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BEST OF THE BEST

24 area standouts picked for annual event

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BEST OF THE BEST

East Union’s Alexis Erich (2) slides to third as Sierra Martinez of Manteca applies the tag during a Valley Oak League game.

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POSTED June 8, 2017 12:51 a.m.

Some of the area’s best talent will be on display Friday, June 16 during the 27th annual All-Star Baseball-Softball Classic at Delta College.

The event features recent graduates from more than 35 high schools in the San Joaquin County and surrounding areas. Opening ceremonies for the baseball game begins at 4:45 p.m. at Nick Cecchetti Field, with softball to follow at about 5:15 at Bucky Layland Field. 

Two-time Trans-Valley League MVP Mikaela Ferreira of Ripon will join East Union coach Brian Goulart and his Valley Oak League champion Lancers on the South softball team. Lathrop’s Brian Keeney is also part of the South coaching staff along with Tracy’s Paulette Keeney and Ed Smith, Argonaut’s Chris Lucke and Millennium’s Augie Gonsalez. 

East Union has the largest representation on the South squad with four players: pitchers Mikayla Bongi and Delaney Pamplin, center fielder Alexis Erich and catcher Kristina Mojica. Erich (.620, eight HRs, 51 RBIs) is the VOL Offensive Player of the Year, and the Lancers (28-5) finished as the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III runners-up.

Ripon (21-6) placed third in Division V with St. Mary’s College-bound shortstop Ferreira (.648, four HRs, 40 RBIs) leading the charge. First baseman/catcher Jennica Baldwin and third baseman Hoku Lee are other Ripon players on the South team along with Lathrop’s Brittany Johnson and Adelina Moreno. 

Manteca’s standout trio of seniors will counter from the North team — VOL Defensive Player of the Year and shortstop Tawny Deerinck, third baseman Sierra Martinez and pitcher Haighley Kissee. 

Twelve Manteca-area players will join forces on the South baseball team headed by Manteca sophomore coach Doug Hayes, Lathrop assistant Ray Salazar and Stagg’s Mike McFarren.

Manteca (20-9) has two all-stars in VOL Offensive Player of the Year Joel Olmos (.483, 36 runs, 15 RBIs) and relief pitcher Andrew Brunn. They were key players in the Buffaloes’ run to the SJS Division IV semifinals.

All-VOL first-team third baseman/pitcher Jesse Babauta is the lone representative for Sierra at the event. Weston Ranch will bring three versatile players in C.J. Drain, Manuel Rubio and Larry Martinez. Pitchers Jack Mayer and Luke Petker and right fielder Andrew Durrer are the all-stars from Ripon.

All teams will meet for one practice next Wednesday at Delta. Admission at the game is $8 and free for children ages 8 and under. Advance ticket sales are available through local high school baseball and softball programs. Proceeds from the games will benefit participating high schools and United Way of San Joaquin County.

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