Valley Natives Fox, Stephens Named All-Stars

WHEELING – From the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference to West Virginia University, Justin Fox and Alex Stephens have always seemed to share the diamond.

Now, the two Mountaineers are spending their summer break in the Sunshine State with the Florida Collegiate Summer League where both have been selected to start in the league’s All-Star game.

The Florida League, named one of the top leagues in the country by Baseball America, operates six teams in Central Florida where top college players have come to play pure wood bat baseball against top-level competition for the last decade.

Stephens, the league’s reigning Player of the Week, is batting .300 and leads the DeLand Suns in hits (24), at-bats (80) and RBI (11), while Fox, a member of the Leesburg Lightning, has a .261 average in 22 games with 18 hits, six doubles and 12 runs batted in.

Both will represent the North team and will be joined by the other top 44 players in the league at Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Fla., at 7 tonight.

Fox, a New Martinsville native, spent his prep career at Magnolia where he was a four-year letterman in baseball and was elected captain of the Class AA All-State teams in baseball and football his senior year.

He recorded a career batting average of .460 with 14 home runs and 108 RBI and finished the 2011 season with a .625 batting average, scoring 31 runs and knocking in 32.

In 2010, he was the Harrison H. Kennedy Award winner as the top football player in West Virginia.

Fox also appeared in 15 games with four starts for WVU in 2012, his sophomore season.

Stephens, a Linsly graduate, sat out his freshman year for the Mountaineers after a stellar high school career.

A four-year starter for the Cadets, Stephens batted .533 with 40 runs, six homers, 34 RBIs and had a school-record 33 stolen bases during his senior season and finished his career with a .450 batting average, 62 stolen bases, 77 extra-base hits, a .760 slugging percentage and a .950 fielding percentage.

Also a quarterback at Linsly, Stephens holds single-season school records for passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage.

He was a four-time All-Valley first team and three-time All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference first team selections and won the Gold Glove and Offensive Award for Wheeling Post 1 in American Legion league.