It’s time for All-Star Baseball
By Patrick Dillon
visalia – Just a couple of weeks ago the Valley Championships were decided at Recreation Park in Visalia which signaled a close to the season for high school baseball for the Central Section. But that doesn’t mean players can hang up their cleats just yet, there is still one more game to be decided at Recreation Park. And while there will be no title on the line in this game, winning bragging rights is all that matters.
Tonight, some of the best players will take the field for the 57th annual Lions Club East-West All-Star Baseball game at Recreation Park at 7 p.m.
Entering this year’s game the West squad is riding a three-game winning streak.
Among the players competing are some from the D-II Valley Champions Mt. Whitney Pioneers, Philip Dinis and Matthew Rodriguez. Also, a few players from the D-II Valley Championship Runner-ups Redwood Rangers in Jace Chamberlin, Chris Gonzalez and Parker Cantrell will be in the field. There is Zac Legarretta of Golden West.
“I think this team is one of the most talented teams for the all-star game in a while,” said Mt. Whitney and West squad head coach Nick Yockey.
On the mound Legarretta pitched a total of 27 innings and struck out 25 opposing batters. While he is only accredited with one win Legarretta had a 3.80 ERA. But in the infield Legarretta had a .828 fielding percentage for the Blazers.
This year’s squad is hoping to make a move in the right direction with Jake Hernandez on the team. Hernandez played a key roll for the D-III Porterville Panther Valley runner-up team.
Joining East Yosemite League heavy squad will be players from Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay Strathmore and Woodlake.
Co-Central Sequoia League Most Valuable Pitcher Seth Guinn will be leading Exeter. Out of 12 starts this season Guinn went 9-2 overall, giving him a team best .818 winning percentage While recording 63 strike outs over.
Behind Guinn was Alex Lagrutta, who went 4-4 in his eight starts while maintaining a 1.14 ERA.
Then there was Brandon Ayres who started 30 games behind the plate. During those games he had .564 caught stealing percentage. From the plate Ayers was second on the team in RBIs with 17.
Lindsay will be led by their senior pitcher Jesus Espinoza. In 12 starts Espinoza went 8-3 with a 3.28 ERA. Out of the 231 batters faced 74 were strike outs.
From the plate the Cardinals depended on Xavior Munoz with his .292 batting average and was second on the team in RBIs with 19.
Robert Gomez from behind the plate had a fielding percentage of .971 as he caught three of the 14 stolen base attempts.
The Woodlake Tigers will have one of their leading hitters in Carlos Pena in the game. In 26 games Pena hit a .355 average and drove in, a second on the team total, 15 RBIs.
Manny Martinez, will also be playing after hitting .291 in 26 games.
The Strathmore Spartans will be represented by Brandon Delk. In 24 starts he had 24 hits for the Spartans and drove in a team leading 10 RBIs
The Farmersville Aztecs will have first team all-East Sierra League Gabe Williamson.