Ceres High’s baseball program made the playoffs this season despite losing its first nine games.
The third-place Bulldogs closed out the Western Athletic Conference campaign with a split against the first-place Mountain House Mustangs last week.
The top three teams in the WAC qualified for the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” Bulldogs’ senior first baseman/pitcher Noel Anaya stated. “We believed we could make it to playoffs and we did it. We pushed ourselves throughout the year.”
Ceres High improved to 13-15 overall and finished 9-5 in the WAC standings after upsetting Mountain House 9-5 on Thursday at Art McRae Field.
The Mustangs (19-9, 12-2) won the league title, followed by Los Banos (11-3), Beyer (6-8), Pacheco (6-8), Lathrop (6-8), Grace Davis (9-5) and Johansen (1-13).
“We played a well-rounded game from fielding to pitching to hitting,” Anaya said.
Landyn Hudson (4-5) had five strikeouts and one just while excelling at pitcher.
He gave up no runs and two hits in three innings.
Ceres High pounded 10 hits on offense.
Anaya batted 1-for-3 from the plate with one double, one RBI and one run.
Isac Cordova batted 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and one run.
Vincent Castrejon batted 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs.
Josh Prestridge batted 2-for-4 with two runs.
Zion Wesir batted 1-for-3 with one double, one RBI and one run.
Adrian Ontiveros batted 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
Jorge Gonzalez batted 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
Ceres High lost 4-1 at Mountain House on May 3.
Anaya (3-3) allowed two earned runs and seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk over five innings on the mound.
Wesir scored once.
Prestridge collected two singles.
Anaya Cordova, Ontiveros and Jorge Gonzalez all singled.
Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s boys golf programs placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at their league championships this past week.
The top three schools at each event qualified for Divisionals.
Ceres High’s boys posted a team score of 577 at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, staged May 2 at Tracy Golf & Country Club.
“I’m proud of how we did,” Bulldogs’ standout Erik Hott said. “I’m a little shocked with how far we got this year. Golf isn’t an easy sport. You can’t learn it overnight.”
Hott led the youth-laden Ceres High with a 12-over-par 84.
“It’s one of the better rounds I’ve had since I hurt my knee,” Hott said. “But I know I could have done better. Putting was tough because of the wing. Tracy also has one of the faster greens around here.”
Hott earned an individual berth to Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament, along with Bulldog teammate Jayson Homsombath.
Homsombath fired a 94 at the CCC Championships.
“It feels good to be able to move on,” Hott said. “I’m trying to make it as far as I possibly can.”
Ceres High’s Zachary Chastain, Benjamin Larranaga, Christopher Dunn and Alejandro Plantillas shot 123, 136, 140 and 155, respectively, at the conference finals.
Chastain, Larranaga, Dunn and Plantillas are first-year golfers.
Central Valley’s boys posted a team score of 498 at the CCC Tournament, held May 2 at Merced Golf & Country Club.
“It was a good finish,” Hawks’ head coach Scott Edwards said. “That’s the best we could have done this year. Over the course of the season, we got better.”
Matteo Bonales led Central Valley with an even-par 72.
He took fourth in the individual standings.
“He’s playing his best golf for this year,” Edwards said. “His scores got better gradually throughout the season.”
Victor Alvarez carded an 87 while finishing in the top 10.
Bonales and Alvarez both earned individual berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament.
“He (Alvarez) knew he was on the bubble and stepped up,” Edwards said. “He had a good day.”
Dillon Brush (111), Armando Guajardo (114) and Alijah Lopez (114) rounded out Central Valley’s scorecard at the CCC Championships.