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Bulldog, Hawk players earn conference recognition
Four members of Ceres Highs varsity baseball team earned WAC honors, including Ismael Ontiveros (pictured above), Adrian Lujan, Ricky Lopez and Austin Kubala. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity baseball programs had a combined seven players earn all-Western Athletic Conference honors.

"The other coaches vote on it," Hawks leader Derrick Goblirsch said. "I'm pleased. We only had one guy get recognition last year because we didn't win any games."

"It's always nice to get recognized by outside coaches," said Clinton Goblirsch, first-year head coach of the Bulldogs and Derrick's older brother.

Ceres High's Adrian Lujan and Ismael Ontiveros were both selected to the WAC First Team.

Lujan, a junior first baseman, ranked first in the WAC in homers (2), second in triples (1), doubles (5), slugging percentage (.787) and fielding percentage (.962), third in hits (15), fourth in on-base percentage (.538), fifth in batting average (.455), sixth in runs (9) and seventh in RBIs (7).

"We had high expectations for him coming into the season," Clinton said. "He was our most consistent hitter. He improved his pitch selection. That's why he had a lot of success. He has a very smooth swing."

Ontiveros, a junior outfielder, batted .406 with three doubles, six RBIs, four runs, eight walks and four stolen bases.

"Ismael gave us consistency on defense in center field," Clinton said. "He was our leadoff hitter. His on-base percentage was really high. He didn't have a lot of strikeouts. He drew a lot of walks. He fouled off a lot of pitches. That's exactly what you want with that position. He was our sparkplug."

Central Valley's Mikie Lopez and Carlos Rodriguez were selected to the WAC Second Team.

Lopez, a senior third baseman, batted .278 with three RBIs and eight runs.

He was also the Hawks' ace pitcher. Mike compiled a 1-4 record with a 3.92 ERA and 20 strikeouts.

"He deserved it," Derrick said. "Without him, we don't win the three games we won. He had some standout games in league. He was our best hitter and pitcher. He'll definitely be missed production and leadership wise."

Rodriguez, a sophomore rightfielder, batted .360 with two doubles, three RBIs, 10 runs and eight stolen bases.

Carlos was promoted from Central Valley's junior-varsity team two games into the WAC season.

"He stepped right in and produced," Derrick said. "It's not a surprise. I coached him in football. I know the type of kid he is and his work ethic. He did everything for us."
Central Valley's Robert Nieto, and Ceres High's Ricky Lopez and Austin Kubala were honorable-mention picks.

Nieto, a senior leftfielder, batted .241 with one RBI, two runs and one stolen base.

"His approach at the plate was 10 times better this year," Derrick said. "He got more aggressive. He produced. He got on base. He stole a lot of bases. Defensively, everything hit his way was reeled in."

Lopez, a junior utility player, contributed at third base, shortstop, second base, catcher and pitcher.

He batted .306 with one triple, two doubles, nine RBIs, three runs.

"His versatility helped us out a lot," Clinton said.

Kubala, a senior leftfielder, batted .242 with three RBIs, four runs and three stolen bases.

"He had a passion for baseball and it showed," Clinton said. "I'm really glad he decided to come out and play his senior year."

Ceres High and Central Valley tied for fourth place in the conference standings with identical 3-9 records.