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Josh Pernetti at bat
Josh Pernetti will play baseball at Delta College this spring in Stockton. Pernetti earned second-team all-conference honors twice during his three-year varsity career at Ceres High School. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Ceres High School grad Josh Pernetti will commute to Stockton this spring to play baseball for Delta College.

The criminal justice major has yet to attend in-person classes at the community college due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before my senior year, I had a really good summer playing for the (Texas-based) 17-and-under Prospects National Team,” Pernetti said. “The Delta coaches reached out to me. Once I saw the campus and field, it was hard to consider going elsewhere because that school is such a perfect fit for me. It’s a good hitter’s park. It will complement my game the best.”

Pernetti could see playing time at two different positions at the college level, including catcher and first base.

“I need to become a better catcher,” he said. “I’m working on my flexibility, receiving and throwing. I haven’t changed anything on offense. I just have to continue to hit for power and average, and put up good numbers.”

“I lived in Texas with my brother (Jimbo) during the summer and trained with EXOS,” Pernetti added. “They train professional athletes. Jimbo works there.”

Delta College compiled a 16-5 overall record before its 2020 campaign was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“They usually have good teams,” Pernetti said. “They produce really good players and send them off to really good schools. I’ll be excited when I finally get on the field. I’m going to play the best I can and whatever happens after that happens. I’d be interested in going to a four-year college if the offer was right. The ultimate goal is to get drafted and play professional baseball.”

Pernetti was a key member of Ceres High’s baseball program for three seasons.

He earned second-team all-league honors his junior and sophomore years.

He batted .290 from the plate with three homers, two doubles, 21 RBIs and 19 runs as the Bulldogs amassed a 15-14 overall record, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs and placed third in the Western Athletic Conference (10-4) in 2019.

Pernetti ranked first in the WAC in homers (2), triples (1), doubles (5), RBIs (13) and slugging percentage (.821), second in walks (7), third in hits (10), runs (8) and on-base percentage (.500), and fifth in batting average (.357) in 2018.

He suited up for two games during Ceres High’s COVID-shortened season this past spring.

He finished 2-for-3 with one homer, three RBIs and two runs in helping the Bulldogs snap a four-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory over Modesto Christian Crusaders.

Pernetti made his debut at the varsity level when he was promoted as a freshman during Ceres High’s top-four finish in the Division-IV postseason tournament. He batted 1-for-1 from the plate with one run in the Bulldogs’ 7-5 semifinal loss to the Lincoln Fighting Zebras.

Pernetti was a member of Ceres High’s varsity boys basketball team for three seasons.

He averaged 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds during his final year with the Bulldogs.

Ceres High finished 11-7 and tied for fifth place with Johansen in the league standings (5-9).

“I had a pretty good high-school career,” Pernetti said. “But I could have done a lot better.”

Pernetti represented USA Softball, Feb. 22-March 1, at the WBSC World Cup in New Zealand.

He batted fifth in the lineup and logged playing time at first base as the Under-18 Men’s National Team placed 11th overall with a 2-6 record.

“It was my first time playing softball,” Pernetti said. “The most challenging part was seeing a rise ball come at me. If I got an opportunity to play again, I’d do it.”

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Josh Pernetti