West roars back for extra-inning Exeter Lions All-Star baseball victory

Player’s from the West All-Stars celebrate a hard earned win at the 62nd Annual Exeter Lions East-West All Star Baseball Game. Pictured: Brandon Petty - El Diamante, Izzy Ramos - Lemoore, JT Guerrero - Mt. Whitney, Gavin Kyker - Lemoore, Nick Simon - Golden West, Dinuba Coaches - Nick Gomez & Vince Delgado, Lemoore Coach - Izzy Gonzalez.(Kenny Goodman)

Wipes out five-run deficit then pushes across three in 10th for 12-9 win, its fourth in last five game in series

EXETER – The East All-Stars were closing in on their first Exeter Lions All-Star Baseball Game victory since 2017, building a five-run lead after seven innings. But the West All-Stars caught fire late, erupting for four runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to force extra innings before adding three in the 10th for a 12-9 victory on June 17 at Dobson Field.

It marked the West’s fourth win in the last five games played in the 62-year series (there was no game in 2020 because of COVID-19 and the teams tied in 10 innings in 2021).

El Diamante’s Brandon Petty was awarded Most Valuable Player honors, mainly for his two scoreless innings of relief late that featured no hits allowed and four strikeout . The West scored the decisive runs with two RBI singles and an error off Lindsay pitcher Gio Chavez. Petty scored two runs in the game, including one in the 10th.

The game ebbed and flowed between the teams on a warm evening. The West jumped to a 4-0 lead, getting three in the third inning including RBI singles by Mt. Whitney’s Mark Rocha and Golden West’s Nick Simon. The next four innings, it was all East as the hosts scored twice in the fourth (RBI singles by Chavez and Tulare Western’s Drew Gonzales) and then batting around in the fifth while scoring six runs for an 8-4 lead.

Tulare Western’s Ben Leon belted a run-scoring double, then came around on an RBI single by Exeter’s Zack Williams. Redwood’s Bo Rico followed with an RBI double bedford Gonzales plated two more with a double.

Exeter’s Williams finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base while Monarchs teammate Carson Hughes pitched in relief. Lindsay’s Chavez took the pitching loss while the Cardinals’ Austin Schaible went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Pacing the West’s 12-hit attack was El Diamante’s Nick Senn (2-for-4 with a triple and run scored in the eighth). Eleven different West players had a hit.

Since going to an East-West format in 1972, the West holds a 32-17-1 lead in the series.

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