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Ceres teams advance to postseason
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Ceres High School's varsity baseball team will participate in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Ceres High's varsity softball squad secured its first postseason berth since 2009.

"We're excited about the direction our program's taking," Bulldogs' baseball head coach John Bussard said.


The Western Athletic Conference runner-up Bulldogs (18-9, 8-4) will face Valley Oak League No. 2 seed Sonora (17-9, 9-5) on Wednesday at Tony Zupo Field in Lodi. The game will get underway at 4 p.m.

The Wildcats edged Ceres High 3-2 earlier this season. Sonora scored the winning run in the seventh inning on a Bulldog throwing error.

"We wanted the rematch," Bussard said.

Ceres High will be led by pitcher/infielder Haydon Turpin, outfielder Brandon Arevalos, outfielder Nick Welsh, shortstop Jimbo Pernetti, first baseman Devon Ruger and outfielder A.J. Fontana.

Turpin compiled a 9-4 record with a 3.09 ERA, five complete games, 70 strikeouts and just 24 walks on the mound during the regular season. Haydon batted .333 (17-for-51) with seven doubles, 11 RBIs and 13 runs.

Arevalos batted .452 (33-for-73) with two homers, two triples, eight doubles, 27 RBIs and 15 runs.

Welsh batted .446 (41-for-92) from the plate with one homer, one triple, three doubles, 15 RBIs, 31 runs and 23 stolen bases.

Pernetti batted .432 (32-for-74) with two homers, eight doubles, 26 RBIs and 29 runs.

Ruger batted .397 (29-for-73) with six doubles, 18 RBIs and 16 runs.

Fontana batted .338 (26-for-77) with two homers, two doubles, 19 RBIs and 16 runs.

The Wildcats will be led by Ryan Stevenson, Bradley Begley, Karson Canaday and Dylan Fernandes.

Begley, Canaday and Fernandes are seniors.

Stevenson is a junior.

Stevenson, Sonora's ace pitcher, posted a 9-2 record with a 1.21 ERA, six complete games, 91 strikeouts and 27 walks.

Begley batted .440 with one homer, four triples, three doubles, 26 RBIs and 24 runs.

Canaday batted .432 with six doubles, 10 RBIs, 34 runs and 27 stolen bases.

Fernandes batted .429 with one triple, 12 doubles, 20 RBIs and 29 runs.

"They're a senior-heavy ball club," Bussard said. "We feel like we match up with them really well. I have a pretty confident group."

Ceres High lost 6-2 to eventual section champion Oakdale in the opening round of the playoffs in 2011.

The winner of the Ceres High-Sonora game will face either El Dorado or Manteca in a best-out-of-three series.


Ceres High had its best season to date under head coach Donnie Donaldson's guidance.

The sixth-year leader helped lead the Bulldogs to their first league title since the 2005-06 school year. Ceres High placed first in the WAC with a 10-2 record.

The Bulldogs will face Sierra Valley Conference runner-up Cosumnes Oaks (19-6-1, 10-2) in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday at Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton. The game will begin at 5 p.m.

Ceres High will be led by pitcher/infielder Kaycee Creek, catcher Cierra Hammons, shortstop Alexis Cummings, third baseman Jessica Ellsworth and outfielder Kassandra Carrillo.

Creek has a 10-2 record with a 1.11 ERA and 76 strikeouts this season. Kaycee batted .500 (18-for-36) with two triples, six doubles, four RBIs and 14 runs.

Hammons batted .529 (18-for-34) with four doubles, seven RBIs and two runs.

Cummings batted .488 (20-for-41) with four doubles, 15 RBIs and six runs.

Ellsworth batted .409 (18-for-44) with one homer, two doubles, 11 RBIs and 13 runs.

Carrillo batted .378 (14-for-37) with 11 RBIs and six runs.