The562’s high school baseball and softball coverage for the 2022 season is sponsored by LBUSD Board of Education Member Megan Kerr.
The Moore League and San Gabriel Valley League held their annual all-star baseball game for the first time since 2019, as the game made a triumphant return at Warren High on Wednesday evening. It wasn’t the result the Long Beach boys were hoping for as the SGVL scored late to win it 3-1, but everyone agreed that getting the game back on field was more important than the score.
Long Beach Poly coach Brent Lavoie knew the game hadn’t been held since COVID-19 shut down schools and sports, and wanted to make sure that a special class of seniors got one last game.
“I called (Warren coach Scott Pearson) and he said let’s do it, and he’d be willing to host,” said Lavoie. “I know if I’m in those seniors’ shoes I want this game, yeah. Selfishly for my own guys in the game I wanted to coach them for another game, too.”
It was a typical pitching duel nailbiter as Wilson ace Charlie Royle (a Cal Poly signee) battled Warren stud Aidan Gonzalez (a University of San Diego signee) to a scoreless draw for the first two innings, with only one baserunner and nine Ks between them, including five in a row for Royle.
The Moore League drew first blood in the top of the third, when Lakewood’s Nohea Mapu got on base with a single then stole second to get into scoring position. That set up Moore League Player of the Year Sam DeCarlo for an RBI single to make it 1-0. Royle finished up a scoreless three inning stretch and then Lavoie sent in Lakewood ace Anthony Eyanson to pitch. Eyanson pitched two scoreless innings and it was 1-0 going to the sixth inning.
The SGVL tied it up on a solo homerun from Warren’s Robert Linares in the bottom of the sixth; they took the lead a few batters later, as Angel Garcia (Warren) singled and then was driven in by teammate Rocco Caballero.
The SGVL would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.
The Moore League continued to play sharp defense and had plenty of opportunities on offense, but weren’t able to produce any more runs. It looked like they had a surefire game-tying homerun in the top of the seventh, but Downey’s Adrian Aviles made a sensational play to haul it in out in right field, crashing into the fence as he hauled in the fly ball. Promising freshman Angel Cervantes finished the game in the ninth and was able to slam the door on the Moore League. The Long Beach boys got a leadoff walk but that turned into a double play. After a walk and a single the Moore League had the tying run aboard, but a strikeout ended the threat and the game.
After all the hugs and pictures were over, all agreed that it was great to get the game again. It’s a historic all-star game that dates back decades, with a previous sponsorship from the Kiwanis Club. There were fun “all-star” moments throughout, including Lavoie putting Wilson student manager Drake Geopfert in right field for the Moore League in the ninth inning.