West wins baseball all-star contest

June 11, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — The team from the West, featuring players from Brawley, Southwest, Imperial and Calipatria high schools, pounded out a 9-6 victory here Saturday in the Imperial Valley Baseball Coaches Association inaugural senior all-star game.

The team from the East showcased players from Calexico, Central, Holtville and Vincent Memorial high schools.

George Rapp of Southwest High started on the mound for the West and held the East offense to three up and three out.

The West, the home team, scored twice in the bottom of the first.

Stewart Harvey of Imperial walked and scored on a fielding error. Eric Flores of Southwest then scored thanks to an RBI by David Herrera. Herrera was thrown out at third and starting pitcher Juan Lopez of Calexico struck out Brawley's Calvin Williams and Imperial's Brett Cochran for the final outs of the inning.

The East got on the scoreboard in the third inning, but not before Calexico's Hector Rivera was struck in the face by a Rapp pitch and had to leave the game to get stitches.


Diego Lopez of Calexico smacked an RBI single for the run.

In the bottom of the third, Herrera hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Harvey, who had stolen third base.

Brawley's Calvin Williams struck out Juan Lopez for the last out of the inning to leave the West with a 3-1 lead.

The contest got even more interesting in the fifth inning when Southwest's David Cordova switched allegiance to hit for the East.

Cordova got a hit off Southwest teammate Eric Flores that scored Calipatria's Eriberto Perez, who also originally was placed on the West roster, and Holtville's Alex Navarro, who had been hit by a Flores pitch.

The at-bat ended with the East leading by one.

The West tied the score again in its at-bat when Harvey scored on an error.

The West regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Brawley's Sergio Romo hit a sacrifice fly to score Southwest's Frank Richards. Herrera also managed a sac fly and the inning ended with the West up 7-4.

Seven innings are normal for a high school game, but this contest was extended two innings to provide more exposure for players.

In the eighth, Harvey knocked in Imperial's Chris Mazeroll and Brawley's Adam Whittle with a single.

Another run scored for the East in the eighth to cut the advantage to 9-5.

The game ended when the East only managed to score Calexico's Chris Wong, in the top of the ninth for a final of 9-6.

Calexico head coach Sergio Rubio, head coach of the East, said he enjoyed himself.

"It's a great way to finish the year and showcase the Valley's best," Rubio said.

He added he would like to see the event become an annual one to promote baseball in the Valley.

He said his team's loss did not really mean anything and the atmosphere of the game was a no-stress situation for players to have a good time.

"It was a great night," Rubio said.

He gave credit to Imperial's head coach, William Estes, for putting a lot of effort into the all-star game.

"This year more than any other year this league was balanced with good talent," Rubio said.

Southwest coach Mickey Carter took assistant coaching duties for the West and said the game was fun for the players.

"I think everybody had fun," Carter said.

He said the final score was meaningless and the game essentially was an exhibition.

"We only kept score because we said it was a game," Carter said.

He added with the time off between the end of the season and the all-star game, some players were a little out of sync.

"They've only been off for two weeks, but it really showed," Carter said.

Brawley coach Pedro Carranza, head coach for the West, said it was a fun experience.

"Everybody went out there and had fun," Carranza said.

He added the environment was strictly fun, much like playing in the back yard.

He said he would like to see the game return next year.

"(The players) get to have their parents come out and see them one last time and there's a lot less pressure," Carranza said.

He said he would have liked to see more fan support and the game should have been better promoted.

All coaches were in agreement in hopes to see the game become an annual affair.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles