Finally a reason to praise the final game of an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference season: the inaugural All-Star baseball game.

For too many seasons, the final game of the season in the conference has been a mismatched contest pitting the top team in the upper division against the top team in the lower division, but this year the athletic directors in Harford and Cecil County public schools moved to do away with this nearly-assured beat-down.

Amid little fanfare among the baseball teams, the idea was seized upon to invite the starting varsity players from both the upper Chesapeake and lower Susquehanna divisions to participate in an all-star contest, North vs. South.

Last week, the teams from North Harford, C. Milton Wright, Patterson Mill, North East and Fallston formed the North side; they prevailed over the South, which featured players from Harford Tech, Bel Air, Havre de Grace, Edgewood, Aberdeen, Perryville, Bo Manor, Rising Sun and Elkton. The score was a respectable, 8-2

The idea was devised by Patterson Mill head coach Matt Roseland, who was quoted in this newspaper last week saying: "At the end-of-year coaches meeting last season, I presented the [idea] to the coaches and let them know I was interested in putting together an all-star, showcase game for UCBAC baseball. The coaches who attended showed some interest, so I brought the information back to the preseason meeting in February."

The result was a relatively evenly matched game played in Aberdeen that showcased some of the two counties top baseball players.

It's a wonderful way to end a youth athletic season, and the baseball all star game should serve as a model for the other team sports in the UCBAC.