BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer email@example.com
Taft College will host the first Baseball's Best Showcase, an all-star high school baseball doubleheader, Saturday afternoon.
Some of Kern County's finest senior players will participate, including five from Central Section Division I finalists Stockdale, who will suit up for the South team.
The five Mustangs all-stars are pitcher/shortstop Max Carter, infielder Zach Tanner, catcher Junior Felix, outfielder Josh Stone and infielder J.C. Coles.
The South team will also be bolstered by Liberty's aces, Kaidan Meadows and Christian Sinnott, Taft pitcher/first baseman Steven Gee and other players from Bakersfield Christian, Independence, Tehachapi, Arvin, West, Frazier Mountain, Mira Monte and Rosamond.
The North team will feature four players from Frontier -- infielder Kyle Speaks, pitcher Allan Winans, infielder Eddie Torres and catcher Jack Mulville, plus pitcher Corbin Burnes and catcher Adam Hightower from Centennial and Bakersfield pitcher Tyler Whitehead, a USC commit.
Players from Garces -- though Oregon commit Jake Sweaney will not play -- Wasco, Shafter, Delano, Chavez, East, Kern Valley, McFarland, Highland and Burroughs will round out the North team. The first game is scheduled for 11:45 a.m., with Game 2 to follow at about 2:15 p.m.
A second local all-star game follows a different format: The third Senior High School All-Star Challenge at Bakersfield College is Tuesday and pits local players against an all-star team from the Santa Clarita Valley.
Bakersfield has won the first two versions of the event, and this year the local team will feature many of the same players who will face one another Saturday in Taft: Stone, Felix, Tanner, Carter, Sinnott and Meadows are all on the team, as are four players from Bakersfield Christian -- Andrew Heideman, Ryan Unruh Ricky Sottile and Cody Mashburn -- plus five from Centennial.
Outgoing Stockdale coaches Dan Lemon and Greg Showers and outgoing Centennial coach Randy Roberts will coach the team along with Garces coach Guy Dees. Game time is 7:15 p.m.
Fresno State football coach DeRuyter to visit Bakersfield
Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter will make his annual Bulldog Express stop in Bakersfield from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday at Me-n-Ed's Pizza at 9000 Ming Ave.
The caravan stop is open to the public, and DeRuyter is expected to discuss the upcoming Fresno State season, which will feature Bakersfield Christian graduate Derek Carr at quarterback. Carr is the returning Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Several other local players will contribute for the Bulldogs, including defensive back Shannon Edwards (Ridgeview), wide receiver A.J. Johnson (Highland), linebacker Kyrie Wilson (Ridgeview), linebacker Patrick Su'a (Highland) and quarterback Brian Burrell (Bakersfield High, Bakersfield College).
Other Bulldog Express stops will be Monday in Visalia, Tuesday in Paso Robles and Friday in Madera and Fresno.
Spring college signings
Several local athletes signed letters of intent to play sports in college over the past two weeks:
* Golden Valley senior Luis Matos signed with Cal State Fullerton, where he will run sprints for the Titans. Matos was the Central Section champion in the 100 and 200 meters earlier this month and enters today's CIF State Track and Field Championships as the No. 6 seed in the 100 with a seed time of 10.66 seconds.
* Max Carter has committed to play for Cal State Bakersfield's baseball program. Carter pitched and played shortstop for Stockdale; he is expected to pitch for the Roadrunners, who also signed Taft pitcher Gee in the fall.
* North High senior Ariana Mariscal, the area champion in the 800 meters, will run track for Division II Humboldt State. Stars coach Adam Dawson called Mariscal "truly one of a kind."
* Justin Cash, a breakout star at running back for Frontier as a senior, committed to Pacific University, a Division III school in Forest Grove, Ore. The Boxers football program is entering its third year.
SI mentions Tyler Ferguson
Sports Illustrated's website mentioned former Ridgeview quarterback Tyler Ferguson as one of college football's top early enrollees last week. Ferguson, who spent a year at College of the Sequoias after graduating from Ridgeview, looks poised to be the starting quarterback at Penn State after his top competition, Steven Bench, transferred.
SI.com said Ferguson was one of 10 early enrollees that "raised eyebrows across the nation" in spring practice, but Ferguson still will need to beat out incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg, a five-star recruit, for the job in fall camp. Ferguson was the only Big Ten Conference player to make SI.com's list.