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Oakdale Pair Solid In Rotary Classic Loss
Oakdale High graduate Vince Helms dives back into first base during first inning action of the 20th Annual Stanislaus County All-Star Baseball Game June 13 in Modesto. - photo by JAGADA CHAMBERS/THE LEADER
The 2009 Modesto Sunrise Rotary Baseball Classic was the final time graduated Oakdale High studs Vince Helms and Justin Jones could take the field as Mustangs and the two shined brightly in the 20th Annual Stanislaus County All-Star Baseball game at John Thurman Field in Modesto.
Helms got the starting nod at second base while Jones likely toed the rubber for free for the final time in the East squad’s 11-5 loss. The pair did Oakdale proud, playing the same level of ball that earned the duo a pair of Valley Oak League championships and a host of postseason accolades.
Jones seemingly left his East teammates in good position to earn their first win in the last three contests, but his sparkling four innings of work were wasted in just one inning. The West got their bats going and broke the game open with seven runs over the final two frames.
Jones was masterful in his final high school performance, turning in four innings of scoreless work, sending eight West all-stars to the bench with strikeouts.
“I think he was very professional out there,” Oakdale High pitching coach Nate Gregory said of his star pupil’s performance. “He went about pitching in that all-star game like he did everyday no matter what was on the line. He’s just a good person.
“He wants to do the right things all the time.”
Helms was the East team’s leadoff hitter, reaching base in his first at bat and promptly smashing a drive to deep left field that was snared in his third plate appearance. The two-time All-VOL standout proved to be a jack of all trades, getting playing time in leftfield, centerfield and his customary home, second base.
Jones followed suit after leaving the mound, making a running catch in centerfield, while putting together a team-high 3-for-5 performance at the dish. Jones, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago White Sox in this year’s Major League Baseball draft, showed the National League clubs that they missed out on a pretty good hitter as the draft’s 223 overall pick.
Both players will continue playing at the next level, Helms will continue on the Northern California Community College scene, while Jones will either suit up for the University of California at Berkley, or begin his professional career.