Area players wrapped up their high school baseball careers with one final hurrah in the Exeter Lions Club’s 59th annual High School All-Star Baseball Game Saturday at Rawhide Stadium.
The East team, led by Monache High School's A.J. Watts and his coaching staff, took the 5-4 loss to the West but players still enjoyed the game.
“It was fun, exciting,” Monache grad Matthew Cloyd said. “Cool experience playing against the best of the best in the WYL. It was fun.”
MVP of the game was Redwood's Hunter Bryan who had a home run in the third inning. Bryan was drafted in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month but is going to play for Fresno State.
Offensively for the East, Porterville's Daniel Perez and Granite Hills' Randy Leon had an RBI apiece while Cloyd had two hits and a run scored.
Leon played third base for the East, Perez played shortstop and Cloyd was at both second and shortstop. Also playing from Monache was pitcher and second baseman Ricky Alba, catcher Troy “Pudge” Nieto, first baseman Aaron Hernandez. Porterville also had Sanitago Sanchez at catcher and John Herrera at first . Summit Charter's Dustin Bear played third for the West.
Playing with his teammates for the last time in blue and gold, Cloyd said the game was a bit emotional.
“It was kind of emotional,” Cloyd said. “I mean, won't play with some of them [anymore] …. Playing with Ricky and Pudge for the last time. I played with Ricky since I was little kid. Pudge too, always on the same team. So yeah it sucks, won't play with them anymore.”
Cloyd will play with one of his teammates again when he and Hernandez attend Porterville College. He said he's excited about the next step.