San Gabriel Valley all-star photo gallery
By Nathan Cambridge
Sunday’s 16th annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star baseball game at Moor Field featured stellar defense, but superior pitching and hitting by the Red team led to a 3-1 victory. Bonita’s Robert Mier, playing for the Red team, won the game’s Most Valuable Hitter Award. The second baseman, who will play at Mt. SAC next year, hit a run-scoring double in the seventh inning to put his team ahead for good, 2-1. “It’s neat,” Mier said. “You get to play with guys you played against all year. It’s different but it is still competitive baseball. I was just happy to help and contribute to my team’s win.”
The Red team’s Julian Jarrard, representing Temple City High, won the Most Valuable Player award.
“It’s always fun to come into games where you know you are going to be playing against really good competition,” said Jarrard, who pointed out he will play next year at either La Verne or Biola universities.
Six pitchers on the Red team combined to hold the Blue team to four hits. Daniel Farfan of El Monte High pitched scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh and struck out two to earn the victory.
It was Red team pitcher Kenny Mathews who took home the Cory Lidle Most Valuable Pitcher award. The left-hander from Diamond Bar High threw two scoreless innings and struck out three. He also picked off Tyler Dominguez at first base to end the third inning after issuing a walk to the Arcadia shortstop.
“I’m going to Cal State Fullerton and play baseball there. We’ll see how the (Major League Baseball) draft goes tomorrow and we’ll just take it day by day from there,” Matthews said when discussing his plans for the future.
The Blue team turned five double plays, including one in each of the first three innings. The best one arguably was started by third baseman Frankie Wright, the Moors’ sole representative, in the second inning with the bases loaded. Wright fielded a well-struck ground ball, touched the bag at third for an out, then threw to catcher Matt Saeta, who then tagged out Matt Gelalich before he could score.
Wright also pitched a perfect ninth inning and took home the game’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award.
The Blue squad featured six players who won CIF-SS championships this season. Three were from Division 4 champ Bishop Amat and three were from Division 6 winner Pasadena Poly.
Poly’s Hunter Merryman doubled in the fourth inning for his team’s first hit. Bishop Amat’s Wallace Gonzalez scored the Blue team’s only run on a fifth-inning single by Glendora’s Nick Cooksey.
“It is such a nice honor for these kids. They are all deserving,” Pasadena Poly and Blue team coach Wayne Ellis said a day after his Panthers won their first CIF-SS baseball title. “Super ballplayers out there, that is for sure.”