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Stanislaus tops Merced in All-Star cross county clash
Baseball 1
Jack Wheeland of Pitman tossed one shutout inning in the third for the Stanislaus squad, striking out three. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The spring baseball season has officially come to a conclusion after Friday's Stanislaus v. Merced County All-Star game from Merced College ended in a lopsided contest despite an even start.

Turlock, Pitman and Hilmar high standouts were represented in the showcase and had their talents on display. The game was filled with excitement, however, in the end the Stanislaus squad came away with the 12-2 win over the shorthanded Merced squad.

 “I'm hanging them up after this. This is my last official baseball game so I tried to just enjoy it,” said Pitman’s Brandon Pacheco. “Being in this game with all the great players and the coaching staff of Gregori, it's awesome to be surrounded by the talent... it's a privilege.”

“Hopefully I’ll be back every year, representing the school I go to is a privilege, having a great coach that helped and I don't take it for granted, just love all the support,” said the only freshman to play, Hilmar’s Treven Crowley. “It took me three years to work on hitting to get here, but I thank my brother who plays in Taiwan, Terrence, and my dad.”

 “It's special being the only one representing Turlock out here, I am pretty sure if Tate was able to do it, he would be out here, but just a humbling experience like the first game,” said Turlock High’s sole representative Chris Steeley. “I am playing ball here at Merced College, just hope to transfer to another school and continue my baseball career.”

Pitman's Pacheco was also joined by teammates Jack Wheeland and AJ Encalade.

Wheeland tossed a shutout inning in the bottom of the third, despite loading up the bases, and struck out three.

“It's a huge honor, especially the numbers we put up here, it's a great feeling. I like winning, but it’s also a lot of fun to play ball with these top guys,” said Encalade.

Merced was thin with just five players on the bench while Stanislaus had 18 on the bench. The head coach for the Merced squad was Delhi's Kevin Ross.

“This changed everything,” said Ross. “Being around these kids and being able to coach some great players, it really changed my perspective a lot. Seeing kids who play outside of our league or within it, it's changed my mindset and strategy and I’ve been thinking about it and it will make a big difference with how I run my program moving forward.”

The Merced squad also had Zach Berberia on the roster from Hilmar. He pitched 1/3 inning while Crowley tossed 1 and 2/3 innings, allowing no earned runs.

“I mean these guys are some of the best in the county, they are hard to compete with and I struggled but everyone has their bad days but it was fun to play with them all,” said Berberia. “Only two guys made it, it's awesome, Trev is good, he will be better.”

Berberia will now play baseball at Merced College, joining Steeley of Turlock.

With a 7-2 score after Crowley finished the sixth inning, the Stanislaus team went on to score five more runs to secure the double-digit victory.