Six named to All-ESL 1st, 2nd teams

A total of six local baseball players made the All-East Sequoia League first and second teams, with Strathmore, Granite Hills and Lindsay High School getting two selections each.

All-ESL selections for the Spartans (16-10-1, 8-4 ESL) are junior pitcher, William Reece, on the first team and senior infielder, Josue Topete, on the second team. Head coach, Thad Reece, was also named the Coach of the Year.

In league, William Reece led the ESL in stolen bases (20), had the fourth best batting average (.462) and fourth most runs scored (16), as well as an on-base percentage of .543. On the mound, William (4-1) had a 1.02 ERA and 24 strikeouts in league.

Offensively, Topete hit .364 with an OBP of .417 in ESL. Topete also scored 10 runs, hit seven RBIs, and three doubles.

“We had one of the best years in school history,” Thad Reece said about the overall season. “We finished league at 8-4, and it would have been nice to have a few more All-League selections. Josue was without a doubt one of the top players in our league. Aidan Jackson and Jacob Flores also had huge years for us. William’s [overall season stats] set school offensive records for runs (34), stolen bases (42) and he also set pitching records for wins (8), era (0.58) and consecutive scoreless innings (35).”

Jackson, a freshman pitcher, went 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA and five complete games on the overall season. Sophomore catcher Flores had a school-record 25 RBIs overall. Both were All-ESL honorable mentions, along with freshman Jaylen Oats, sophomore infielder Angel Topete and junior catcher Rigo Alvarez. On the overall season, Oats hit .297 with 19 RBIs and 17 runs scored; Topete hit .307 with 18 RBIs; and Alvarez hit. 250 and threw out 50 percent of runners.

Strathmore finished third in ESL and received the third-seed in the CIF Central Section Division VI playoffs. After an opening-round bye, the Spartans beat No. 10 Summit Charter (12-13) 10-2 but lost their semifinal game 4-3 to No. 7 Foothill (13-16).

LINDSAY (11-16, 6-6 ESL)

From Lindsay, senior center fielder and pitcher, Julio Godoy, was selected to the first team while senior pitcher and outfielder, Angel Perez, made the second team.

In league, Godoy hit .353 with a .488 OBP with the fifth most runs scored (15). He was one of only four players to have a league-best two triples. He also had four RBIs and six stolen bases. On the mound, Godoy had another league best 0.00 ERA through 20.1 innings and 27 strikeouts.

“He roamed centerfield and runs down everything in his reach,” Kendig said. “He has a strong arm as well. Julio became a real leader on our team this year. He had a fine season on the mound as well. He was the table setter most of the season. Also, when Julio gets on base he makes our team tough to beat.

“Julio is a two-sport star at Lindsay High and is one of the best teammates anyone could ever hope for,” Kendig said about the three-year letterman. “He will be continuing his education at [the College of the Sequoias] and playing soccer. Never a day goes by where you don't see his infectious smile.”

Perez was 3-3 in ESL with a 3.65 ERA and 20 strikeouts on the mound. Offensively, he hit .391 with three doubles, one triple, three RBIs and six runs scored. His OBP of .548 was the seventh best in league as well.

“Angel is a big time competitor and is always ready to take the ball when called upon,” Kendig said. “Angel improved tremendously at the plate this season as well. Angel saw double duty this season as a member of our track team as well. He showed a great amount of commitment and time management skills to make this happen and make it a positive experience. Angel will continue his education at West Hills [College] and play football.”

The Cardinals honorable mentions were sophomore catcher Nick Dunning, junior second baseman Isaac Munoz and freshman left fielder Eric Lemus. In league, Dunning hit .244 with 10 runs scored, Munoz hit .300 with 10 runs scored and Lemus hit .333 with 10 RBIs.

Lindsay (11-16, 6-6 ESL) finished fourth in the ESL and were the 12th-seed in the Div. VI playoffs. The Cardinals won their opening round game 10-5 against No. 5 Orange Cove (12-14), then beat No. 13 Roosevelt (9-13) 8-7. The team’s season ended in the semifinals with a 13-3 loss to top-seed and eventual Valley champions, Bishop Union (18-4).

GRANITE HILLS (11-15, 3-9 ESL)

Granite Hills All-ESL first team selection is freshman infielder and pitcher, Alexis Bedolla, while sophomore utility player, Chris Duran, is a second team selection.

Bedolla hit .429 with a .467 OBP, nine runs scored, four stolen bases and five RBIs. He also had 10 strikeouts.

“Alexis was also our team MVP,” GHHS head coach Al Garcia said. “Having him on the field was like having a coach on the field. I’ve never coached a kid that was so into every aspect of the game. He batted .429 in league and .400 overall. Highest average by any freshmen I’ve ever coached. He’s not a big kid but played the game with an infectious attitude that the rest of the team picked up on even though he was a freshman. I’m glad we have him for three more years.”

In league, Duran hit .263 with an OBP of .467, nine runs scored, four stolen bases and five RBIs.

“Chris batted over .300 for the season and stole 26 bases,” Garcia said. “He played all nine positions during the season and was the team defensive player of the year. As a sophomore, he also has a passion and love for the game like I haven’t seen in a bit.”

Garcia added, “Both of these young men were among some of the easiest to coach for me because they just wanted to improve every step of the way and I’m glad we get them back next year along with some of our players.”

Honorable mentions for the Grizzlies are sophomore outfielder Christian Chavez and junior pitcher Alonso Bedolla. Bedolla hit .364 with two doubles, four RBIs and nine runs scored in ESL while Chavez hit .333 with five RBIs.

All stats obtained from and pertain to ESL play only unless otherwise noted.

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