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Bruins Produce In 7-4 Rotary Win
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If there was a way to close out a difficult season the Riverbank High baseball team's representatives for the 20th Annual Stanislaus County All-Star baseball Game clearly knew the route to take.

Bruin standouts Ryan Bowden and Marcus Sahagun made the most of their trip to John Thurman Field in Modesto, making quality contributions on their way to an East squad 7-4 win over the West's small schools roster.

Riverbank fans in attendance were more than pleased with the pair of Bruins, who both notched hits in the victory and came across to score runs.

"I am very, very proud of them," Riverbank head coach and East team assistant coach Ismael Mercado said. "They did a great job of representing our baseball program, but not only our baseball program but the entire Riverbank community.

"It was nice to see them come out and compete at such a high level."

The Bruins were able to play alongside Trans Valley League teammates as well as players from Central Catholic, Waterford and Big Valley Christian. The West squad, made up of players from Denair, Patterson, Orestimba and Turlock Christian, jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but could not hold off a determined East squad who scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to blow past the West squad for good.

Sahagun added to his all-star game resume with a scoreless inning of relief for the East squad after his team grabbed the lead.

"I was a little nervous when I went in to throw," Sahagun said after the contest. "But I think I did pretty good. I just tried to go out there and throw strikes."

Sahagun sparked the East's big rally when he stroked a pitch to right field that proved to be the second ball too tough to handle for the West defense, giving Sahagun a triple and a pair of RBI.

Bowden made his presence felt with a solid 10-pitch at-bat, ending with a rocket back up the box for a single, setting the junior up for a stolen base and a run scored.

"I was focused on being real patient and trying to just sit on his fastball," Bowden said. "I was seeing the ball really well and I felt good when I got to the 3-2 count."

Mercado was joined by Bruin assistant coach Jorge Costello who handled the base paths for Hughson head coach and head East skipper Bob Etcheverry. The Riverbank foursome put together an impressive showing that will hopefully help the program reach to new heights during the pair's senior year of TVL action.

"I definitely think this will give us a little confidence next year," Bowden said. "It will give us a big boost. Just to come out here and have fun and play well will definitely give our young guys something to look forward to."