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Baseball all-star Strausborger 'locked in'

It was the baseball game that looked like it would never end. Ryan Strausborger was there for all 23 innings and 10 plate appearances.
Posted on June 17, 2011 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 17, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

It was the baseball game that looked like it would never end.

Ryan Strausborger was there for all 23 innings and 10 plate appearances.

"It was definitely an experience I've never been through," said Strausborger, a Memorial High School graduate now patrolling center field and batting third for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class-A Carolina League and recently named a starter for next Tuesday's California-Carolina All-Star Game in Modesto, Calif. "It was a marathon."

In a game played in stifling heat Sunday in Kinston, N.C., the Pelicans tied the game at 2-all in the top of the ninth. That's when the bats got slow and the pitchers began to dominate inning after inning until Kinston finally won with a single past shortstop.

The contest lasted 6 hours, 27 minutes. The 23 innings set a Carolina League record.

Strausborger went 2-for-8 with two walks.

"That was good compared to most," Strausborger said. "Some guys on the other team had six strikeouts apiece."

A rainout Monday in Potomac gave Strausborger and his teammates an unexpected off day.

Not that Strausborger wanted to be away from the field during a season in which he has been "locked in" the whole way.

Through 63 games, the former Indiana State University standout was hitting .298 with six home runs, six triples, 16 doubles, 33 runs batted in, 43 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. The second-year pro had an on-base average of .359 and a slugging percentage of .480.

Among Carolina League leaders, Strausborger was tops in games played, second in both stolen bases and triples and tied for second in runs scored.

Strausborger has been so productive that he was moved from lead-off into the No. 3 hole. He started the season in left field, but has played most of his games in center. He has started every game.

After playing last summer at Spokane, the Texas Rangers farmhand has grown accustomed to pro ball and is benefitting this year from pitchers who have more of a command of the strike zone.

"I've got that one year of experience under my belt," Strausborger said. "I've got more pitches to hit."

He is enjoying his time with Myrtle Beach manager Jason Wood, a former big leaguer.

"He's an awesome guy," Strausborger said.

Most of the instruction came when Strausborger was in spring training in Surprise, Ariz.

"Once you get to your locations, it's just playing ball," Strausborger said.

And on some days, you play and play and play and play.


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