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Bulldogs sneak into playoffs
Josh Prestridge 2023
Josh Prestridge helped Ceres High’s baseball program secure its second straight playoff berth. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s baseball program secured a split with Mountain House during the final week of the Western Athletic Conference season.

The Mustangs (18-9, 12-2) dropped to second place in the WAC standings.

The Bulldogs (7-16, 6-8) finished fourth in league play.

The WAC’s top four teams qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

“The baseball God’s were with us this season,” Ceres High new head coach Raul Godinez said. “We slid in. We wanted to make some noise this year. That’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Ceres High spoiled Mountain House’s Senior Night with a 5-1 win on Wednesday.

“They were in first place,” Godinez said. “I think we surprised them playing like that. We were dialed in. Everybody was ready to play.”

Bulldog pitcher Brayden Clark improved his record to a perfect 5-0 in WAC play.

He allowed two hits with five strikeouts in seven innings.

“Every game he pitches, we do well,” Godinez said. “He brings a lot of energy to the team. He has a football mentality.”

Ceres High’s Landyn Hudson batted 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs.

Diego Marisca collected two RBIs.

Jorge Gonzalez singled.

Ceres High dropped its WAC finale, 12-0, to visiting Mountain House on Senior Night at Art McRae Field on Friday.

“It was a big game for the seniors,” Godinez said. “They put a lot of pressure on themselves, which they shouldn’t have.”

The Bulldogs fell behind 4-0 in the first inning and never recovered.

“We made some costly errors and they capitalized,” Godinez said. 

Hudson gave up three earned runs with seven strikeouts while starting at pitcher.

Zion Wesir doubled on offense.

Josh Prestridge singled twice.

Hudson, Gonzalez, Wesir, Prestridge, Xander Hernandez, Adrian Ontiveros and Zeph Rochell, Ceres High’s seven seniors, competed at home for the final time.

“They’re a good group of guys,” Godinez said. “They helped out a lot. They made my job easier.”

The Bulldogs managed to advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the third time in five years this spring despite losing their first five games.

“We started off 0-5 to beating the top two teams in league,” Godinez said. “We played good baseball. Everybody was on the same page. They trusted me and the other coaches.”

Sixteenth-seeded Ceres High will face top-seeded Pitman in the opening round of the Division-II postseason tournament. The Pride (19-6-1, 14-1) placed first in the Central California Conference Athletic League.

“Pitman always has great teams,” Godinez said. “On paper, we don’t look as good as we are. It’s a perfect opportunity for an upset.”