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East defeats West in Rotary Baseball Classic
Baseball All star pic2
Pitman High catcher Coleton Horner looks to throw out a runner attempting to steal second base in Saturdays Sunrise Rotary Classic at John Thurman Field in Modesto. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

It was a pitching battle in the 25th annual Modesto Sunrise Rotary Baseball Classic at John Thurman Field on Saturday where the East squad was able to notch a 5-0 win over the West.

The West squad, which included seven Turlock and Pitman high players along with the THS head coach Mark de la Motte, managed to rack up seven hits. However, the East squad tallied the same and were able to come through with the clutch hits needed to put points on the scoreboard.

“It was some dominating pitching on both sides,” said de la Motte. “It was just a good showcase for high school baseball and rewarding players for a great season and adding a fun game night. Some kids might not play again, so they get to play no matter what the game turns out to be.”

The event also allows the fans to watch players from small schools compete against players from larger schools, something that was brought back in 2012 after a hiatus from 2007-2011.

The East racked up all the offense needed for the game in the bottom of the first. Gregori’s Tyler Janitz walked with one out, then stole second only to be driven in after Beyer’s Logan Smith RBI singled down the right field line off Turlock’s Blake Cederlind.

Cederlind, who was the Central California Conference pitcher of the year, managed to rack up two innings of work but would get the loss after allowing one run and striking out three.

Two more runs were added for the East team in its half of the fifth and the final two runs came in the sixth and eighth.

The hits were sporadic for the West team and in times when they least needed it as the East pitchers kept the hitters off kilter.

“The East team had a few more, seems like this year they had few more pitchers than usual, games always even but their pitcher did very well. They all did a great job and proved why both teams had a good year,” de la Motte said.

Robert Garcia, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander who starred at Modesto Christian got the East off to a good start with a one-two-three, nine-pitch inning in which he fanned two CCC stalwarts –Dakota Spillers of Pitman and Turlock’s Alex Pallios.

In two innings of work, Garcia allowed one hit – to Pitman’s Coleton Horner, who ended the season with a 26-game hitting streak – and five strikeouts. He was named Player of the Game from the East team. Johansen infielder Frankie Chavez was named the West’s top player.

Turlock and Pitman players combined for four of the team’s seven hits.

Nick Benson and Alex Pallios of Turlock each finished with a hit while Pitman’s Trevor Chaney and Coleton Horner finished with one apiece.

Chaney was the only West hitter to make it to third base all night.

“It’s nice to have them on our team than the opposing dugout,” de la Motte said about coaching both Pitman players with his guys. “It was a fun night, players enjoyed themselves and so did everybody else. Pallios and Horner are coming back, so we see some great players in the future for Turlock.”