Bullard’s Pacheco, Central’s Rodriguez earn Grizzlies Hot Stove awards

Central’s Rachel Rodriguez. (GARY KAZANJIAN/THE FRESNO BEE)

Niko Pacheco of Bullard and Rachel Rodriguez from Central will be honored Thursday as the prep baseball and softball players of the year at the Fresno Grizzlies’ 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove Gala.

The Kerman baseball squad is the team of the year and the Lions’ Jay Preuss is coach of the year.

The Al Radka Award winner also will be announced during the Hot Stove Gala at the Fresno Convention Center in downtown Fresno. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The gala features  guest speakers Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants and former Fresno State star Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers.

As juniors last spring, Pacheco and Rodriguez helped lead their respective teams to Central Section D-I titles. Preuss’ Kerman team won the D-IV baseball title.

Baseball events dot Fresno calendar next week

Ryan Vogelsong pitched for the 2001 Fresno Grizzlies, going 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts. He also started the 2011 season with the Triple-A club before getting called up to the Giants and in 2012 started on Opening Day for the team while on a rehab assignment.

Spring training is right around the corner and Fresno also is gearing up for the start of the baseball season.

Next week, the Giants’ World Champions Trophy Tour comes to the Valley with several stops — notably Chuckchansi Park in Fresno on Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. The tour and both the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies also will be at the Porterville College Gymnasium on Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m., at the Reedley Community Center on Feb. 6 from 2-4 p.m. and in Sanger, at a site still to be determined, from 6-8 p.m. The tour also will make several other Valley stops, including Merced (Feb. 11), Los Banos (Feb. 12), Modesto (Feb. 19) and Atwater (Feb. 20).

Also next week, the Fresno Grizzlies host the 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove on Feb. 7 at the New Exhibit Hall Convention Center in downtown Fresno. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Guest speakers include team alum and current Giants star Ryan Vogelsong and Tigers star Doug Fister, the Merced native and former Fresno State star who pitched in the World Series this past fall against the Giants.

On Feb. 8, Fister will be inducted into the Fresno State Wall of Fame during the Dugout Club‘s Double Play Dinner at Clovis Veterans Memorial Hall as part of the baseball program’s alumni weekend that includes a golf tournament earlier in the day Feb. 8 and the annual alumni baseball game at Beiden Field at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

Some season openers of note: The Bulldogs baseball team on Feb. 15-17 against UC Santa Barbara; the Bulldogs softball team hosts the Fresno State Kick-Off on Feb. 8-10 at Bulldog Diamond. The Fresno Pacific baseball home opener is Feb. 8 vs. Cal State Stanislaus. In the JC world, the Fresno City baseball team opens Friday at Sac City.