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CHS baseball expects major turnaround this spring
Brock DeWitt, Josh Pernetti and Ceres High’s varsity baseball team will target major improvement this season. DeWitt and Pernetti both earned all-Western Athletic Conference honors last year. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s varsity baseball program underachieved in 2018.

The Bulldogs won just two league games.

“Last year, we had a good team,” junior catcher Josh Pernetti said. “We didn’t put everything to use. We’ll definitely be better this season. The mindset is different. We’re going to do whatever we need to do to get the job done. We’re trying to prove a point this year.”

Ceres High’s top returning players are Pernetti, Brock DeWitt (Sr.), Brock Moore (Sr.), Michael Aveytia (Sr.), Daniel Gamez (Sr.), Isaiah Alcorn (Jr.) and Efrain Brito (Jr.).

The Bulldogs’ top newcomers are Justin Prestridge (Jr.), Chris Madariaga (Jr.), Gabe Flores (Jr.) and Dominic Magdaleno (Jr.).

Pernetti was named to the Western Athletic Conference Second Team as a sophomore.

Josh ranked first in the WAC in homers (2), triples (1), doubles (5), RBIs (13) and slugging percentage (.821), second in walks (7), third in hits (10), runs (8) and on-base percentage (.500), and fifth in batting average (.357).

DeWitt earned first-team accolades.

He ranked second in the WAC in runs (11), stolen bases (4) and walks (7), third in hits (9) and on-base percentage (.500), fourth in doubles (4), fifth in RBIs (5), seventh in batting average (.321), and 12th in slugging percentage (.357).

Moore batted .313 with one triple, one double, five RBIs and four runs.

Aveytia batted .286 with one homer, two doubles, seven RBIs and six runs.

“If we do what we’re supposed to do as a team, we’ll get the results we want,” Pernetti said 

Ceres High will compete in the revamped WAC in 2019.

The conference features eight teams: Ceres High, Los Banos, Pacheco, Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Mountain House.

Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Mountain House moved to the WAC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment plan.

Beyer, Grace Davis and Johansen were previous members of the Modesto Metro Conference.

Lathrop and Mountain House relocated from the Valley Oak League and Trans Valley League.

The Bulldogs amassed a 10-14 overall record and placed fifth in the WAC (2-8) a season ago.

“We’re going to be a threat this year,” Pernetti said.

Ceres High made its last postseason appearance in 2017.

“The goal is to make it to playoffs and play well,” he said.