Atwater hosts annual baseball tournament

03/29/2013 11:38 PM

03/29/2013 11:39 PM

Jarrod Pimentel continues to make it clear to his Atwater baseball team there is more to life than baseball.

Last week the Falcons baseball coach arranged for his players to read stories to students at Ballico Elementary School.

Pimentel is using their annual Easter baseball tournament next week to bring awareness to different causes.

“I think it’s important for our kids to know there is life outside of school and baseball,” Pimentel said. “Baseball is just a small part of life.

“We can make a difference and let people know we are there for them.”

The Falcons will host the 54th annual Fran Oneto/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament at Memorial Ballpark.

The seven-team tournament, which also includes Merced (7-7) and Livingston (8-5), will get under way on Monday with three games.

The Falcons (8-5) will be wearing pink wristbands for Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Tuesday, black jerseys and camouflage hats for Veterans Night on Wednesday and purple for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Night on Thursday.

“It’s a humbling thing more than anything,” Pimentel said. “It’s something we can do for our community. It’s like reading at the elementary school last week. Our kids really enjoyed it.”

With a seven-team field, the tournament was set up differently. Instead of dividing up the tournament into two pools, this year’s tournament will be a round-robin format with every team playing four games.

The team will the best record at the end of the tournament will be the champion.

One of the tournament favorites may be St. Mary’s of Albany. The Panthers are led by senior pitcher Kevin Flemer, who has signed with Oregon State. Flemer is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA to go along with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings this year.

San Leandro is off to an 8-1 start and could also challenge for the tournament title.

The tournament always is a highlight of the season for Falcon players.

“Our guys get excited every year,” Pimentel said. “It’s their time to show off in front of a lot of their family and big crowds.

“We have a lot of seniors this year and they know what the tournament is about.”

Tournament schedule All games at Memorial Ballpark in Atwater Monday Noon — Minarets vs San Leandro 3 p.m. — Merced vs St. Mary’s 6 p.m. — Atwater vs Livingston

Tuesday 10 a.m. — St. Mary’s vs San Leandro 1 p.m. — Livingston vs Minarets 4 p.m. — Moreau vs Merced 7 p.m. — Moreau vs Atwater

Wednesday 10 a.m. — St. Mary’s vs Minarets 1 p.m. — Merced vs Livingston 4 p.m. — San Leandro vs Moreau 7 p.m. — San Leandro vs Atwater

Thursday Noon — Livingston vs Moreau 3 p.m. — Minarets vs Merced 6 p.m. — Atwater vs St. Mary’s

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