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Santana ends high school with big game

June 11, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

Brawley Union High School baseball player David Santana is always ready to lay it on the line in a baseball diamond.

Whether it's in the middle of an Imperial Valley League title race, in the postseason or in an all-star game like Friday's, the 18-year-old senior puts up numbers consistently.

After leading the Wildcats to an IVL title, finishing the season with a .465 batting average, 24 runs, 20 RBI and a home run, Santana capped his high school playing career in the second annual Imperial Valley Baseball Senior All-Star Game in Imperial. He went 3-for-4 with two runs and a double while leading the West team — made up of seniors from Brawley, Imperial and Southwest — to an 8-4 victory over an East squad made up of seniors from Calexico, Calipatria, Central and Holtville.

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"I came out mainly to have fun in that game. It's fun because you get to team up with other players from other teams and go against the best seniors in the Valley," said Santana. "For me, it was a good experience playing in it. It's a game you just want to have fun in, but it's even more fun when you're winning."

While this year was one of Santana's best high school seasons, the all-star game was one last chance to perform against some of the best players in the Valley.

"You always try to do your best out there, but I wasn't really thinking about having a game like this," said Santana. "In our playoff game I didn't do that well, so this gave me a chance to end my (high school) career with a good game."

For those in attendance, it may have been the first time they saw what Santana was capable of doing at the plate or in the outfield.

For Brawley coach Pedro Carranza, however, it was just another typical Santana performance.

"What David did on Friday was what he's been doing the past few years. … He just performs," said Carranza. "He's always been someone that shows up to play and he does it more consistently than anyone else around here. You know that when David plays, you get everything out of him.

"Really, I didn't anticipate any of our guys doing that well in that game just because they hadn't played in about two weeks," said Carranza. "But they did. They all played well. David had a really great game. I just hope he can see that he has the potential and that he can progress and take it to the next level."

HONORABLE MENTION

Matt Smith, Brawley Union High School, West all-star baseball team, went 3-for-4 with two doubles and five RBI, earning MVP honors in the Imperial Valley Baseball 2002 Senior All-Star Game on Friday.

J.P. Gonzalez, Calexico High School, East all-star team, pitched four innings, allowed no runs, gave up two hits and struck out six in the Imperial Valley Baseball 2002 Senior All-Star Game on Friday.

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