Central Valley High School's varsity baseball team defeated Ceres High 9-5 for the Art McRae title on April 4.
The Bulldogs and Hawks faced off twice in Western Athletic Conference play this past week.
Ceres High won both games and remained in a first-place tie atop the league standings (6-0) with six-time champion Central Catholic. The Bulldogs improved to 16-3-1 on the year.
"They want it as bad as we do," Ceres High senior pitcher Haydon Turpin said while talking about the Bulldogs' WAC-title hopes. "We're going to play our hardest."
Sophomore Brad Bussard allowed four hits, struck out three and drove in two runs during Ceres High's 10-0 five-inning slaughter-rule victory over Central Valley on Thursday at Art McRae Field.
The Bulldogs batted 13-for-26 from the plate as a team versus the Hawks (14-5, 1-3).
Brent Bussard finished 1-for-2 with one triple, two RBIs and two runs.
Jimbo Pernetti finished 3-for-3 with one double, one RBI and two runs.
Devon Ruger finished 1-for-2 with one double, one RBI and two runs.
Brandon Arevalos finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Jimmy Bates finished 2-for-3 with one triple and two runs.
Alan Marquez finished 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
Dylan Canatsy finished 2-for-3 with one double and one run.
Brett Conway singled.
Ceres High scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning, two in the second, one in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Michael Ereso, Central Valley's starting pitcher, lasted just two innings. Ereso (5-3) allowed seven runs and eight hits with no strikeouts and one walk.
The Hawks collected just four hits on offense.
Jeff Reeves doubled.
Ruben Casas, Austin Burns and Kendel Johnson all singled.
Turpin tallied 12 strikeouts and tossed six shutout innings while leading Ceres High to a hard-fought 4-1 win against host Central Valley on April 9.
"A lot of credit goes to him (Bulldog catcher Brett Conway)," said Haydon, who gave up just one run and four hits. "He called a great game. This is my second year pitching with him. I hardly have to shake him off. He's phenomenal."
Tied at one-all, Ceres High pushed three runs across the plate in the top of the seventh inning.
Arevalos drove in Pernetti with a two-out double to right field.
Ruger raced home on Marquez's infield single.
Arevalos accounted for the Bulldogs' final run when Central Valley shortstop Raul Godinez booted Brent Bussard's grounder.
"It took us a while to get going," Turpin said.
The Hawks threatened in the bottom of the seventh.
Central Valley stranded two runners on base as Turpin struck out Reeves and Sidney Long to end the game.
Casas started at pitcher for the Hawks.
Ruben (5-2) surrendered three runs and scattered seven hits with nine strikeouts and five walks in 62/3 innings.
The Hawks will play host to Pacheco this Thursday.
The Bulldogs will travel to Los Banos.
Both games will begin at 4 p.m.