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Finley, Dean star in West win

08/10/2014, 8:20pm PDT
By John Maffei

Rancho Bernardo pair help team to victory in All-American Classic


Drew Finley tossed a perfect inning to earn the pitching win for the West. Sandy Huffaker

In a game dominated by pitching, the slighest mistake can lead to defeat.

Sunday, in the 12th annual Perfect Game All-American Classic, the East squad had one bad inning and it led to a 7-0 loss to the West at Petco Park.

Locked in a scoreless tie, the West scored five times in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a pair of walks, a hit batter, two wild pitches and two hits off losing pitcher Hogan Harris.

Only one of the five runs was earned.

Rancho Bernardo High's Drew Finley, who pitched a perfect top of the six inning, was the winning pitcher.

Finley, whose fastball sat at 91 mph, got a groundout to first, a grounder to shortstop and a swinging strikeout. He flashed the best offspeed stuff of the 18 pitchers in the event.

"Every pitcher on these rosters is unique," Finley said. "And all throw hard.

"My thing is work ahead of the hitters, use my offspeed stuff and let my defense work for me.

"The guys on our team really bonded. I made a lot of good friends and was in the right spot to get the win.

"In high school and travel ball you try and win for your team. In these showcase events, it's easy to only think about yourself.

"But we played as a team. I wanted to do well for the team and represent San Diego and Rancho Bernardo.

"I think I did that."

Every pitcher in the game touched at least 90 mph.

Justin Hooper of Concord De La Salle hit 96 mph to top all the pitchers. Beau Burrows hit 95 while Austin Russell, Joe DeMers, Kolby Allard, Luken Baker and Austin Smith all touched 94.

Rancho Bernardo's Kyle Dean played left field the entire game for the West. He grounded sharply to short, struckout, then dropped an RBI single into right field in the eighth, stole a base and scored a run.

"I had a great time," Dean said. "This was unbelievable. I've never had so much fun playing a game.

"I'm so happy I got a hit. Honestly, I thought it was a pop up to right, but it fell in.

"So I got an RBI, stole a base and represented the city."

Dean, who wears No. 19, is a right-handed hitter. But he took one pitch as a left-hand hitter in his first at-bat in honor of Padres great Tony Gwynn.

Dean leaves for Chicago on Wednesday to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in Wrigley Field.

After that, both Finley and Dean head to Houston for the Team USA 18U trials.

Notable

Brad Stallings of Kings Ridge Christian in Georgia won the Homer Run Challenge prior to the game. Isiah Gilliam of Parkview High in Georgia hit two mammoth homers into the Western Metal Supply Co. building. ... The big league connection in Sunday's game included Daz Cameron, who is the son of Mike Cameron, Kody Clemens, who is the son of Roger, Lucas Wakamatsu, who is the son of Don, and Elih Marrero, who is the son of Eli. ... The West now leads the series 7-4-1.

john.maffei@utsandiego.com

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