The visiting Club Mexico baseball team hammered the San Quentin All-Stars for an 18-6 win.
The All-Stars struggled with its pitching corps. They gave up more than 20 hits and three big home runs.
“We had an off day,” said Doug Aubineau, All-Stars third baseman. “But what team hasn’t had one? It was good competition for us. Anytime people come out we have fun.”
All-Stars pitcher Ruben Harper started out strong, but a couple of defensive errors allowed two runs in the first inning.
In the second Harper couldn’t find the strike zone. He threw a lot of balls into the dirt, which led to the bases being loaded, setting up Club Mexico manager Jim Ryan for a line-drive double for two more runs, moving the lead to 4-0.
“We will share this experience with the rest of our league,” said Ryan. “I’m sure more would be coming out to play. These guys competed; they didn’t give up.”
Club Mexico is a semipro team from the California Mexican Baseball League in Stockton. They are league champions three years running and hold 29 overall.
The league was formed in 1955 by Mexican-American field workers who had to deal with racism from other leagues. The league started with six teams and has blossomed to 20. Club Mexico is the last original team.
“Being here shows how life can go either way for you,” said Joe Elias, Club Mexico coach. “I grew up in the mean streets of Stockton, but through baseball I was lucky. I had a chance to play in three different countries and 26 states.”
Club Mexico scored six runs in the fourth. Power hitter Geno Ballardo smashed a home run over the Lower Yard center field gate.
“This was an eye-opening experience,” said Ballardo. “I’m definitely coming back. I will tell anyone who wants to do this to put away their concerns and just do it.”
The All-Stars pulled Harper in the fifth, leaving the mound for Isaiah Thompson-Bonilla, who didn’t fare any better. He gave up five runs in two innings, including two home runs.
Ballardo slapped his second home run over the right field gate with an RBI. Ryan, who went six for six on the day, smashed his home run over the left field gate in the sixth.
“All and all, it wasn’t our best baseball,” said Thompson-Bonilla. “The thing about these types of games, you have to have a short-term memory and reload for the next game.”
All-Star David Fraire added, “A setback leads to great comebacks. Baseball is relative to life; you recognize your mistakes and make the adjustments. Also, everybody wants to make it home safely.”
The All-Stars managed to score three runs in the seventh and ninth, falling short 18-6.
The June 25 game had some great defensive plays.
Chris Urbistondo, Club Mexico shortstop, looked like a golden glove winner for the spectacular catches he made; nothing got past him.
“You always hear about the bad things that happen in prison but not the good,” said Urbistondo. “But, this is an experience I will share with my kids.”
Club Mexico’s catcher Leon Duron added, “I didn’t think we were going to be this close to the people. I thought everybody would be hostile. This atmosphere has changed my perspective; how often can a person walk on a prison yard and go home the same day?”
Elliot Smith, the All-Stars sponsor and manager, concluded, “The best part of the game was when it was over. They were a great team, and we have to play better against great teams.”