State

13 area stars make all-state teams

Justin Jones threw his final high school pitch six weeks ago, but his prep career was not complete until Monday.

The Oakdale High graduate is a first-team, all-state selection by CalHiSports.com, one of only two Northern California pitchers on the squad.

Jones is one of 13 Stanislaus District players earning all-state honors from CalHi, which also has an underclass all-star team and all-state squads based on school size.

Three softball standouts, including Modesto Bee Player of the Year Caitlin Brooks of Escalon, are honored in addition to 10 baseball players.

Jones tops that list, after going 22-1 with a 0.40 ERA in his final two years. The lefty, who also has a scholarship offer from Cal, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round last month.

Buhach Colony's Dylan Floro is a second-team all-state selection as a pitcher. Floro, who has a scholarship waiting for him at Fullerton State and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays, is one of two NorCal pitchers on the team.

Junior Nick Vander Tuig, a teammate of Jones, is on the medium-school and underclass all-star teams. The pitcher-outfielder has a verbal commitment to UCLA and is expected to be one of the district's top players next year.

The hottest up-and-comer, however, is Central Catholic sophomore Billy Flamion. A finalist for state small-school player of the year, the athletic Flamion made the underclass and small-school teams.

The region's top outfielder, Flamion displayed another skill this season: He was 13-2 on the mound, striking out 10 during a five-inning no-hitter vs. Hilmar in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V final.

As good as a pitcher as Flamion might develop into, college recruiters and pro scouts consider him a premier prospect as an outfielder because of his speed and athleticism.

Beyer junior Mason Ankeney joined Flamion and Vander Tuig as underclass stars. A converted third baseman, Ankeney was the district's top catcher this year. Another district catcher, Wade Morten from East Union, is on the medium-school team.

Escalon's Leighton Pangilinan, a hitting machine as a prep player, and pitcher John Lopez joins Flamion, Hughson's Jake Etcheverry and Bret Harte's Trevor Miller as all-state small-school stars.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Pangilinan was behind the plate for Escalon, but -- after signing a contract with the White Sox last week -- is listed as a first baseman with the Bristol White Sox in the short-season Appalachian League. He led the district with 45 RBIs and was among the state leaders with nine home runs.

It was a successful spring for Escalon -- it won section softball, golf and tennis titles, while the baseball team went 26-1 -- and it continued into summer as the star of the softball team was selected to the all-state small-school team.

Brooks was a candidate for the small-school player of the year -- that went to Sutter's Jessica Moore, 34-0 with 18 no-hitters and 510 strikeouts -- and is one of two NorCal pitchers on the team. Brooks' 326 strikeouts were No. 3 in the section and 11th in the state.

She also made history, leading Escalon to its first section girls' team title in any sport. Though she has two years remaining at Escalon, Brooks already has a verbal commitment to play for Sacramento State in the spring of 2012.

Only a sophomore, Brooks also is an all-state underclass selection. Modesto Christian's Sloan McHann and Calaveras' Beth Vacarezza are on the small-school squad.

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