Cesar Avila was looking for a bit of payback and he wanted to represent Livingston High in a positive way on Saturday night.
The Wolves junior accomplished both goals as he pitched two scoreless innings and scored two runs to help the North defeat the South 12-6 in the ninth annual Merced County All-Star Baseball Game on Saturday night in front of a large crowd at Merced College.
"My focus was mainly on pitching tonight," Avila said. "I think I only threw about 13 pitches in two innings so that was a bummer. But this game has been a good experience that last two years."
The green Sonora uniforms in the South dugout had Avila seeing red. The Wolves ace wanted revenge for the Wildcats' 5-4 win over Livingston in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
Avila only got to face one Sonora player in the game and he hit Mason Dambacher in the fourth inning. Avila pitched a scoreless third and fourth inning for the South, which improved to 6-3 all-time against the South.
Avila also went 1 for 2 at the plate with two runs and a stolen base.
Representing his school and town means a lot to Avila in a game like this.
"It's huge. Livingston means so much to me," Avila said. "I want to do as much as I can to make Livingston look good out here."
The North opened up a big lead early, scoring nine runs in the first three innings.
The North exploded for five runs in the first inning against Golden Valley pitcher Jason Raine. The North took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and two errors by the the South in the frame.
Atwater's Jakob Faulk drove in a run with a single and Hilmar's Treven Crowley later added a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-0. Crowley went 2 for 3 at the plate and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Los Banos' Trent Mallonee was a spark plug for the North at the top of the order. He reached base all three times, with the help of two hits and a walk, he stole two bases and scored three runs.
Mallonee showed why he was named the Western Athletic Conference MVP.
"For our team, winning was important," Mallonee said. "We all wanted to win and it was fun getting to know these guys. Some of these guys are your enemies in league and then they are your friends in the all-star game."
Mallonee walked to lead off the third inning, stole second and scored on a double by Buhach Colony's Brendan Ekizian.
Dos Palos' Aric Montez went 2 for 3 for the South with a run scored and two RBIs. El Capitan's Mark Sellers collected two hits and pitched two innings.