WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts learned today that four of their players have been voted as starters in the 2009 American Association All-Star Game in Grand Prairie, TX.
Catcher Joe Muich, Shortstop Josh Horn, Left Fielder Greg Porter, and Designated Hitter Kelly Hunt were chosen as starters for the North Division, as selected by the North's field managers and media representatives.
A four-year letterman at Wichita State University, Muich is hitting .286 with five home runs and 22 RBI. On May 20th versus Sioux Falls, Muich hit a game-ending home run that capped off a 13-inning, four hour and eight minute affair that went down as the longest game in Wingnuts' history. Muich leads all catchers with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and is first with a 40% caught stealing percentage, more than 12 percentage points better than the second place catcher.
Horn will be making his third all-star appearance in as many seasons in his professional career, having been an all-star at third base in 2007 and 2008 with the Frontier League's Windy City Thunderbolts. Horn ranks 10th in the league in batting at .335 and third among shortstops with a .964 fielding percentage. Over his last 40 games, Horn is 55 for 150 (.367). Horn also leads the Wingnuts with 13 stolen bases and has only been caught one time. Horn has walked more times (26) than he has struck out (19).
Porter leads the league in hitting at .381, 21 points better than anyone else. Now in his ninth season of professional baseball, Porter shattered the Wingnuts' club record hitting streak, hitting safely in 19 straight from June 10th through June 30th. Porter hit .485 during the 19 games. His hot June not only earned him two Batter of the Week honors, but also the league's Batter of the Month award. Porter hit .481 in June with six home runs and 21 RBI in 27 games while striking out just seven times the entire month.
An MVP candidate the last two seasons, Hunt is tied for third in the league with 10 home runs. During a stretch in late May, Hunt went 17 for 43 (.395) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in an 11-game stretch. Hunt is batting .290 with runners in scoring position, and has driven in 40 runs in 51 games. Hunt and Porter are the only two Wingnuts to have started in every game this season.
The four starters eclipse the Wingnuts' total from last season when Kevin Hooper, Michael Thompson, and Brenan Herrera started at shortstop, third base, and second base respectively.
The 2009 All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21st at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, TX, home of the Grand Prairie AirHogs. Several skills competitions, including a home run derby, is scheduled to take place prior to the game.
Pitchers and reserves for both squads will be announced within the next several days. Sioux Falls Canaries' manager Steve Shirley will make those selections for the North.
The Wichita Wingnuts, 2009 North Division champions, conclude a four-game series tonight with the St. Paul Saints at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, contact the Wingnuts' office at (316) 264-4625.