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Blaze 12s advance to West Regional
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The Ceres Blaze 12-year-old travel baseball team won three of five games en route to a runner-up finish at the Bronco Section Blossom Hill double-elimination tournament this past week in San Jose.

The top two teams advanced to the West Zone Regional. The eight-team event runs Tuesday through Sunday at San Jose Pal Stadium.

"We reached our first goal," head coach Carlton Stroud said. "Now, we're going to try to make it to the World Series. You never know what's going to happen."

Ceres managed to do well at the Bronco Section tournament despite competing shorthanded.

"Not having our full-strength squad was a concern going into the games," Stroud said.

Triston Partida, the team's leadoff batter and centerfielder, missed all five games.

Donovan Bravo, the Blaze's No. 3 hitter and shortstop, was only available for the opener.

Both players were vacationing with their families.

"We made some adjustments on the fly," Stroud said. "It all worked out. Everybody stepped up."

Ceres defeated Los Altos-Mountain View #1 twice (14-9, 5-4) and Lakewood once (19-9) at Herman Middle School.

The Blaze were swept by Blossom Valley #1 (14-4, 8-0).

"Overall, the kids competed really well," Stroud said.