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    Wild pitch in ninth helps South beat North in Orange County All-Star Baseball Game
    • May 30, 2024

    IRVINE – It was a fine night for Crean Lutheran baseball at the Orange County All-Star Baseball Game.

    Crean Lutheran coach Jake Haney was the South team’s head coach. His son Jackson, Crean’s catcher, was on the South team. And Crean’s Sho Garcia scored the winning run for the South in the bottom of the ninth inning.

    Garcia scored from third base on a wild pitch Wednesday to give the South a 3-2 win over the North in the county all-star game that was played at Great Park for the first time.

    The Ryan Lemmon Foundation assumed the organizational and management duties for the game after the Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim could no longer continue running the game that it started in 1968.

    Corona del Mar’s Carter Danz was the South’s team MVP. Justin Tillar of Cypress was the North MVP. Noah Neufeld of Laguna Beach won the game’s Hustle Award.

    The South leads the series 32-23-1. The South won last year’s game 11-8 at Glover Stadium where the game had been played for many years. The North won the 2022 game.

    With the score tied 2-2 Garcia walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Garcia stole second base and went to third on an opposite-field, one-out single to right by Tesoro’s Owen Faust. One out later Garcia scored on the wild pitch.

    “I was being super aggressive,” Garcia said. “With two outs, I was looking for anything in the dirt and I was just going on it no matter what.

    Garcia enjoyed the all-star game experience.

    “It was one of the most fun times I’ve had on a baseball field,” Garcia said. “Being with all the kids I used to compete against? That was a lot of fun being on their team this time.”

    Jake Haney enjoyed all of the Crean Lutheran angles.

    “It was cool to have them out here one more time,” he said. “They’re very deserving, their great kids and they appreciate this. Jackson when he was growing up has been to some of these games to watch our former kids play so this was pretty cool.”

    Danz drove in Faust in the bottom of the first inning with a double to give the South a 1-0 lead. Danz hit another double in the third inning, went to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

    Andrew Olsen of Tustin scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning to give the North its first run. The North tied it in the eighth inning when Tillar pulled a triple in to the right-field corner and scored on a ground out by Yorba Linda’s Jacob Talbott.

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    ​ Orange County Register