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Hawks have successful AAU season
Central Valley High School made great strides in its second season of varsity baseball in 2008.

The Hawks doubled their win total en route to a three-way tie for fifth place in the VOL standings at 6-8.

Coach Greg Magni evaluated returning and incoming talent during the AAU summer season. Central Valley compiled a 10-7 record.

"Overall, I was very pleased with our performance," he said. "We got off to a slow start at 2-5, then finished up going 8-2 down the stretch."

Central Valley's roster consisted of six returning varsity players in Martin Gomez, Izzy Trevino, Greg Guerra, William Mestas, Brian Creek and Luis Rodriguez, and seven newcomers in Travis Webb, Michael Melton, Chris Moscozo, Jesse Hatfield, David Dart, Shaun Chisholm and Scott Myatt.

Webb, Melton, Moscozo, Hatfield, Dart, Chisholm and Myatt competed at the frosh-soph level during the 2007-08 school year.

The Hawks played a total of 17 games in the span of a month this summer.

Central Valley placed third at the Escalon Tournament with a 3-1 record. The Hawks collected victories against Los Banos, Amador and Bret Harte. Central Valley's lone loss, a 3-2 setback to eventual champion Escalon in 10 innings, took place in pool play.

The Hawks won three of four games en route to a top eight finish at the Lee Hampson Tournament. Central Valley beat Enochs, St. Mary's and Los Banos before losing to Golden Valley.

The Hawks also defeated Riverbank twice, and Modesto High and Linden once this summer.

"Winning's nice, but the overall goal was to develop our ballplayers," Magni said. "The key was getting a lot of reps."

Central Valley will need to fill three major openings in 2009: first base, catcher and pitcher.

Rick Rogers, last year's first baseman, will start in place of 2008 graduate Adrian Sandoval at second base.

Catcher Garrett Riley graduated as well. Scott Myatt could be a possible replacement.

"We answered some major questions in regards to our pitching staff and Scott stepped up wonderfully behind the plate as just a sophomore," Magni said. "He had a great summer defensively.

Martin Gomez will be the Hawks' ace pitcher for the third year in a row. The VOL first-team selection ranked first in conference play in complete games (5), second in wins (5) and strikeouts (50), and fifth in ERA (3.50).

He posted an 8-4 overall record with a 2.90 ERA, eight complete games, one shutout, two saves, 93 strikeouts and 33 walks. Opponents batted just .193 against him.

"We know we have one of the league's best in Martin, but we need to add a few quality arms to the pitching rotation," Magni said. "We were very pleased with the development of Brian Creek and William Mestas, who both pitched exceptionally well this summer and will be competing for the No. 2 starter position in the rotation. Greg Guerra, Michael Melton, Chris Moscozo and Jesse Hatfield all add young depth to the pitching staff."