STOCKTON — Austin Cappas drove in and plated the final two runs of the 29th annual High School All-Star Baseball Classic on Friday, helping the South team secure an 11-7 victory at Delta College’s Nick Cecchetti Field.
He was joined by fellow Weston Ranch graduates Amier Bowen and Carlos Drain along with Manteca’s Alex Gouveia, East Union’s Andrew Morones, Ripon’s John Eicher and Lathrop’s Matt Julien in dispatching the North.
Cappas, who started the game defensively at right field, drilled a stand-up triple to the right-field fence for a run in the bottom of the eighth inning and strolled home moments later on a wild pitch.
“I just enjoyed being out here with the guys, and it’s probably the last time I’m going to see these guys,” Cappas said. “This was pretty special, and it was nice to go out with a win.”
He also goes out with some scholarship money, as he was selected MVP for the South. Bradlee Preap of Bear Creek received the same honor for the North.
“Should help pay for some books,” Cappas said.
Perhaps no player in the game was as busy as Drain, a four-year starting catcher at Weston Ranch. Although he was not on the starting lineup, he spent the first three innings catching in the bullpen. He was the South’s backstop for the final six, and his favorite personal highlight was throwing a runner out to end the top of the seventh inning. Gouveia, playing shortstop, was on the receiving end of that play.
Drain also had three plate appearances, finishing with a single, two walks and an RBI. He and Bowen are heading to Hartnell College in Salinas.
“It has been a minute since I’ve been on the field and played in a game, so considering that I’m really satisfied,” Drain said. “My goal was to just do my job and help the team win. At the end of the day, I wanted to win.”
Eicher and Morones pitched an inning each in a combined four-hitter. Eicher, the Trans-Valley League Pitcher of the Year, walked three and surrendered two runs in the fifth. The North jumped ahead 5-4, but the South regained control with a five-run sixth.
Morones maintained the lead with a dominant showing in the seventh. He struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Lincoln’s Skyler Lewis, who was the runner gunned down by Drain.
Julien provided one of the South’s early highlights, sparking a three-run fourth inning with an RBI double down the right-field line that knocked in Andres DeLeon of Mountain House. Friday marked the end of his playing career, as he’s preparing for his freshman year at San Diego State where he will study civil engineering.
“My goal was to just show out,” he said. “I should have ended up on third because there was no one covering (the base) but I didn’t see it — I was too excited. I had too much fun playing in my last high school game ever.”