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Bussard twins wrap up prep careers
Brad, Brent play for father John in Stanislaus-Merced All-Star Game
Brent Bussard (15) teamed up with his twin brother Brad and father John for the last time at the prep level this past week. - photo by Courier file photo

John Bussard coached his twin sons Brad and Brent for the final time this past week.

The recent Ceres High graduates played for their father in the Stanislaus County-Merced County All-Star Game on Saturday at Merced College.

The Bussards represented Stanislaus County, which lost 3-2 to Merced County.

"It sucks knowing it's our last game with him," Brent said. "He's been our baseball coach since we were four. He's always been there for us. He pretty much taught us everything we know. Now, it's time to start the next chapter of our lives. We're moving on."

Brad batted 1-for-4 from the plate with one single and one stolen base.

Brad logged playing time at second base in the first, second, third and fourth innings. He was designated hitter the rest of the game.

Brent batted 0-for-1 with one walk.

Brent played in centerfield in the first, second, third, and fourth innings.

Brett Conway, a 2015 Ceres High grad and longtime teammate of the Bussard brothers, was hitless in two at-bats.

Brett played catcher in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Jorge Alvarez, a Central Valley grad, finished 0-for-2 while suiting up for Stanislaus County.

Alvarez contributed at third base in the first, second, third and fourth innings.

Stanislaus County outplayed Merced County for eight innings.

Merced County capitalized on one error and collected three hits on its way to erasing a 2-0 deficit in the ninth inning.

"It would have been nice to walk away with a win," John Bussard said. "We thought we had the game in hand. We dominated. They had two hits going into the last inning. Our pitching was really good."

Led by four-year contributors Brad, Brent and Brett, Ceres High's varsity baseball program reached record heights.

The Bulldogs captured their second straight Western Athletic Conference title (11-1) during the springtime.

Ceres High had a 23-7 overall record and advanced to the semifinal round of the Division-IV playoffs.

Brad was voted WAC MVP.

He batted .450 with three triples, four doubles, 19 RBIs, 15 runs and 10 stolen bases.

A standout pitcher, Brad had a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.18 ERA, three complete games and 34 strikeouts.

Brett earned first-team all-league honors for the third year in a row.

Conway batted .316 with one triple, one double, 17 RBIs, six runs and one stolen base.

Brent batted .222 with one double, six RBIs and eight RBIs.

Brad, Brent and Brett teamed up for the final time at the prep level last week.

They've been teammates for the past seven years, including four at Ceres High.
"We had a great time together," Brent said. "We're great friends."

John Bussard's coaching staff during the Stanislaus County-Merced County showcase featured Ceres High's Rudy Conway and Clint Goblirsch, and Central Valley's Derrick Goblirsch and Mario Navarro.

Clint and Derrick, former Ceres High standout athletes, are brothers.

John, Brad, Brent, Clint and Derrick all ate dinner together after the all-star game.

"It was nice to reminisce," John said.