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CV star Casas reaches all of his goals
Ruben wins MVP, leads Hawks to playoffs
Hawk standout Ruben Casas batted .361 from the plate this year with two homers, five triples, six doubles, 24 RBIs, 24 runs and seven stolen bases. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ruben Casas had a remarkable final season with Central Valley High School's varsity baseball team.

The senior pitcher/shortstop played a major role while leading the Hawks to a program-best 19-9 record and their first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearance.

Casas won the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player Award.

Ruben was rewarded for his excellence by being selected to play in a pair of all-star games.

"I got to represent my whole town," Casas said. "It was one of my goals."

Ruben tripled and knocked in two runs while hitting second in the batting order in the Merced County vs. Stanislaus County All-Star Baseball Game on June 14 at Merced College.

"It's competitive," said Casas, who logged playing time on defense at second base in the first, second, third, seventh, eighth and ninth innings as Stanislaus County secured a 7-4 victory. "I tried to stand out. I played my hardest."

Ruben was hitless in four at-bats in the East's 5-2 win over the West in the 24th Modesto Sunrise Rotary All-Star Classic on June 8 at John Thurman Field. Casas started at second base and exited the game in the eighth inning.

Ruben played varsity baseball for four seasons with the Hawks.

Casas compiled a 9-3 record with a 2.76 ERA, 87 strikeouts, one shutout and three complete games while starring at pitcher his senior year.

He hit .361 with two homers, five triples, six doubles, 24 RBIs, 24 runs and seven stolen bases.

Ruben didn't expect to be voted WAC MVP.

"My coach (Greg Magni) texted me and told me," Casas said. "I was shocked. It's a great feeling. It's my senior year. It makes it that much better. I worked hard."
Ruben, 17, will be remembered as one of Central Valley's all-time greatest players.

He'll continue his baseball career at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. He'll major in biology.

"It's nice over there," Casas said. "They work hard. I want to keep playing baseball. I never get tired of it. I've always loved it."