Winston-Salem’s Booker is MVP of Carolina League All-Star game, leads Southern Division to win

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Joel Booker was the MVP of the Carolina League All-Star game in Zebulon, NC last week. The Southern Division won the game, 7-6, at the home of the Carolina Mudcats.

The Winston-Salem Dash White Sox outfield prospect collected three hits, including a homer off Salem’s Daniel Gonzalez in the first inning, and drove in four runs out of the leadoff spot to named All-Star MVP. Booker, who helped the Dash take the first-half title in the Southern Division, turned on the first ball thrown by Gonzalez and skied it over the left-field wall, nearly hitting the Mudcats’ clubhouse. The University of Iowa product also plated a run with an RBI groundout in the fifth and put his team on top with a two-run single in the sixth.

Winston-Salem’s Dylan Cease and Bernardo Flores, Buies Creek’s Brett Adcock and Brandon Bielak and Carolina’s Marcos Diplan each worked single scoreless innings for the South. Bielak picked up the win and Down East reliever C.D. Pelham got the final out for the save.

Third-ranked Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom homered on a three-hit night and Potomac teammate Tres Barrera added a solo shot for the North.

Salem had five players on the Northern Division team with three position players going a combined 0-for-8. Santiago Espinal was 0-for-4 but walked once and scored a run. Jerry Downs was 0-for-3 and Roldani Baldwin was hitless in one at bat.

On the mound, Gonzalez gave up just one hit in one inning, the opening homer to Booker. Matthew Gorst pitched one scoreless inning, allowing two hits, and was called up to the Class AA Portland Sea Dogs two days later.