Cardinals team up with unlikely ally to boost Matt Carpenter’s All-Star Game hopes

St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter watches a solo home run ball leave Busch Stadium in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in St. Louis on April 17, 2016. St. Louis won the game 4-3. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

ST. LOUIS, MO- In the years since Major League Baseball has used a “final player” fan vote format to select the last member of each league’s All-Star team, it’s been commonplace for alliances to form in an effort to boost chances for teams in both leagues.

This year, the Cardinals are teaming up with the Red Sox, to help Matt Carpenter and Boston’s  Andrew Benintendi.

But the Cardinals have also formed a partnership with an unlikely ally which would have flown under the radar if not for one of the biggest upsets in NCAA basketball history in March.

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s Athletic Department Twitter page exploded in followers this past spring, after the 16th seeded Retrievers became the first men’s basketball team to pull of an upset of a top seed when they defeated Virginia.

In turn, the @UMBCAthletics account is using the opportunity to get Cardinals fans to support the school’s bid for an ESPY Award.

Voting for the final spots ends Wednesday at 3pm St. Louis time. In the last update put out by MLB prior to the end of voting, Carpenter was in fifth place in the National League, while Benintendi was in second place in the American League.