Monache's Watts coaching the East
The Exeter Lions Club’s 59th annual High School All-Star Baseball Game is Saturday, June 15, and features 11 local seniors, along with Monache head coach A.J. Watts as the East team’s head coach. The game is at Rawhide Stadium in Visalia and begins at 7 p.m.
Playing from Monache is first baseman Aaron Hernandez, pitcher and second baseman Ricky Alba, catcher Troy Nieto and shortstop Matthew Cloyd. Porterville players are shortstop Daniel Perez, catcher Santiago Sanchez and pitcher and first baseman John Herrera. Also playing is Lindsay pitcher and outfielder, Julio Godoy, Granite Hills pitcher and catcher, Randy Leon, and Strathmore shortstop and outfielder, Josue Topete. All 10 players are playing for the East while Summit Charter pitcher and infielder, Dustin Bear, is playing for the West.
The Marauders were 7-8 in the East Yosemite League and 18-13 on the overall season. Monache finished the season as the CIF Central Section Division IV runner-ups after the fifth-seeded Marauders lost 4-1 to seventh-seed Chowchilla (17-11-1). This is Watts’ second time coaching the East since 2015 when he was at Porterville.
“You have the ability to represent your school, or the organization you’re apart of, because of the year your players put together,” Watts said about coaching the All-Star game. “I’m pretty fortunate that in the times that I’ve coached, I’ve always had decent players and they’re the ones that have kind of put things together and made things work for their teammates and the high school.
“It’s a privilege coaching the game,” Watts said. “I do feel good about coaching in it but I haven’t lost the fact that your players get you those types of accolades.”
Coaching the West is Corcoran head coach Mike Pankratz. The Panthers went 18-9 under Pankratz this season and were Div. V semifinalist.