Brody Kato and Andrew Clark of the Palm Desert High School baseball team are hoping that their selection to a state all-star team will help them follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
Last weekend, Kato and Clark made the cut for the California Baseball Coaches Association North-South All Star team. The two juniors will play for the South team in a three-game series beginning Friday at the University of Santa Clara. The series traditionally attracts more than 100 college and pro scouts.
“The most exciting thing is all the views you get from all the scouts,” said Kato, who could pitch and catch. “There’s tons of scouts there, and hopefully it’ll bring some eyes on me, and I’ll get a scholarship to play baseball somewhere.”
If history has anything to say about it, he will.
All three of the previous Palm Desert players who were selected to the team went on to play Division I college ball: Brooks Kriske (USC), John Schuknecht (Cal Poly SLO), and Brian Serven (who will attend Arizona State in the fall).
And all three former Aztecs went on to be the undisputed leaders of the team in their senior year, a job that will next year fall to Kato and Clark.
“I’m very happy, I know how hard it is to make it. It’s a big deal and I’m very happy for them,” Palm Desert head coach Darol Salazar said. “What makes it a big deal is they don’t pay for it. All the coaches in California nominate two kids from their team and the top 20 kids make the team.”
Kato led the Aztecs this season with 31 hits, and was tied for the team lead with four home runs and 21 RBIs. He tied for third on the team with a .316 average. He had a 1-2 record in three starts on the mound.
“The tryout for the team (at Mt. San Antonio College last weekend) went well,” Kato said. “I thought the competition wasn’t what it was going to be, but it was good.”
While playing several infield positions Clark finished tied for second on the Palm Desert squad last year with a .338 batting average. He also contributed 14 stolen bases, 13 RBIs and a home run.
Clark could not be reached.