Hilmar High School had five players selected to compete in the Merced County All-Star Baseball Game at Merced College.
Jarrod Willis was the only one missing but Alex Chavez, Preston Costa, Tyler Amarante and Colton Dutey were present on Saturday for the North in a day where the South managed to get the upper hand.
In the end the Yellowjackets left their mark after a 5-2 final and two players were selected to compete in the upcoming Stanislaus versus. Merced County All-Star Game.
“It’s always really cool to get noticed for hard work and effort put in the season,” said Chavez. “Really nice to get to play some of the best in the Merced area and in the Stanislaus area. It’s cool to get the opportunity to showcase yourself and show the towns around that we can play here in Hilmar.”
Willis and Chavez were chosen to compete against the best of the Stanislaus selection.
“A lot of people in Hilmar know that we are football oriented,” said Chavez. “We are not just football, we have a lot of good youth, great representation and in the upcoming years we will have that as well.”
Willis batted .486 for the year and Chavez hit .355.
Chavez was also a defensive star and made a highlight reel play after robbing Mariposa’s Joseph Freitas of a single with a diving catch in left field in the sixth inning of the game.
If that wasn't enough, Chavez scored the first run of the game, which didn't happen until the seventh inning after he was subbed in as a pinch runner.
Gustine's Kevin Medeiros hit an RBI single and the North took a 1-0 lead.
The South went on to score four runs in the bottom half of the seventh and by the end of the inning, the North had gone down by three runs, 4-1.
Hilmar’s Costa created a spark after hitting an RBI single in the eighth to cut the deficit to 4-2, but unfortunately that was the only offense for the North team.
Mariposa's Jake Williams managed to get out of the jam forcing a double play.
“It would have been nice if we could have strung hits together but this game doesn't matter as much as the game coming up on Friday, so we will see what we can do then,” said Chavez.
Mariposa lefty Morgan Hughes shut out the North in the ninth with three strikeouts.
Costa was 2 for 2 with an RBI and Chavez finished 0 for 2, with a stolen base and a run scored. Amarante was 0 for 0 with a walk.
“Like I said in the beginning, it feels good to be noticed, but I put in a lot of work and played tough competition and competed with guys going to play at the collegiate level,” said Chavez. “It really prepared me to be where I am now.”
A team made up of North and South players will come together as a Merced County All-Star team to face a Stanislaus County All-Star team tonight Friday. The game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at Merced College.
The North leads the series 4-3.