By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Costa Giants collect runner-up honors
Placeholder Image
The Ceres Costa Giants 13-14-year-old baseball team entered the final day of the 37th George Costa Youth Baseball Tournament with no room for error.

"We needed to beat Los Banos twice to win the title," said Lupe Juarez, head coach.

The Costa Giants had to settle for second place after falling 4-1 to the Cyclones on Sunday, July 29 in the championship round.

"The opportunities they got, they took advantage of," Juarez said. "We left the bases loaded a couple times. The biggest problem throughout our tournaments was not coming up with that clutch hit. Several games, we left eight, nine or 10 runners on base. We just couldn't come through."

Los Banos built a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks in large part to an error. The Cyclones tallied a pair of unearned runs with two down.

Ceres cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Dominick Walker doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Jacob Hackett's sacrifice fly.

The Costa Giants stranded 10 runners during the must-win game. Ceres' first two batters reached base in the second inning.

"We were just one hit away from tightening up the game," Juarez said. "Missed opportunities cost us."

Ceres posted a 2-2 record at the five-team, double-elimination event. The Costa Giants beat Atwater 15-0 on Sunday, July 29 and Bel Passi White 9-3 on Thursday, July 26.

Ceres left the bases loaded twice, including once in the final inning, of its 6-4 loss to Los Banos on Friday, July 27.

Led by Walker, Hackett, David Dart, Tyler Cummings, Frankie Hernandez, Cameron Clay, Wiliam Mestas, Grant Wolff, David Brazil, Shea Patterson and Jesse Hatfield, the Costa Giants placed in three of six tournaments this summer.

Ceres took second in Ceres and Oakdale, and third in Modesto (Bel Passi).

"We had a pretty good year," Juarez said. "We had a lot of talent on the team. We felt like any time we got on the field, we had a good chance at winning. It didn't matter who we played."