South pre­vails in back-and-forth All-Star Clas­sic

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Kevin Nien­dorf

STOCK­TON — An evening to showcase the re­gion’s best prep base­ball se­niors dur­ing the 29th an­nual All-Star Clas­sic was cel­e­brated just a lit­tle bit more by the South squad as it walked off win­ners Fri­day at Delta Col­lege’s Nick Cec­chetti Field.

The game fea­tured four lead changes be­fore the dust set­tled with an 11-7 South win. South coach Stephen Gate­house, of Moun­tain House, said it was a chance for so much tal­ent to take the field one last time.

“They’ve been talk­ing about want­ing to win and ev­ery­thing but to have fun while do­ing it, too,” Gate­house said. “There’s def­i­nitely some high­qual­ity kids here, as well as some char­ac­ters that keep ev­ery­body loose.”

Los Banos hurler Kody Car­doza’s 111 strike­outs, 0.76 ERA and a statebest 13 wins, earned him the start for the South.

“It’s a neat chance to come to Stock­ton and show the other schools what Los Banos is all about,” said Car­doza. “It’s nice be­ing able to play on a dif­fer­ent team and with peo­ple I don’t re­ally know.”

Bear Creek’s Bradlee Preap led off the top of the sec­ond in­ning be­ing hit by a pitch, and later scored on an er­rant throw to first base for an early North lead. The South an­swered when Colton Duke, of Mil­len­nium, de­liv­ered a dou­ble into the gap and he later tied the game at 1-1 on a sin­gle by Tracy’s Brent­ley Bergmann.

The North re­claimed the lead in the third when Robert Blachly walked and even­tu­ally scored on a pair of passed balls. St. Mary’s An­thony Her­nan­dez sin­gled and later scored on a sin­gle by Bear Creek’s Troy Me­len­dez for a 3-1 ad­van­tage.

The South scored three runs for a 43 lead in the bot­tom of the fourth as Ja­cob Vales and An­dres DeLeon, both of Moun­tain House, reached on a sin­gle and field­ing er­ror, re­spec­tively. Vales scored on a wild pitch be­fore Lathrop’s Matt Julien dou­bled in DeLeon and Los Banos’ Trent Mal­lonee.

The North struck back with two runs af­ter four con­sec­u­tive walks and a throw­ing er­ror at­tempt­ing to get the fi­nal out at sec­ond base. McNair’s Michael Ten­nis alertly rushed home from third for a 5-4 lead.

The South re­sponded with five runs in the bot­tom of the sixth on two hits and four walks to stake a 9-5 lead. In the eighth, Ven­ture Acad­emy’s Chris Tabin sin­gled in two runs to com­plete the scor­ing for the North.

For St. Mary’s pitcher Nathan Nordell, who started for the North, it was fun to make more mem­o­ries.

“This is nice to be a part of,” Nordell said. “It’s one last game with all my friends, to have a good time and make it count. Ev­ery­one around here is a good ballplayer.”

North coach Joe Piombo Jr., of Ven­ture Acad­emy, agreed.

“It doesn’t sur­prise me be­cause a lot of the kids, we hear the names over the years,” Piombo said. “It’s nice to see so much tal­ent in one dugout.”

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