May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Photo slide show of the South’s 6-3 victory over the North in OC all-star baseball game

Gavin Kennedy of Ocean View, shown during warm-ups, was the MVP of the all-star game (Photos Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

The South all-stars rallied from a 3-run deficit to defeat the North 6-3 in the 52nd annual Orange County All-star Baseball game Tuesday night at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Organizers of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim moved the start time up about 25 minutes instead of the scheduled 7 p.m. start after there were concerns about the lights turning on at the stadium.

About 7:30 p.m. the lights did turn on, although there appeared to be some that there were out and on at least two occasions fielders have trouble finding the ball in the outfield.

In the end, a big crowd was on hand although many missed the start of the game because they weren’t aware the start time had been moved up. The all-stars had fun playing with an elite group. Although the playing conditions weren’t ideal, it still turned out to be an entertaining contest with the South scoring three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3.

Then, the South scored two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to go ahead and extend its lead in the series to 29-22-1.

Gavin Kennedy of Ocean View, who was 2 for 2 and had the eventual game winning RBI single, was named the MVP. The Cal State Fullerton bound Kennedy also pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

“It’s definitely an honor being with a bunch of these guys that are all absolutely studs, it’s definitely really special to me,” Kennedy said. “I think it was a 2-0 fastball down the middle and thankfully it blooped in and the guy scores. If it works, it works.”

The North’s Blake Wink of Yorba Linda, who had a two-run double in the second inning, received the hustle award.

Cypress High’s Tyler Chaffee, who was part of Cypress High’s CIF Division 1 championship team, had an RBI single in the three-run second inning for the North.

Chaffee also came on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning. Teammates Cameron Repetti and Mike Marsh also played for the North.

“It was a really fun experience,” Chaffee said. “It felt really good because I play with a lot of guys from the South team and I know a lot of guys on the North team. The last four years, old memories just came together at one time. It felt really good.”

The South used seven pitchers, including Tommy Wilcox of Corona del Mar and Trevor Ernt of Beckman. Ernt pitched a scoreless third inning and was excited to be part of the game.

“It was fun playing with this amazing type of guys, an elite group behind me,” said Ernt. “It was a good atmosphere, going out and playing with the best guys in the county. I just went out and had some fun with a great group of guys. I know I was pitching up against some great guys and it just felt good to be successful again.”

Beckman infielder Connor McGuire also played in the game along with Irvine’s Bubba Filia, who played catcher and infielder Grant Lockwood, who played second base, shortstop and third base.

“They rotated us around today which was fun so we all got some time,” said Lockwood, who scored a run after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning. “I wish I would have gotten on base a little more but it was still fun. This is such a cool thing for all these guys and these kids are obviously all just studs. I’m glad I got to be a part of this.”

Santa Margarita’s CIF Division 2 championship squad was represented by pitcher Alex Schrier, who pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Nick Pinto of Tesoro, Ethan Hoopingarner of Aliso Niguel and Kyle Scott of Mater Dei finished it out on the mound for the South.

The coaches had fun too, including Laguna Beach Coach Jeff Sears, who was one of the assistant coaches on the South team.

Two of his players, Kolton Freeman and Cutter Clawson, were on the South team.

Clawson had a double and scored a run in the fifth inning.

“It’s always great seeing our guys play,” Sears said. “They play hard, they have fun and they enjoy what they’re doing. You’re on of the 48 best in Orange County. This is the best all-star game there is.”

RELATED STORY: Game created memories of a lifetime

RELATED STORY: Irvine’s Bubba Filia MVP of PCL team

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