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Published: Monday, 7/3/2006

Mud Hens notebook: Coduti, Eff in front for All-Star derby

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Tonight is the final night of competition for high school players to grab a spot in the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby. After batters from three schools step to the plate this evening, the field of two participants and two ball-shaggers will be set.

Leading the field right now is Dominic Coduti from Northwood High School with 14 points. Just behind is Ryann Eff from Blissfield High School with 12 points.

The top two players will compete in the Derby July 10 against players from the International League and Pacific Coast League All-Star teams. Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish and hitting coach Leon Durham will also participate.

On June 15, Coduti hit three home runs, one ball off the wall and three to the warning track. Eff competed Saturday night and hit three home runs, a ball off the wall and one to the warning track.

Currently in third and fourth places are Jon Busscher from Hudson (Mich.) High School and Jake Cappelletty from St. John's Jesuit, each with eight points. The third and fourth-place batters will be ball boys in the outfield for the event.

Tonight, Zach Strauss from Northview, Matt Joseph from Southview, and Chris Chaney from Ann Arbor Huron will take their swings.

MORE TESTS: The weekend's series against Indianapolis is the first of several tests for Toledo.

This week, in the final games before the All-Star break, Toledo will play four games at International West foe Louisville before they have three more against the Indians again, this time at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

"We've been playing very well," catcher Max St-Pierre said. "We've been hitting the ball, pitching well, playing good defense. But we've just got to go a day at a time."

The Hens finished 19-11 in June, including 10-4 at Fifth Third Field. They have earned at least a split in the current series against the Indians and will go for the series win tonight at 7.

BUNTS: Coming into last night's game Toledo pitchers had a 2.29 ERA during the homestand. ... Tonight is the Mud Hens' last home game until July 21, when they begin a four-game series with Durham. ... Former Mud Hen Gookie Dawkins was placed on the disabled list for Indianapolis, and Chris Duffy was activated from the restricted list. ... It was the first time in five starts for Hens right-hander Chad Durbin that he did not factor in the decision. ... Hens first baseman Josh Phelps extended his hitting streak to nine games.



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