STOCKTON — One last time, the best high school baseball and softball players in the area will don their school jerseys, grab their bats and gloves, and head back on to the diamond.
The 28th Annual High School Baseball-Softball Classic will take place today at Delta College. The baseball game begins 4:45 p.m. at Nick Cecchetti Field, and softball is at 5:15 p.m. at Bucky Layland Softball Complex.
Athletes from more than 35 high schools are expected to participate, and all proceeds go to benefit the United Way of San Joaquin County.
Oscar Anzaldo, the chairman of the event, has been involved all 28 years. He said the chance for players to get together to play one more time in their high school colors is a great lure for players, coaches and fans.
“There’s just something about this game. Every year something happens to make you want to do it again,” Oscar Anzaldo said. ‘At practice on (Wednesday) night, two players who have played together for years ran to each other and hugged. They were so happy to finally have a chance to play on the same team. It's little things like that that make these games special.”
Oscar’s daughter, Jennifier Anzaldo, who is an All-Star Classic committee member, said players are always eager to participate.
“This is a great opportunity to let players have one last chance to get out and play together while representing their schools,” Jennifier Anzaldo said. “It’s all volunteer driven, and there’s great passion from everyone involved.”
The games are divided between North and South teams. In the softball contest, the North squad includeds three members of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champion St. Mary’s Rams — Carley Morfey, Alex Preston and Kiana Parrish. The South has Lyndsey Widner and Araya Corral of the Division I champs, the Tracy Bulldogs.
The St. Mary’s baseball team is heavily represented, with Christian Almanza, Dylan Fagundes, Dillon Tatum, Chandler Sanguinetti, Jordan Hernandez and Ryan Quijalvo on the North team. Bear Creek has four members — Payton Rios, Nathan Morris, Trevor Martin and Robert Reyna.
Lincoln (Nikko Dowd, Evan Nelson, Zander Low), East Union (Brayden Hardcastle, Mason James, Daniel Marquez), Mountain House (Julian Sainz, Anthony Wiley, Layne Richardson) and Tracy (Carlos Vasquez, Matt Nunes, Andrew Tavares) each have three players on the South baseball team.
Admission is $8 at the gate. Children ages eight and under are admitted free of charge.
Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@ScottLinesburgh.