Valley sports briefs: Avenal set to welcome Ramirez
Olympic boxer Jose Ramirez will be honored Friday in his hometown of Avenal.
The community is hosting a “Dreams do Come True” homecoming event for the lightweight boxer, who went 1-1 at the London Olympics. The 4-10 p.m. event will start with a parade followed by a gathering at Rice Park.
On Saturday, Ramirez will throw out the first pitch at the Fresno Grizzlies’ game at Chukchansi Park.
Fresno State soccer players honored
Five Fresno State soccer players were named to the Mountain West Conference’s preseason team.
Seniors Callie Hancock and Vanessa Gonzales and junior Lauren Lindstrom were named to the first team. Sophomore Jaycee Bingham and junior Morgan Castain were on the second team.
The Bulldogs open the season at UC Davis at 5 p.m. Friday.
Visalia’s Ripken team advances
Defending champion Visalia has reached the final six of the 10-team Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series for youth baseball players 12-and-under.
Visalia faces Grand Forks, N.D., at 4:30 p.m. today during single-elimination bracket play in Winchester, Mass. The winner meets the Bronx, N.Y., which went 4-0 in National Division pool play and earned a bye, in Wednesday’s semifinal.
Visalia advanced out of pool play with a 3-1 record in the American Division following a 3-2 loss to Burlington, Mass., on Monday. Burlington jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning before Visalia’s Jace Chamberlin hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to make it close.
Greater Fresno loses to Japan
Jarrod Westendarp pitched a complete game and knocked in his team’s only run as Greater Fresno lost 2-1 against Japan in the final of the World Boys Baseball Tournament for players 15-and-under in Australia.
Fresno had runners on first and third with none out in the bottom of the seventh; Japan got a strikeout, groundout and strikeout to end it.
Fresno/Clovis will host the 32nd annual tournament next year.