The West squad used a five-run seventh inning to break open a tie game for an 8-3 victory over the East in the North Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game Monday night at Horner Ballpark on the campus of Dallas Baptist University.
Haltom first baseman Dimas Ojeda earned MVP honors after knocking in a pair of runs, including one on a triple in the second inning to help start the scoring for the West.
“I really didn’t expect that, to be honest,” Ojeda said of the award. “It’s such a privilege to be given that award. It was awesome just to be even invited to play here. I didn’t expect that at all, but it feels good.”
The West found itself down after the first inning, but rallied with two runs in the second. In addition to Ojeda’s triple that plated Dayne Sommer (Boswell), Matt Heck scored on a wild pitch.
Pitching dominated the middle innings as neither team scored again until the sixth. In that stretch, Southlake Carroll’s Joe Heineman tossed a pair of no-hit innings.
One of the night’s best defensive plays came from Heck in the sixth. The Midlothian senior retreated all the way to the warning track to make a falling catch.
“I was just thinking run as fast as you can and if you have to dive, then dive,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t too close to the wall, it just kind of carried me into the wall. It was just instincts.”
After the East scored a pair of runs in the sixth, the West took over in the top of the seventh. Daniel Lingua (Arlington Martin), Christian Hollie (Fossil Ridge) and Dakota Wright (Castleberry) all had RBIs while two more runs scored on wild pitches.
Arlington Martin’s Turner Larkins came in to retire six of seven batters he faced and hand the game to L.D. Bell’s Bryce Kidwell, who went three-up, three-down with two strikeouts to close the game.
“It’s not every day that I get to close a game out,” said Kidwell, normally a starting pitcher.
West coach Steve Foster of Boswell High School said the players made his job easy.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “Coaching kids like this, just throw the lineup out there and let them play. That’s all I had to do.”