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CHS varsity baseball team vying for conference title, postseason berth
Ceres High made its last playoff appearance in 2002.

Nineteen seasons have passed since the Bulldogs last won a conference title.

Ceres High could make history this year.

"The expectations are high," head coach Bret Durossette said. "We're going to shoot for the stars. We'd like to see the kids finish as a league champion and playoff participant. We've been competitive over the last couple of years."

The Bulldogs will be led by veterans Dustin Baisdon (P/OF, Sr.), Matt Cardelli (IF/C, Sr.), Tyler Cummings (P/IF/OF, Sr.), Brent Ward (OF/1B/P, Sr.) and Nick Welsh (IF, Jr.).

Baisdon earned first-team, all-Valley Oak League honors for his work on the mound as a junior. He posted a 7-3 record with a 2.65 ERA, four complete games, one save and 85 strikeouts. On offense, Dustin batted .352 (32-for-91) with one homer, two triples, five doubles, 14 RBIs, 25 runs and four stolen bases.

Cardelli and Ward both made the VOL second team.

Matt hit .393 (33-for-84) with two homers, one triple, eight doubles, 16 RBIs, 21 runs, nine stolen bases and a .583 slugging percentage.

Brent hit .357 (30-for-84) with one homer, three triples, six doubles, 18 RBIs, 19 runs and six stolen bases.

Welsh was an honorable-mention selection. He hit .379 (33-for-87) with one homer, 11 doubles, 22 RBIs, 26 runs and nine stolen bases.

Cummings hit .278 (22-for-79) with one homer, seven triples, seven doubles, 17 RBIs and 15 runs. Tyler tallied four wins and 58 strikeouts while pitching.

Other players expected to contribute to the team include Tyler Brenning (P/IF, Sr.), Wes Ward (C, Sr.), A.J. Fontana (IF, Jr.), (Jonathan Medeiros (DH/IF, Jr.), Brandon Aravalos (OF/P, So.), Jimbo Pernetti (IF/C/P, So.) and Haydon Turpin (IF/P, So.).

Ceres High had a productive final season in the Valley Oak League last season, finishing behind Oakdale (13-3), Manteca (12-4) and Sonora (12-4). The Bulldogs placed fourth at 10-6 and posted a 16-10-1 overall record.

Ceres High failed to qualify for the postseason despite winning 10 of its final 13 games.

The Bulldogs have the pieces in place to contend for the Western Athletic Conference title and a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berth this year.

The top three teams in the WAC advance.

Defending-champion Central Catholic and Ceres High are the front-runners followed by Central Valley, Los Banos, Livingston and Patterson.

"The ultimate goal is to go out on top," Baisdon said.

Added Cummings: "We want to make playoffs. We're confident. We have a lot of experience."

Said Durossette: "We're going to represent Ceres High real well this year. We have a lot of talent. Our kids are focused. I'll be disappointed if we don't finish high in the standings. It's going to take a total team effort."