May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Anaheim High School all-star pitcher Jillian Albayati cheers on North

Anaheim pitcher Jillian Albayati with North Coach Jack Brooks from La Habra Tuesday night. (Photo: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).

Anaheim High School pitcher Jillian Albayati, who was named to the North all-star team for Tuesday’s game at Glover Stadium, didn’t get to pitch in the game since her team was still competing in post-season play.

But Albayati came to the all-star game following her team’s 3-1 victory over Hueneme Tuesday in the first round of the Southern California Division V regional at Anaheim and chatted with North Coach Jack Brooks in between one of the innings. The North won the 54th annual game sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Anaheim 4-1.

If players are still involved in post-season play, they cannnot play in all-star games. Albayati, who also plays first base, was the first player listed for the North in the game program.

Albayati made history Saturday, May 21 when she became the first female pitcher to start a CIF high school championship game against Estancia. Albayati pitched nine innings in the Colonists 2-1 loss to Estancia in the CIF Division VI championship game at Cal State Fullerton.

Tuesday, Anaheim began its drive to a possible rematch with Estancia with a win at home.

“It was a good game, we had a lot of energy coming in and the bats were awake,” Albayati said. “I threw five innings and I think I only gave up only one hit.”

Albayati was thrilled when she found out she had been named to the all-star team.

“I was excited, I honestly didn’t know I was nominated,” she said. “When they told me I was kind of surprised, but I’m very grateful for it. I still like to come and watch.

It has been quite a time for Albayati, who last week was the guest of the Los Angeles Angels and threw out the first pitch at one of the Angels games. She also met Angels outfielder Brandon Marsh, infielder Anthony Rendon and Manager Joe Maddon.

“It was very exciting and really fun,” she said.

Thursday, she and her Anaheim Colonist teammates will play a semifinal game against Baldwin Park.

For photos and story of the all-star game click here:

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com