoked him.”

One of the highlights of the VBL All Star Game was the induction of the first-ever VBL Hall of Fame class. There were 11 inducted into the Hall of Fame: Dave Biery, Mike Bocock, David Eckstein, Charles “Tootie” Geil, Jimmy Key, Jim Lineweaver, Jim Phillips, Dayton Moore, Johnny Oates, John Radosevich and Bob Wease, who also managed the South team on Sunday.

Barnes said it was fun seeing the guys inducted, and he was able to talk to a few of them, including Moore, who is the general manager of the Major League Baseball champion Kansas City Royals.

“I got to talk to Dayton Moore — that was a good conversation,” Barnes said. “…I got to talk to Mike Bocock. I coached against Mike. We had a good conversation too. I got to talk to Mr. Phillips, who I think the world of. When I think of the Valley League he’s probably one of the top guys I think of.”

Barnes was participating in the first-ever Strasburg Express Captain’s Choice Golf Tournament at Shenandoah Golf Club in Front Royal.

He said they plan on making it an annual event, although it will probably be held in the fall or spring in future years.

“We’re trying to fundraise and do some different things, but we’re also trying to have fun at what we do,” Barnes said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com