Fountain Valley’s Mazzone helps South win OC All-Star Baseball Game

ANAHEIM — Justin Mazzone says he has always loved catching Jake Jackson. He doesn’t get to do it often because they played at different high schools, Mazzone at Fountain Valley and Jackson at El Toro.

But Mazzone caught the right-hander last summer with the Southern California Renegades under-18 travel team.

At the start of this summer, Mazzone got one more chance to handle Jackson. The setting was ideal, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim’s 50th Orange County High School All-Star Baseball Game for seniors on Tuesday

Jackson continued where he left off last Friday, when he threw a three-hit shutout in El Toro’s 4-0 win against Corona in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship game at Dodger Stadium.

“He’s definitely one of my favorites to catch,” Mazzone said of Jackson, who signed with Nevada.

Mazzone only caught Jackson for one inning, a 1-2-3 first in which Jackson struck out two.

While Jackson exited early, Mazzone stayed behind the plate for four innings. During his time, Mazzone was one of five locals who helped the South All-Stars take an early lead en route to beating the North 8-4 at La Palma Park’s Dee Fee Field in Anaheim.

The left-handed hitting Mazzone went two for three with a run batted in and a walk.

Mazzone, a first-team All-Sunset League pick, was one of three locals who started in the OC All-Star Game. Laguna Beach’s Dante Faicchio was the South’s designated hitter, while Marina’s Tyler Mills was in left field for the North.

Mazzone and Faicchio affected the game right away.

Mazzone called a good game, as four of the first seven North hitters struck out. Three pitches are what Mazzone signaled for in the first inning, and Jackson’s slider, curveball and fastball did the rest.

Then in the second inning, San Juan Hills’ Bryan Pope matched Jackson’s strikeout total, mowing down two.

In the bottom half of the second, the South struck first, thanks to Faicchio, the Orange Coast League MVP.

Faicchio’s single to center field drove in a run, and Mater Dei’s Mike Peabody hit one over the shortstop to bring in another run, giving the South a 2-0 lead. Mazzone followed with an infield single, but his biggest hit came in the bottom of the fourth, right after another local, Sage Hill’s Brett Super, a first-team All-Academy League member, struck out one and allowed one hit in a scoreless top of the fourth.

Once again, Mazzone singled right after Peabody, who earned the OC All-Star Game MVP award after going three for three with two RBIs. This time, Mazzone put the South up 4-0.

Mazzone, who is bound for Seattle University, caught four shutout innings.

Another local player who had an RBI was Newport Harbor’s Cade Seabold, a first-team All-Sunset League outfielder. He didn’t have to do much with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. El Dorado left-hander Austin Spinney hit Seabold, who was one for three, and the South went ahead 6-1.

There would be another bases-loaded situation for another local, Fountain Valley’s Trent Sievers, who made the All-Sunset League first team. The future Long Beach State outfielder looked as though he would pick up an RBI on a sacrifice fly, but Century center fielder Michael Fonseca had other plans.

Sievers flew out to Fonseca, and with the runner tagging from third, Fonseca threw out the runner at the plate for the third out. For his assist, Fonseca earned the OC All-Star Game’s Mr. Hustle award.

Sievers got on base in the seventh via a walk, and he stole second base.

“We hit pretty well and just outplayed them as a team,” Mazzone said. “It was fun.”

Twitter: @ByDCP