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CV KO'd by Dawgs on diamond
Ceres High School's varsity baseball team trailed early before pulling away for an 11-1 mercy-rule victory over crosstown-rival Central Valley on Friday at Art McRae Field.

The Bulldogs regrouped following a stunning 3-1 setback at previously-winless Pacheco two days earlier.

"The Pacheco loss set a fire inside of us," Ceres High senior outfielder Nick Welsh said. "We were all dreading going to practice because we knew it was going to be tough. We ran a lot. We learned a lot. We had a long discussion. There was a lot of emotion poured out."

The Bulldogs (5-2) hold a one-game lead over Los Banos (4-4) for the WAC's third and final postseason berth. The Hawks (3-5) sit in fifth place. Ceres High compiled a 2-0 record against Central Valley this year. The Bulldogs have won the last three meetings.

"It would be a huge disappointment if we didn't make playoffs," Welsh said. "We have confidence in each other."

The Hawks didn't have much success versus Ceres High pitcher Haydon Turpin, who allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Central Valley's Ruben Casas and Sidney Long both singled.

Bulldog teammate Brett Conway started at catcher. He rotates every other game with fellow freshman Brent Bussard. "They're both in charge of calling pitches," Ceres High head coach John Bussard said. "They still got a lot of growth to do."

Turpin settled down after surrendering a run in the first inning. Haydon notched his eighth victory of the year. Haydon missed the basketball season with an ankle injury.

"We knew he'd be a vital part of our success," John said. "He definitely contributed once he got healthy."

Added Welsh: "When Haydon's on, he's nasty."

Ceres High posted a team-batting average of .455 (10 of 22) with just three strikeouts and six walks.

Nick finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs.

Devon finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs and one run.

Brandon Arevalos finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs and one run.

Jimbo Pernetti went 1-for-2 with a double, one RBI and two runs.

Tim Cardelli doubled and knocked in one run.

Turpin singled and plate one run.

Jimmy Bates chipped in with one single and two runs.

Ceres High broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning.

Casas, Central Valley's starting pitcher, lasted just 31/3 innings.

He yielded six earned runs and five hits with three strikeouts and five walks.

"We had a lot of pent up frustration and took it out on them," coach Bussard said. "We played a complete game. When we're consistent at the plate, we're pretty good."

Ceres High played flawless defense, while Central Valley committed three errors.

"We were confident," Welsh said. "We knew we'd take care of business."

The Bulldogs will compete against the Tigers today in Los Banos.

The Hawks will face host Pacheco this Friday.

Both games will begin at 4 p.m.