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Rotary Classic on tap
CHS, CV players earn invitations to all-star contest
Blane Abeyta (pictured) and Ricky Lopez will represent Ceres High in the Modesto Sunrise Rotary All-Star Baseball Classic on Saturday at Cal State Stanislaus. The game will get underway at 7:05 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Ceres High's Ricky Lopez and Blane Abeyta, and crosstown-rival Central Valley's Gabriel Quezada will team up at the 28th Annual Modesto Sunrise Rotary All-Star Baseball Classic this Saturday at Stanislaus State.

Lopez, Abeyta, Quezada and players from Hughson, Turlock, Johansen, Downey, Big Valley Christian Oakdale and Orestimba will suit up for the Gold Team.

The Blue Team will feature players from Pitman, Beyer, Enochs, Gregori, Modesto High, Modesto Christian, Waterford, Denair and Patterson.

"There's a ton of talent there," said Lopez, a second-year participant. "A lot of players are going to Division-I schools. It's a different atmosphere. To be able to play in a college stadium where there's a larger audience, you really get to open some eyes and showcase what you got. I'm blessed, I guess."

Lopez and Abeyta both had productive final seasons with Ceres High, which posted a 23-7 overall record and placed second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (13-2).

The Bulldogs quadrupled their league victory total from a year ago.

Ricky was voted WAC Offensive Player of the Year.
He batted .462 from the plate with two triples, 12 doubles, 30 RBIs, 24 runs and 10 stolen bases in 30 games.

Ricky's main position on defense was shortstop. He also logged playing time at second base and catcher.

Abeyta was selected to the WAC First Team.

He batted .354 with four homers, 10 doubles, 38 RBIs, 32 runs and 10 stolen bases.

Blane started at catcher on defense.

Quezada, a senior first baseman, collected two homers, one triple, two doubles, five RBIs and two stolen bases during his third and final season with the last-place Hawks (5-21-1, 1-14).

Lopez and Abeyta will team up on the diamond for the final time.

Ricky and Blane have played baseball together on and off for the past nine years.

"It's kind of sad if you think about it that way," Lopez said. "He's going his separate way. I'm going mine. I just wish him the best of luck."

Ceres High's Adrian Magdaleno and Adrian Lujan were named alternates for the all-star game.

Magdaleno, a junior pitcher, posted a 9-2 record with a 1.89 ERA, 48 strikeouts, eight complete games and two saves.

Lujan, a senior first baseman, batted .315 with one triple, eight doubles, 21 RBIs, 18 runs and four stolen bases.

Magdaleno and Lujan both earned first-team all-conference honors.

The Rotary contest will get underway at 7:05 p.m.