San Joaquin Memorial High School Baseball was recently crowned champions of Fresno’s 52nd Easter Classic sponsored by Fresno High, American Ambulance, and Valley Wide Beverage. The championship game was played at 7:30 on Wednesday the 13th. The game took place at Buchanan High School where a night earlier, the Buchanan Bears played and won in a game against the Bullard Knights.
San Joaquin’s journey to the championship ran through the Central High Grizzlies, whom they defeated by a score of 4-2 over 7 innings. SJM played and won three games before they played in the fourth and final championship game on Wednesday night. Their first two wins came through way of doubleheader on Monday where the Panthers defeated Redwood High and Fresno High School by scores of 3-1 and 5-3 respectively.
SJM then went on to defeat Jesuit by a final score of 9-1 on Tuesday to take them to a 3-0 overall record for the tournament. However, three other teams also had a 3-0 record which forced tournament officials to select championship qualifying teams by way of tiebreaker. The tiebreaker in this situation would come from runs allowed by each team. Central High only allowed 4 runs over their span of three games while San Joaquin Memorial allowed 5. Buchanan and Highland allowed 10 and 11 runs as the other 3-0 teams in the tournament.
The 52nd Easter Classic was heavily influenced by Clovis Unified High Schools as four Clovis Stadiums were used for tournament games. Clovis East, Clovis North, Buchanan, and Clovis High all participated in the tournament and hosted games throughout tournament play. Games were also played at Madera High, Bullard High, and John Euless Park, home of the Fresno City Rams.
Charlie Monterrosa of San Joaquin Memorial was named Easter Classic Championship Game MVP for his efforts and Max Mendes was named Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Championship Game. Overall MVP honors for the tournament went to Drew Smith of Buchanan and Michael Klein of Central High. Most Outstanding Pitcher honors for the tournament went to Ryan Spalliero of Central and Hudson Barrett from Frontier.