By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent
COVINA – Bonita High School junior Robert Mier homered to help the Grey team defeat the Blue 3-1 in Saturday’s third annual KG Sports Training Foundation Underclassmen All-Star Baseball Game at Gladstone High School. “It’s fun to play with a bunch of guys you have been playing against all year,” Mier said. “It’s a really neat experience.” (To continue, click thread).
The Grey scored all of its runs in the fourth inning, led by a trio of Bonita players. Mier hit a towering home run over the left-field fence off Blue pitcher Sergio Luna of Cathedral to lead off the inning.
“One thing you need as a good hitter is to be relaxed,” Mier said, “I was just really relaxed today and put a good swing on it.”
Bonita’s K.C. Huth drove in the Grey’s final run on a groundout to third base that scored Northview’s Xavier Martinez, who had reached after Luna hit him with a pitch.
The Blue was held to three hits by a combination of eight Grey pitchers and scored its lone run in the fifth inning without getting a hit.
Grey pitcher Mark Roche of Arroyo started the inning by hitting South Hills’ C.J. Saylor with a pitch. Saylor scored three batters later on a wild pitch.
The defensive play of the game was made by Grey shortstop Travis Santiago in the fourth inning. The Blue’s David Hubinger lined a ball up the middle that pitcher Jason Martinez stabbed at with his glove, redirecting the ball. Santiago, from Charter Oak, caught the ball near the dirt and completed the double play by throwing to first to end the inning.
“It psyched me out a little bit,” Santiago said of the unusual double play, “It happened to be in my glove and I tagged my base and threw to first and got an out, double play.”
The KG Sports Training Foundation, founded by Kiko Garcia, is committed to developing baseball fundamentals in the area’s youth, but also scholarship and character. All three of those factors were considered when naming the game’s MVP – Stephen Zavala of Whittier, who played two innings at catcher for the Grey.
Also part of the all-star activities was a skills contest earlier in the day. Temple City’s Julian Jarrod won the agility contest.