San Diego Stars grabs first place in the Western Baseball Association

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The San Diego Stars, East County’s premiere semipro baseball program, celebrated the franchise’s successes, both past and present, over the weekend.

On Saturday, the present-day Stars collected a pair of comeback victories, grabbing a share of first place in the Western Baseball Association.

Then on Sunday, it was Alumni Day at Stars Field at Barona, with a focus on the 1999 Stars ball club that defeated the U.S. National Team en route to a third-place finish at the National Baseball Congress World Series.

The San Diego Stars, East County’s premiere semipro baseball program, celebrated the franchise’s successes, both past and present, over the weekend.

On Saturday, the present-day Stars collected a pair of comeback victories, grabbing a share of first place in the Western Baseball Association.

Then on Sunday, it was Alumni Day at Stars Field at Barona, with a focus on the 1999 Stars ball club that defeated the U.S. National Team en route to a third-place finish at the National Baseball Congress World Series.

“It was a great weekend for Stars baseball,” said Stars owner/manager Mickey Deutschman, who is celebrating his 20th season at Barona. “To see two generations of Stars come together for one great event is truly heartwarming.”

The contemporary Stars twice needed to rally to upend the Poway based Southern California SKLZ in a WBA doubleheader.

San Diego State reserve catcher Cody Sos (Grossmont High) registered the RBI to tie Game One in the bottom of the 9th inning. Three batters later, former Christian High standout Taylor Eichhorst collected his third RBI to drive in the walk-off winner in an 8-7 triumph.

Sos and Stars veteran infielder Robby Scott both collected three base hits.

It was the first walk-off win by the Stars (besides extra innings) since downing the San Diego Force, 2-1, in last season’s NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan., eliminating the Force from the national competition.

In Game Two, the SKLZ mounted an early 11-4 lead, only to watch the Stars post eight runs in the 6th inning for another come-from-behind triumph, 15-13.

Eichhorst capped a 6-for-8 afternoon with four additional hits, including a 2-run double for the go-ahead runs in the big inning. Meanwhile, Scott drove in three runs, while Anthony Williams equaled a franchise record by scoring five times.

Sos also clouted a solo homer, and then repeated the feat on Sunday during Alumni Day.

However, the big long-ball hitter was Brandon Peters who again demonstrated his power to capture the Home Run Derby. He won in a second-round showdown with Scott “Hoppy” Hopgood, a former professional player who now serves as Stars pitching coach following head coaching stints at West Hills and Serra high schools.

In 2008, Peters belted the game-winning homer to capture the WBA championship in a one-game playoff with the North County Waves.

In attendance was East Los Angeles Dodgers coach Ramsey Ochoa, who collected the game-tieing, 2-run double when the Stars downed Team USA in 1999, Down 9-4, the Stars scored seven unanswered runs to win it while Stars pitcher Todd Halverson, was also participated in Alumni Day activities, tossed three innings of shutout relief to gain the victory.

Since the loss, Team USA has never returned to the NBC World Series.

As for this season’s pennant race, the Stars can claim at least another co-title by sweeping their final five league games, including a season-ending doubleheader against the Waves on Sunday.

The action starts at noon at Stars Field, located 1.1 miles north of Barona Casino.

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