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CV, Ceres High have nowhere to go but up this spring
Goblirsch-led baseball programs target improvement
Central Valleys varsity baseball program has depth at pitcher. Senior Ty Borchardt is one of the Hawks two starters. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/The Courier

Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity baseball teams compiled identical 3-9 records en route to tying for fourth place in the 2016 Western Athletic Conference standings.

The Bulldogs failed in their quest to claim their third consecutive conference title and sixth straight playoff berth.

For the second year in a row, the Hawks endured a losing season.
Ceres High and Central Valley have hit the reset button for the 2017 campaign.

"Our goal is to play Bulldog baseball every day," Ceres High second-year head coach Clinton Goblirsch said. "We want the kids to hustle, do their job and play as a team. If we do those things, we'll be successful."

"We had a good summer so our expectations are pretty high for this year," said Derrick Goblirsch, Central Valley's fourth-year leader and Clinton's younger brother. "We want to improve on the last two years. This group can change the culture. It's going to take some time. It's a learning process."

Ceres High's top returning players are Adrian Lujan (Sr.), Ismael Ontiveros (Sr.), Ricky Lopez (Sr.), Blane Abeyta (Sr.), Zach Kommavong (Sr.) and Brock DeWitt (So.).

Lujan and Ontiveros were both selected to the WAC First Team as juniors.

Lujan, a first baseman, ranked first in the WAC in homers (2), second in triples (1), doubles (5), slugging percentage (.787) and fielding percentage (.962), third in hits (15), fourth in on-base percentage (.538), fifth in batting average (.455), sixth in the runs (9) and seventh in RBIs (7).

Ontiveros, an outfielder, batted .406 with three doubles, six RBIs, four runs, eight walks and four stolen bases.

Lopez, a utility player, was an honorable-mention pick.

He batted .306 with one triple, two doubles, nine RBIs and three runs.

Dalton Durossette (Fr.), Adrian Magdaleno (Jr.) and Gabriel Jimenez (Sr.) are the Bulldogs' top newcomers.

Durossette and Magdaleno are starting pitchers.

"We got a lot of good baseball players," Clinton said. "We got a lot of depth. I expect us to play our best every game."

Central Valley's top returnees are Alexis Solis (So.), Israel Anaya (Jr.), Ty Borchardt (Sr.), Gabriel Quezada (Sr.) and James Andres (Sr.).

Newbies expected to contribute include Gabriel Campos (Jr.), Robert Garcia (Jr.) and Joel Branco (Jr.).

"We have a good core group of kids," Derrick said. "We have some players that have multiple years of experience at the varsity level."

Solis, Borchardt, Anaya, Quezada, Garcia and Branco can all pitch.

Alex and Ty are starters.

"We can run a lot of guys out there," Derrick said. "That's one of our strengths."

The Bulldogs and Hawks will each play a total of 15 conference games.

Ceres High, Central Valley, Patterson, Livingston, Los Banos and Pacheco make up the WAC.

The top three teams in the WAC advance to the postseason.

"It's definitely possible," said Derrick, an assistant coach on Central Valley's first and only playoff-qualifying team in 2012. "It would mean a lot."

"We're capable of playing some really good baseball," Clinton said.

Ceres High posted a 2-0 record against Central Valley last spring.

The Bulldogs rallied for 7-3 and 6-1 victories.

"I'm always excited to play them," Derrick said. "It's a fun atmosphere."

Added Clinton: "Every league game is a battle."