School might be out for the week, but there is still a lot of baseball being played for Kern County teams throughout the state and even in Nevada.
Here in town on Tuesday, two of the top programs in the county will face each other in the third-annual South Valley Baseball Classic at Liberty High.
In the six-team, three-day tournament, the marquee game is host Liberty taking on Highland at 4 p.m.
The Scots are coming off a 12-0 win over West on Monday as sophomore A.J. Cleveland tossed a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and just one walk.
The win also gives Highland a 20-win season for the fourth consecutive year.
Highland (20-1, 11-0 SEYL) is the No. 1 seed in the Central Section Division III playoff predictions by MaxPreps.com and are winners of 19 consecutive since losing to Liberty, 8-3, on Feb. 20 in the Terrio Classic.
At the plate, Highland has been solid — top to bottom — in the batting lineup.
Cleveland leads the team with a .469 (15 for 32) average and senior Michael Miranda has been a leader at the plate (.458) and on the mound (6-1, 2.70 ERA).
But a bulk of the hitting for Highland has come from the large junior class that has experience and can bring even more to the team in 2020.
Isiah Fajardo, Joey Vidal, Nick Salas, Manuel Chavez, Xabi Iparraguirre and Griffen Scarry are all batting at least .350.
Liberty (17-5, 8-3) currently sits atop the Southwest Yosemite League standings with a two-game lead over Stockdale, Frontier and Centennial when league play resumes next week.
The Patriots have had stellar leadership from Garrett Paveletich (.368, 16 RBIs), Andrew Yoder (.329, 13 RBIs) and Wade Froehlich (.368, 17 RBIs) and have two sophomores and a freshman hitting with power and precision.
Sophomore first baseman Kaleb Dickey leads the team in batting average (.459), home runs (nine) and RBIs (38), while Jacob Tobias is batting .423 with 10 doubles and 29 RBIs.
Add in freshman Cutter Coffey (.356) and like the Scots, Liberty is set up for success this season and for years to come.
There are two other earlier games on Tuesday in the South Valley Classic with Arvin vs. West at 10 a.m., and Rosamond playing Mira Monte at 1 p.m.
El Cajon-Foothills Christian 9, Ridgeview 5 - Despite a big day at the plate for Riley Moran, Ridgeview lost in the opening game of the Lions Tournament in San Diego.
Moran went 3 for 3 and scored three runs, but Foothills Christian broke a 2-2 tie with a four-run third inning and added three more in the seventh to pull away.
Ridgeview plays Chula Vista-Olympian at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Stockdale graduate wins high jump title Saturday
Stockdale graduate Iesha Hamm set a season-best mark in the women’s high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches on Saturday at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational at UCLA.
Her jump earned a first-place title for Hamm, a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton.
Darius Smith, a junior at UCLA, finished fourth in the men’s 100-meter dash in a season-best time of 10.81 seconds. The Ridgeview graduate is in his first year on roster for the Bruins.
Fresno State sophomore Michael McCabe (Bakersfield High) finished eighth in the men’s 400 (521.16) at the invitational.