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Lathrops Pereznegron shines in North All-Star victory
Ripons Scott Robison of the North All-Stars pulls back his bat after thinking about a bunt during a 9-7 win for his North All-Star squad on Thursday in Stockton. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS

STOCKTON – Mikey Pereznegron certainly showcased his talents during Thursday’s 23rd Annual High School All-Star Baseball Classic at Delta College.

Although Lathrop High’s now-graduated senior wasn’t crowned the North All-Star team’s Most Valuable Player, he could have made a case for himself.

Pereznegron had the go-ahead RBI that sparked a five-run bottom of the seventh – and registered the save – during the North’s 9-7 victory over the South at Nick Cecchetti Field.

“There were definitely butterflies going through my stomach,” said North All-Star Pereznegron, who will be headed to Modesto JC to play ball this 2013-14. “My legs and my hands were shaking a little bit, but after I (threw) the first strike, I was pretty good to go.”

Pereznegron wasn’t even scheduled to pitch against the South, which lost this game for a fourth straight summer.

The North All-Star head coach, Franklin’s Steve McInerney, was already aware of what type of players he had on his roster.

“Mikey had a good bunt and got us going in that five-run inning,” McInerney said. “No errors on defense, and he begged me to pitch there at the end, so I put him in there.

“I felt alright because he’s been playing travel ball with me since he was 12. So I’m pretty familiar with how he can play. I had no worries about him going in there and closing it out.”

Pereznegron retired the side for the South in the top of the ninth and it was not able to bring the tying run to the plate.

After the North tied the game at three apiece in the bottom of six, they exploded for five more in the bottom of the seventh to go up 8-3. After Lodi’s Grant Henecke and Ripon’s Scott Robison (base on balls) moved into scoring position, Pereznegron recorded the RBI-bunt that brought home Henecke to put the North squad ahead by one.

Pereznegron crossed the plate on 9 bases-loaded that made it 5-3. The North team’s next three runs were scored on overthrown and passed balls by the South infield.

The South team, which featured Ripon Christian’s Dominic Nelson and Chris Saenz, bounced back to score four more in the top of eight to make it an 8-7 contest.

 “I caught three innings,” Nelson said. “Our team played really well, and it’s nice to get all these guys out here and have a lot of fun. It’s what this game is really all about.

“Everyone got along really well and we just went out there and played the game. I was seeing the ball really well and catching I did decent, but I could have done a little better.”

Tracy’s Oscar Moreno Jr. scored the North’s ninth and final run in the bottom of the eighth, which set up Pereznegron’s save.

Along with Pereznegron, Lathrop’s Preston Rizo was also featured for the North, as was Ripon graduate Fotios Jordanoglou (stolen base).

The two winners of the Stan Moreno Scholarship ($500) awards were the South team’s Nathan Chunn of Escalon (solo home run) and Moreno of the North.

To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail