East County Sports

Stars awards named; Padres tab Ledezma



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

SANTEE — Former Santana High standout Ethan Wright and former Grossmont College product Jake Sargent have been recipients of the Mickey D. Memorial Awards for the 2022 summer season of the San Diego Stars.

Wright was named the player of the year, while Sargent was the pitch of the year. The citations are named in honor of the late Mickey Deutschman, who owned and managed the ballclub for 40 years until his passing following the 2020 season.

Ethan Wright

“Ethan’s a gamer — a table setter — who sets the tone for the offense,” said Kelly Ritayik, the long-time Stars president who now owns the ballclub. “As a just-graduated high schooler, Ethan showed maturity and willingness to be coached, which resulted in a solid summer.”

“Mesa College is gaining a fine player.:

Just like his senior season at Santana, where je earned an All-East County citation, Wright led the Stars in batting while still remaining in the “team-first” mode by placing sacrificing or untentuionally grounding out to the right side of the infield to allow a runner to score from third base.

Wright welcomed the opportunity to play for the Stars since the team plays in the Western Baseball Association, which is a wood-bat league.

“Wood bats show how good of a hitter you are,” said Wright, who impressed scouts with a .340 wood-bat average.

Jake Sargent, pitching for Grossmont College this past spring / Courtesy, The Summit

Sargent earned starts against many of the best opponents on the Stars schedule, often coming out on top.

“Jake dominated teams like the Palm Springs Power, San Diego Yeti, the San Diego (Poway) Crush and the San Diego (North County) Waves,” noted Ritayik.

The Power had won summer league titles in eight of nine seasons before going independent this season. The Yeti was third in the WBA, while the Waves won the circuit, going on to place as the runner-up at the Gates World Series in Utah.

“Jake made huge strides from just throwing hard to a well-rounded pitcher,” she added. “He will have even more success coming, after earning a scholarship to NAIA national powerhouse Tennessee Wesleyan.”

The Bulldogs finished the ’22 season ranked Nio. 3 nationally in the NAIA.after, reaching the national semifinals.

At Grossmont, Sargent, a freshman, joined the Griffins’ starting rotation at mid-season, not only finishing second on the ballclub in victories, he got the start in the CCCAA state playoffs opener against Riverside.

Rigo Honored

Rigoberto “Rigo” Ledezma

Wright played his high school career under Sultans head coach Rigo Ledezma, who was named San Diego County’s Coach of the Year by the San Diego Padres.

Ledezma, along with the nine other nominees, was honored during a pregame ceremony at home plate prior to a Padres home game earlier in the summer at Petco Park.

Ledezma and the other finalists all accepted a $1,000 donation from the Padres. However, when he was announced as the overall winner for 2022, not only did Ledezma gain the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch, he received an additional donation of $5,000 to benefit the Sultans baseball program.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *