Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity baseball programs will co-host the Art McRae Easter Tournament this week.
The Bulldogs and Hawks posted a combined record of 8-0 while placing first and third, respectively, last season.
Ceres High and Central Valley both won all four of their games.
"We got a two-week period where the pressure is off," said Bulldogs head coach John Bussard, whose team had a 12-4 overall mark as of Sunday and finished in first place (5-1) during the first half of the Western Athletic Conference season. "We want to re-evaluate some players and work on different things. We haven't executed bunt situations well. We haven't had much success stealing bases. We just want to go out there, compete and have fun."
Ceres High will host Orestimba (April 6, 3:30 p.m.), Central Catholic (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.) and Yerington of Reno (Thursday, 11:15 a.m.).
Ismael Ontiveros, Haaydn Martinez and Drew Stahl are slated to start at pitcher against Orestimba, Yerington and Central Catholic, respectively.
Ricky Lopez and Izaiah Hernandez will also log playing time on the mound.
Central Valley (5-10, 0-4) will host Central Catholic (April 6, 3:30 p.m.), Yerington (Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.) and Riverbank (Thursday, 8:45 a.m.).
"We just want to play well and get better," Hawks head coach Derrick Goblirsch said.
Waterford, Brookside Christian, Kimball and Rio Vista round out the tournament field.
The championship game will be staged on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at Ceres High.
"We won it last year," Bussard said. "If it happens again, that would be great. Our No. 1 goal is to win league."
Dawgs to play in NorCal Classic
Ceres High's varsity softball team will compete in the Platinum Division of the NorCal Classic this week (April 9-11) in Tracy.
The Bulldogs (14-4, 6-1 Western Athletic Conference) will play Kimball (4-9, 2-3 Valley Oak League) in the opening round on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
The winner will face either Gregori or Tracy later in the day at 7:30 p.m.
"It's a tough tournament," head coach Angela Durossette said. "We have to play well the first three games to get to the championship. The expectation is to win. For us, it would be a disappointment if we didn't place."