KANSAS CITY — The chants could be heard from just above the first-base dugout at Kauffman Stadium and Anthony Hansen was loving every second of it.
“MVP, MVP,” a collection of fans shouted at the William Jewell College outfielder.
Hansen recorded a pair of hits, including a run-scoring double in a decisive four-run second inning to fuel the J’s all-star team to a 5-1 victory in the Ban Johnson All-Star Game Monday, Aug. 5 at Kauffman Stadium.
“It was an awesome experience just getting out there and being able to play where the big leaguers play,” Hansen said. “You get out there and it’s still the same game.”
Hansen was the only player to put together a multi-hit performance. His RBI two-bagger to left field gave the J’s a 1-0 lead with no outs in the second. He came around to score on an Andrew Dougan RBI single.
“I had taken pretty much the same pitch right before that and it was called a strike,” Hansen said, “and I saw pretty much the same pitch, which I expected it to be an off-speed pitch. I was able to get a barrel on it and put it down the left field line for a double.”
His second hit came on a bloop single out to left field in the eighth. Hansen also reached on an error.
“It wasn’t the biggest game by any means, but I was able to put together a few good at-bats,” he said. “It wasn’t the hardest hit, but I got ahead in the count and just put a bat on it, and when you’re putting the bat on the ball good things are going to happen.”
Hansen’s MVP honor was the culmination of a strong summer as he led the league in batting for the MSBL Royals. He posted a .557 average, an .866 slugging percentage and a .612 on-base percentage. He also led the league with 39 RBI and OPS (1.497).
“It’s a special stage and special experience to be out here,” the all-star said.
Hansen enjoyed his first Ban Johnson All-Star Game experience with six Jewell teammates, four representing the MSBL Royals and two from the Milgram Mustangs.
“Playing all summer would be too much for me to handle with these guys so it’s good to get a break every once in a while,” Milgram’s Ben Paulter joked of playing his Jewell teammates during the regular season.
Jewell pitcher Garrison Fields jumpstarted a string of five no-hit innings by five different J All-Star pitchers. Fields started the contest on the mound, issuing one walk, two groundouts and a flyout.
Angel Lebron, a Park University pitcher, allowed the B’s first hit, a triple to right field with no outs in the sixth.
Michael Ruffolo, the next batter, drove in Gavin Burns with a sacrifice fly to center for the B’s lone run. Lebron settled in with two strikeouts to avoid further damage.
For the B’s, Paulter recorded a single in two at-bats as a reserve outfielder. Nick Modrcin of Jewell was 0-for-2 as the backup catcher.
Jewell outfielder Chase Elias acted as the J’s leadoff hitter, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. Cody Lampe, a Jewell catcher, went 0-for-2 at the plate.
“I’ve played here before so it’s always a great privilege to play on a great field that all the big leaguers play on,” Elias said. “It’s something special, so you take advantage of it and leave it all on the field.”