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Baseball Preview: A look at the Stanislaus District's best

As Stanislaus District baseball teams gear up for league play, here's a look at some of the top hurlers and hitters. Records are through Sunday.

MODESTO METRO CONFERENCE

Records: Enochs (5-2, 1-0), Modesto (6-3, 1-0), Davis (4-4, 1-0), Johansen (3-5, 0-1), Downey (2-5, 0-1), Beyer (2-7, 0-1).

Pitching: Davis has a trio of quality pitchers (Ryan Stice, 2-0, 2.63 ERA this season; Jake Sisco 2-0, 4.42; and Michael Creamer 1-0, 4.77), so it's well-suited for the MMC's format of teams playing each other twice in one week. ... Enochs' Johnny Alonzo (1-0, 0.00) has 16 strikeouts in 15 innings, including an 11-K outing to beat Hilmar 5-1. ... Modesto's Kevin Grimes (2-0, 1.75) went eight innings to beat Downey 6-5 in the MMC opener, while Jerid Schmidt (1-0, 0.88) was sharp in a six-inning outing to beat Lodi. ... While Beyer is struggling, Ryan Fahey (1-1, 3.50) has 12 Ks in 10 innings and is a bright spot.

Batting: Modesto has been slugging it out this season, averaging eight runs and giving up seven. There are plenty of bats with Klayton Miller (.375), Calvin Thomas (.357, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs), Ryan Thomas (.368, 9 RBIs) and Chris Brown (10 RBI, 2 HRs). ... Davis' Jimmy Myers (.542, 9 runs, 7 of 7 stolen bases) is the top hitter in the MMC, though Creamer (.400), Stice (.353, 5 RBIs) and Martin Gonzales (.474) provide plenty of support. ... The MMC's top run producer has been Enochs' Phil Dominguez with 11 RBIs in seven games.


CENTRAL CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE

Records: Buhach Colony (6-3), Turlock (4-2), Pitman (6-4), Atwater (5-4), Golden Valley (6-5), Los Banos (3-4), Merced (2-4).

Pitching: Buhach Colony's aces got it to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I final a year ago, and BC has pitching this year, too. All-District hurler Dylan Floro (1-0, 0.50) has two complete games and 27 Ks in 14 innings, and he's backed by Connor Oldcorn (2-0, 0.50) and Garrett Adams (2-2, 1.19). ... Pitman's Tyler Harris (4-0, 0.25; 3 shutouts, 43 Ks in 28 innings) can give Floro a race for pitcher of the year, and the Pride backs him up with Tyler Snodgrass (1-2, 1.62). ... Atwater's Adam Cruz (2-1, 1.91) and Colton Beatty (0-2, 3.32) need to be sharp for the Falcons to contend. ... Golden Valley was hit hard by graduation, but Ralf Vasquez (1-1, 2.68; 18 Ks in 15 innings) has been busy -- 16 innings in nine appearances.

Batting: BC's Floro is as dangerous with his bat (.609, 5 2Bs, 8 RBI) as his arm, and the Thunder lineup includes Marco Ledesma (9 RBIs, .385, 5 of 6 SBs) and Matt Voris (.417). ... Pitman is counting on Snodgrass, Harris and Sam Burch (.500) to knock in runs, and each has 6 RBIs. The Pride also will try to steal some runs -- Tyler Carr has stolen six bases without being caught and the Pride is 19 of 22. ... Atwater's Beatty (.462, 4 2Bs, 7 RBIs) has hit in eight of his nine games, and 1B Robert Buckley (.321, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs) provides power. ... GV 2B Stefan Arnsberg (.514, 6 2Bs, 10 RBIs) is a tough out, and the Cougars boast two .400 hitters in Vasquez and 1B Matt Raggio.


VALLEY OAK LEAGUE

Records: Ceres (5-1, 1-1), Sonora (3-4, 1-1). Oakdale (9-0), East Union (5-2), Manteca (5-4), Sierra (3-3), Central Valley (3-5), Weston Ranch (1-4).

Pitching: Oakdale has won back-to-back section Division IV titles, and has the pitching to make it three with the lefty-righty combo of Justin Jones and junior Nick Vander Tuig (both 3-0, 0.00). Jones signed with Cal and Vander Tuig verbally committed to San Jose State, where brother Ryan is pitching. The duo have 62 Ks in 30 innings, but don't forget Steven Gratigny (3-0, 0.93) ... Ceres' freshman Bryson Waring (2-1, 0.41) has two complete games, beating Atwater (2-1) and Hughson (11-2). ... Sierra's trio of Luis Barraza (0-1, 0.00), Dylan Debrower (1-0, 0.00) and Jordan Ribota (2-0, 1.00) will be tested in the potent VOL. ... CV returns one of the league's best in Martin Gomez (1-2, 2.06), who has 27 Ks in 16 innings. ... Keep an eye out for Sonora's Will Clark (2-0, 2.62), Manteca's Ryan Knisely (1-0, 3.00) and EU's Steven Weddington (1-0, 3.32).

Batting: Oakdale is dangerous at the plate with Vander Tuig (.458, 14 RBIs), Gratigny (.333, 10 RBIs) and Jones (.480), not to mention Logan Bruce (.435, 8 RBIs) and rock-solid 3B Dante Major (.400). ... Ceres is counting on Robert Cope (.562, 9 RBIs, 2 HRs) and Tyler Cummins (.452) and sophomore Tyler Brenning (.450, 8 RBIs) to produce the runs. ... CV's Gomez (.467, 11 RBIs, 5 2Bs, 2 HRs (provides power. ... Manteca 1B Kevin Allen (9 RBIs) is counted on to drive in 2B Ryan Knisely (.444) and OF Sam Jorgensen (.438). ... EU C Wade Morten (.500, 8 RBIs) is hitting it as hard as a year ago, when he led his team to the section final.


TRANS-VALLEY LEAGUE

Records: Hughson (4-3, 2-0), Escalon (8-0, 1-0), Ripon (1-4, 1-0), Modesto Christian (4-3, 0-1), Riverbank (1-5, 0-1), Ripon Christian (2-6, 0-2).

Pitching: Hughson's Archie Quay (1-1, 1.31) was one of the league's best last spring, ... Escalon has a sharp sophomore in Aaron Pangilinan (3-0, 0.00), while John Lopez (4-0, 1.62) has allowed just six hits in 13 innings. ... MC is counting on Dustin Hayes (2-0, 0.50) and Ryan McConnell (1-1, 0.58) to challenge for the title.

Batting: Hughson has hot swingers in Jake Etcheverry (.529, 4 2Bs), sophomore Jose Lopez (8 RBIs) and SS Zach Adams (.368, 6 RBIs). ... Escalon's Leighton Pangilinan swung one of the league's best sticks a year ago and is at it again (.565, 5 2Bs, 4 HRs, 15 RBIs). Nick Largent (.480, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs) makes it tough to pitch around Pangilinan, and the Cougars average nine runs as two underclassmen (freshman OF Patrick Mulry and sophomore Aaron Pangilinan) have 7 RBIs apiece. ... MC will manufacture runs on the bases; It's 38 of 39 on stolen bases, with David Sjelin (.429) 10 of 10. 3B Patrick White (.524, 8 RBIs), OF Kevin Roya (.333, 7 RBIs) and SS J.T. Teixeira (.500) will keep pitchers on their toes.


WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Records: Central Catholic (6-3, 1-0), Hilmar (3-6, 1-0), Orestimba (1-0, 2-4), Gustine (2-5, 0-1), Livingston (1-7, 0-1), Patterson (0-7, 0-1).

Pitching: Central freshman Chris Sauls (3-0, 0.28) fired an eight-inning, four-hitter to top Gustine 2-1 last week, and teams with sophomore Billy Flamion (3-1, 2.57) for a tough underclass duo. They have 47 Ks in 41 innings. ... Gustine's Ben Griset (0-0, 0.00) threw six shutout innings at Central and Chris Perry (2-1, 2.10) can be a reliable No. 2, and both are juniors ... Hilmar junior Brandon Cummings (1-0, 1.27) and Orestimba junior Michael Pargaz (0-1, 1.91) are enjoying good starts, and Livingston has two starters in sophomore Nick Gonzalez (0-1, 2.84) and junior D.J. Jantz (1-2, 4.08).

Batting: Central has a gem in OF Flamion (.500, 8 RBIs), and OF Nico Hernandez (.375) and SS Jeremiah Graff (.333, 6 RBIs) are chipping in. ... Gustine 1B Griset (.455, 9 RBIs, 2 HRs) and Clint Manzo (.353, 5 RBIs) provide power. ... 3B A.J. Miranda (.400, 8 RBIs) and SS Samuel Ramirez (.300, 7 RBIs) help Hilmar average six runs a game.


SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Records: Le Grand (4-2, 1-0), Waterford (5-3, 1-0), Mariposa (2-4, 0-0), Delhi (0-1, 0-0), Denair (5-1, 0-1), Turlock Christian (2-4, 0-1).

Pitching: Waterford Russell Longworth (2-0, 1.37; 23 Ks in 15 innings) has been the SL's best, and he's backed by Isaiah O'Campo (2-1, 2.94). ... Denair is counting on depth -- Ernie Dellgadillo (1-0, 0.00), Dylan Werner (2-0, 0.00) and Brian Willis (1-0, 1.00) -- to play a role in its title chase. ... TC is thin beyond junior Trevor Starn (0-0, 2.17; 16 Ks in 9 innings).

Batting: Waterford's C.J. De Deaux (.417, 2 HRs, 13 RBIs) has as good a swing as anyone in the league, and Kody Hampton (.448) and O'Campo (.417) provide RBI opportunities. Waterford has 58 runs in eight games. ... Denair's duo of SS Werner (.389, 9 RBIs) and junior 3B Willis (.500, 8 RBIs) are driving in runs, and sophomore OF Dylan Souza (.438) is getting on base. ... TC SS Robbie Smallwood (.471, 6 RBIs) and OF Starn (.444) are reliable hitters.

-- RICHARD T. ESTRADA

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