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Former MHS softball coach to lead North team in all-star game

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Former MHS softball coach to lead North team in all-star game

Manteca High graduate Matt Barber is one of 12 local athletes selected to play in the 20th Annual High School All-Star Baseball/Softball Classic at UOP next Friday.

Bulletin file photo/


POSTED June 12, 2010 3:12 a.m.
It turns out that Todd Hardcastle has one more high school softball game to coach.

Hardcastle coached his final game for Manteca High after eight full seasons on May 14, when crosstown rival Sierra defeated his Buffaloes, 5-1. Manteca finished with an 11-11 record overall.

Next Friday, June 18, Hardcastle will be a part of a four-man coaching staff that will head the North team in the 20th Annual High School All-Star Baseball/Softball Classic at the University of the Pacific.

Opening ceremonies for the softball game begins at 5:30 p.m. at Simoni Softball Field, and baseball follows at 6:30 at Klein Family Field.

The top senior baseball and softball players representing 30 high schools in San Joaquin County and other Central Valley areas are invited. Admission is $5, and children 8 and under are free.

Twelve area athletes got the nod, including 2010 Valley Oak League baseball Most Valuable Player Matt Barber. Barber led Manteca to a second-place finish in league and an 18-10-1 record as well as a berth to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.

Overall, Barber batted .372 from the top of the order, plating a team-26 runs to go with two homers and 19 RBIs. He was just as effective as the Buffaloes’ No. 1 pitcher, winning 11 of 13 decisions with a tidy 1.33 ERA in 84 innings of work.

Joining Barber on the North team are Ripon Christian’s Clayton Prins (.393, 19 RBIs; 5-1, 2.61 ERA) and Robbie DeVries (8-3, 1.66 ERA, 80 strikeouts in 63.1 innings). Sierra OF/P Kenny Leasure (.329; 3.23) will compete for the South squad.

East Union and Sierra will have three players each on the South softball team.

Representing East Union are P/INF Kourtni McCall (.414, 31 runs; 9-4, 1.24 ERA), pitcher Jackie Ketner (13-2, 0.75) and infielder Cherie DeJesus (.400, five HRs, 33 RBIs).

Gabby Hawkins (17-9, 0.60, 274 strikeouts), one of the state’s top strikeout artists, will lead Sierra’s contingent that includes catcher Stephanie Maestretti (.315, 19 RBIs) and third baseman Liz Brown (.288).

Weston Ranch catcher Michelle Lord will also play for the South, and Ripon’s Briana Hardesty is on the North’s roster.

Admission is $5, and children 8 and under are free. Advance ticket sales are available through local high school baseball and softball programs. The games will benefit Recreational Sports Club of San Joaquin, high school sports programs and Stockton Community Council of United Way.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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