Maiben named MVP of Oregon All-Star Series
CORVALLIS -- Derek Maiben didn't know quite what to expect at the Oregon All-Star Series over the weekend, so he made it a priority to take his time at the plate and not let the atmosphere affect his game.
That approach certainly paid off as the Western Oregon University-bound shortstop went 7-for-10 with four runs and two RBIs in three games to help the North take the series two games to one. Maiben was then named MVP of the series, which was played Saturday and Sunday at Oregon State University's Goss Stadium.
"I just wanted to be the most patient I could be and really take time with these pitches," Maiben said. "You're not going to get a lot of them in an all-star game, so you have to take every one of them seriously. There was a lot of good pitching and I was just waiting for them to get a decent strike on. Eventually, I was hitting the one that I chose."
Maiben started game one Saturday at shortstop, going two-for-four with two runs scored as the North prevailed 10-7. He sat out most of game two Sunday, but entered the game to pinch hit in the top of the seventh inning, lacing a two-run single that gave the North a 9-6 lead in an eventual 11-6 win.
The South finally got over the hump in game three, winning 6-5, but had to overcome a monster effort from Maiben, who went four-for-five with four singles.
"I was pretty surprised at how patient I actually was and how when I focused, I could do what I wanted to do," he said. "It was just a matter of you thinking about it."
Maiben said the biggest factor for him was simply relaxing and having fun.
"I know there's a lot of pressure, but it's just baseball," Maiben said. "I always think, 'It's just baseball, so just play the game and whatever happens, happens."
Despite his great stat line, Maiben was caught a bit off guard to be named the Bob Brockman MVP.
"Coming there, I thought it would be really hard to show out because there are a lot of people that are just as good and better than I was, but I just came and played," he said.
Before heading to Monmouth this fall, Maiben, along with twin brother Jacob, is staying sharp by playing for the Dallas Dirtbags American Legion team and hopes his positive experience at the All-Star series will translate into a strong summer.
Beyond that, Maiben said he simply had a great time playing and socializing with his peers.
"I had a really fun time meeting people, different players going to play in college, some at higher levels," Maiben said. "They were really nice and I got to know how they got there and gave me insight on that. I thought that maybe I would shy away, but everyone was very open and I got to play with a lot of players I played against in league. That was really fun."