GLENDALE - The bats were as hot as the weather at Stengel Field for the first annual California Collegiate Summer League All-Star game on Sunday.
Five members of the six-team CCSL had representatives in attendance. The Glendale Angelenos, Ventura Pirates and Montebello Stars comprised the North team, while the East L.A. Dodgers and the Long Beach Legends made up the South squad.
The two teams combined for 27 hits and 19 runs, as the North defeated the South, 11-8.
“It's great to go up against great competition,” said starting pitcher Angel Rodriguez, a member of the Angelenos and Glendale Community College product. “A few guys you see during the season. As a pitcher, for me, I use that to my advantage to see if they change something. It's a great experience for everybody, absolutely.”
Rodriguez pitched two innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He also struck out four.
“I felt strong,” Rodriguez said. “I knew I wasn't going to have as big of a window like I do during the normal season, so I prepared myself for those two innings. I made sure to come out strong.”
Early on, it looked as if the South was going to roll to victory, holding a 6-3 advantage going into the fourth. However, in the bottom of the fourth, the North erupted for five runs to take an 8-6 lead. The rally included a two-run double from the Angelenos' Ruben Padilla and an RBI double from Angelenos teammate Hector Gomez.
The North added three more runs in the fifth in cruising to the 11-8 win.
North player and Angeleno representative Jay Sheeley hit a triple in the sixth.
“Honestly, no,” Sheeley said when asked if he was gunning for third from the outset. “Then I just saw it kick around out there so I just kept on going pretty much.”
Sheeley also plays for Glendale college and will enter his second year of school in the fall.
Gomez, Padilla and Angelenos teammate Edgar Montes each finished with two hits for the North.
Though the all-star game was no more than an exhibition, the contest amounted to a showcase for the league and its players. Sheeley put it best when he said that the game was about having fun.
“At the end of the day, you're not playing for the scouts,” Sheeley said. “You're in it to play ball.”