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Ceres Red All-Stars place first at home tournament
The Ceres Red 12-and-under All-Stars faced a daunting task following their 6-5 loss to the Los Banos Bandits in the opening round of the 37th George Costa Youth Baseball Tournament.

"The kids responded well," said Gary Glendenning, head coach. "I figured they could do it."

Ceres Red reeled off six straight wins, including back-to-back victories over Bel Passi Blue on Tuesday, July 31, to secure the championship at the nine-team, double-elimination event. The All-Stars battled back from the loser's bracket.

"We were in the same situation at Bel Passi's tournament. And didn't get it done," Glendenning said. "Everything just came together here. The kids did it. They didn't quit."

Ceres Red edged Bel Passi Blue 5-4 in Game 1.

The All-Stars staved off elimination by tallying two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

A.J. Fontana walked, stole second and scored on Anthony Amirfar's single. Amirfar stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Haydon Turpin's ground ball.

Turpin, Ceres' ace pitcher, earned a no decision. The righthander tossed three scoreless innings with four strikeouts. He allowed just one hit.

"We led 3-0 when he left the game," Glendenning said. "They couldn't touch him. He dominated."

The All-Stars topped Bel Passi Blue 4-1 in Game 2.

"We were able to put runs on them early. And we played great defense," Glendenning said.

Ceres Red also benefited from yet another near-flawless performance from Turpin. He pitched the first three innings, striking out four batters and surrendering a run.

Amirfar tossed three innings of

scoreless relief. He retired five of the 10 batters he faced via strikeout.

The All-Stars led 3-1 through three-and-a-half innings of play.

In the first inning, A.J. Evans walked, stole second and scored on Fontana's single.

In the second inning, Sidney Long singled, stole second and scored on Evans' hit. Evans moved to third on Austin Hampton's double and scored on Fontana's sacrifice fly.

Ceres Red tallied its final run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Evans singled, stole second, moved to third on Fontana's fly ball and scored on Turpin's hit.

Turpin, Evans, Fontana, Amirfar, Hampton, Long, Ivan Raya, Joey Carrillo, Kenny Lopez, Timothy Cardelli, Vincent Gutierrez and Josh Glendenning guided the All-Stars to a 24-9 record this summer.

Ceres Red had six top-three finishes, including two firsts, seconds and thirds.

"All the kids stepped up," coach Glendenning said.