In his first year as an All-Star head coach, Pitman's John Acha led the West team that was filled with multiple Turlock representatives—seven to be exact—into the 26th annual Modesto Sunrise Rotary Baseball Classic for one final showdown of the year against the East team.
With two players unable to make the game for Acha, he went on with his 19 guys and although the West lost the contest, 2-7, there were some top moments.
In fact, the only two runs for the West came after the Pride's Matt Carrigg and Coleton Horner each struck an RBI hit in the third inning and other than that the team was kept at bay after an even greater performance from the East squad, headed by Ceres' John Bussard.
“They [East] had a good day, but we also had our guys who did some great things,” Acha said.
Zach Wichman started the game for the West as the lefty-ace pitcher for the Pride tossed the first two innings, allowing one earned run in the first.
“It’s an absolute blast for me just to be here, it’s a fun way to cap off my senior year,” said Wichman. “It's super fun being here with my coaches and with some local guys and teammates; it’s a fun atmosphere.”
Brad Bussard of Ceres reached base on an error and scored on a triple from Beyer's Ryan Frakes. Frakes was eventually driven by another Beyer Patriot as Jack Large hit an RBI single to go up 2-0. Large was eventually named the East's Most Outstanding Players.
Wichman retired the side in the second, going three-up and three-down, leaving his team within reach and plenty of time for a comeback.
“He had a very good day,” Acha said of Wichman.
The game was tied in the bottom of the third, when Patterson's Antonio Bustos reached second base and Carrigg drained an RBI single to center field to cut it to one at 1-2.
Horner's RBI double then drove in Carrigg and the Pride evened it at two apiece heading into the fourth.
Four runs secured the victory for the East team that went on an offensive outburst in the fifth inning and Beyer's Micah Hall pitched two flawless innings to close the game.
“It’s an honor being able to play with all these great guys and meet these new great players is a lot of fun,” said Turlock Christian's Drake Dutra who also made the All-Star game. “Seeing all the old players I played travel ball with, it was really cool.”
Carrigg received the West's MVP award after going 2-for-2 with an RBI and also the Academic award with a 3.97 GPA.
“He [Carrigg] made some great plays in the field and threw one scoreless inning to end the game for us,” Acha added.
Four of the West's six hits came from Pitman guys, including Darren Finney.