Central Valley’s baseball program excelled in all three phases, including offense, defense and pitching, while earning a two-game sweep of crosstown-rival Ceres High earlier this month.
The Hawks and Bulldogs are coached by Brad Bussard and Raul Godinez, respectively.
Bussard and Godinez were standout athletes at Ceres High and Central Valley.
“Once you’re not a player anymore, you separate the emotions,” Bussard said. “I’m a Hawk now. They welcomed me in like family. I love it over here.”
“I’m representing the Bulldogs to the fullest now,” Godinez said. “Same goal. It’s just different colors now. One’s wearing red. One’s wearing green. But at the end of the day, we’re all from Ceres. It’s cool to see the good talent coming out of this town.”
Central Valley totaled eight hits and 12 runs versus Ceres High.
The Bulldogs failed to score a run and collected just four hits.
Central Valley pitchers Diego Delahoya and Ryan Estermann were dominant on the mound.
“Diego and Ryan set the tone for us,” Bussard said. “I’m definitely not surprised. We feel good when they’re going against any team. They pounded the strike zone—back-to-back complete game shutouts. That’s awesome.”
“Offensively, we made hard contact in both games,” he added. “We played all-round, good defense. We executed everything we wanted to.”
“It’s tough to win ball games when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing at the plate,” Godinez stated. “They (Delahoya and Estermann) threw strikes. They did their job. We didn’t. We got to tip our cap and give the other side credit.”
Visiting Central Valley shut out Ceres High 8-0 on March 4 at Art McRae Field.
Estermann allowed no runs and two hits with 13 strikeouts and one walk in seven innings.
He batted 1-for-4 from the plate with one double, one RBI and one run.
Hawk Miguel Espinoza batted 1-for-4 with one double, two RBIs and one run.
Garret Garcia batted 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
Freshman Fernando Dominguez batted 2-for-4 with two doubles and one run.
Chris Garcia and Juan Alonzo both batted 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Eddie Stewart scored twice.
Delahoya and Caiden Whittle both chipped in with one run apiece.
Gage Mastropierro singled.
Landyn Hudson started at pitcher for Ceres High.
Bulldog Jorge Gonzalez singled on offense.
Ceres High lost 4-0 at Central Valley on March 3.
Delahoya had nine strikeouts and one walk at pitcher.
He allowed no runs and two hits.
Dominguez batted 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Whittle batted 1-for-3 with one run.
Estermann drove in one run.
Espinoza, Alonzo and Jayson Casias all scored once.
Garret Garcia doubled.
Bulldog pitcher Jorge Gonzalez gave up two earned runs and two hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
Joshua Prestridge and Vincent Castrejon both singled.
“They (Gonzalez and Hudson) threw well,” Godinez said. “Our offense and defense need to back them up.”
Ceres High dropped four of five games during the week.
The Bulldogs played three times in a two-day span leading up to the crosstown showdown.
“It was a tough week for us,” Godinez said. “There are some things we need to dial in. In order to win games, we need to get some base runners on.”
Central Valley has won its last six games versus Ceres High dating back to the 2021 season.
The Bulldogs topped the Hawks twice in 2020.
“Ceres High used to be the baseball school in town,” Bussard said. “We were successful when I was there. Now, the tides have turned.”