By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A magical season
Placeholder Image
The Ceres Red 11-12-year-old All-Star baseball team finished the summer with an unblemished 16-0 record.

Ceres secured a perfect season with a first-place finish at the Bel Passi Invitational.

The Red All-Stars edged Chowchilla 4-3 for the championship on Tuesday, July 21.

"It took us eight innings to beat them," head coach Carlos Moreno Sr. said. "It was a very exciting, emotional game for everybody. The atmosphere was unbelievable. We had a lot of support and the kids fed off of that."

Ceres rallied after Chowchilla took a 3-2 lead in the top half of the final inning. The Red All-Stars won despite having two runners thrown out at home plate.

Quentin Hernandez reached base on an error, advanced all the way to third on Carlos Moreno's single to center and evened the contest on a balk.

Brad Bussard doubled and later scored the winning run when Martin Marquez drove an outside pitch to right field.

"The kids were going wild," Moreno Sr. said.

Marquez also starred at pitcher for three innings (1-2-3). He allowed two runs on three hits.

"He's definitely one of the leaders of the team," Moreno Sr. said. "He's been clutch all season."

Christian Schneider tossed three innings of relief (4-5-6). He allowed a pair of runs and two hits with five strikeouts.

Brad Bussard, Schneider's replacement, was the winning pitcher. He gave up just one hit and one run over two innings (7-8).

"They (Christian and Brad) did a fantastic job for us," Moreno Sr. said.

Ceres posted a 4-0 record at the Bel Passi Invitational.

The Red All-Stars opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Chowchilla on July 17.

Ceres topped Bel Passi Red via tiebreaker on July 18. The two teams battled to a 6-6 tie during the alloted 90 minutes of play. The Red All-Stars won on strikeout differential (7-4).

Ceres Red shut out Bel Passi White 14-0 on July 19.

Marquez and Moreno homered against Bel Passi White and Bel Passi Red, respectively.

The Red All-Stars didn't lose a single game while placing first at four tournaments this summer. Ceres claimed titles at home, and in Modesto, Oakdale and Hilmar.

"I didn't think we'd go undefeated but I knew we were as good as any team out there," Moreno Sr. said. "I attribute a lot of the success to having those three guys (assistant coaches John Bussard, Martin Marquez Sr. and Todd Schneider) and a great group of kids."