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Bulldogs sweep Hawks, qualify for postseason
Senior Ricky Lopez helped lift Ceres Highs varsity baseball team to a pair of Western Athletic Conference victories versus crosstown-rival Central Valley last week. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity baseball team had a pair of streaks snapped last spring.

The Bulldogs failed to advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time in five years.

Ceres High also fell short in its quest to claim its third straight Western Athletic Conference crown.

"We dropped to an all-time low," said Ricky Lopez, a senior and third-year player with the Bulldogs. "It was disappointing. It feels good to get redemption. We're going to playoffs."

The Bulldogs beat the crosstown-rival Hawks twice and qualified for the postseason this past week.

Second-place Ceres High improved to 21-5 overall and 11-3 in the WAC standings.

Last-place Central Valley dropped to 5-20-1 and 1-13.

"It's always our goal to beat them," Lopez said.

Ceres High shut out visiting Central Valley 4-0 during Senior Night on May 4 at Art McRae Field.

Bulldog senior pitcher Blane Abeyta tallied a career-high 13 strikeouts while shutting down the Hawks for 52/3 innings.

Abeyta allowed just one hit.

Ceres High senior Ismael Ontiveros gave up no runs and no hits with one strikeout and one walk in 11/3 innings.

Abeyta batted 1-for-3 from the plate with one double and one RBI.

Ontiveros doubled.

Lopez batted 1-for-2 with one run.

Senior Zach Kommavong batted 1-for-3 with one double and one RBI.

Brock DeWitt batted 1-for-2 with two runs.

Ceres High pounded 15 hits during its 14-2 mercy-rule win at Central Valley on May 2.

Lopez batted 3-for-4 with one double, four RBIs and two runs.
Abeyta batted 3-for-3 with one RBI and four runs.

Senior Adrian Lujan batted 1-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs.

Dalton Durossette batted 2-for-4 with three runs.

Brock DeWitt batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Senior Steven Brown batted 1-for-1 with one RBI.

Ontiveros batted 1-for-3 with two runs.

Eric Davis and Cristian Palafox both knocked in one run.
Austin Schmidt scored once.

Adrian Magdaleno doubled and singled.

Magdaleno improved his pitching record to 9-1.

Adrian totaled five strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

He gave up two runs, both unearned, and three hits.

Ceres High has reeled off eight straight victories since being swept by first-place Los Banos (19-4, 12-2).

"Obviously, we're on a roll," Lopez said. "We're playing our brand of baseball. It consists of hustling, doing your job and knowing what to do. Everything's come together this season. Everybody is dedicated. We're playing together. We have each other's back."