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Memorable finish for All-Stars
The Ceres Gray 7-8-year-old all-star baseball club avenged losses and challenged a powerhouse en route to a second-place finish at the Bel Passi Invitational last week.

"We did quite well," head coach Randy Brekke said. "The team just really turned it on."

A five-run fifth inning helped propel top-ranked Bel Passi Red to a 15-9 victory over Ceres Gray in the championship game on Wednesday.

"We lost the game, but it was a battle," Brekke said. "The other team was pretty nervous. Nobody's been that close to them the entire year."

Bel Passi Red beat Ceres Gray via the slaughter rule, 12-0, in the second round on Saturday, July 19. The contest was called after the fourth inning.

Dre Brown, Zachary Kommavong, Justin Mejia, Jason Waddell, Alex Escobar, James Davis, Ty Borchardt and Angel Mendez all had standout games on offense for Ceres Gray during the second meeting

Brown batted 2-for-3 with four RBIs.

Kommavong finished 1-for-3 with one run scored and two RBIs.

Mejia went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Waddell went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI.

Escobar collected two hits and one RBI in three at-bats.

Davis collected two hits and scored twice.

Borchardt tallied two hits and one run.

Mendez had two hits.

The All-Stars overcame a three-run deficit by pushing four runs across the plate in the top of the second inning.

Ceres Gray evened the score at 6-all with a two-run third inning.

The All-Stars were outscored 9-3 in the final three innings.

Ceres Gray won four of six games at the Bel Passi tourney.

The All-Stars edged Bel Passi Blue 6-5 in the semifinals on Tuesday, July 22.

Bel Passi Blue knocked Ceres Gray out of the Newman and Ceres tournaments.

"Any time you beat Bel Passi, it's an accomplishment," Brekke said.

The All-Stars tallied the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Remy Moreno singled, moved to second on Adrian Cuevas' sacrifice and advanced to third on Davis' bunt single. Moreno scored on Mejia's hit up the middle.

Ceres Gray upset Ceres Red 13-6 on Monday, July 21. The Red All-Stars won the previous five meetings.

"They beat us for the championship in Oakdale and Hughson," Brekke said. "Everything clicked this time. It was unbelievable."

Brown hit a grandslam in the bottom of the third inning and three-run homer in the fifth to lead the All-Stars' offensive outburst.

Mejia finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

Mendez, Escobar and Kommavong all went 2-for-3. Mendez scored twice and drove in one run. Escobar knocked in two runs. Kommavong had an RBI.

Ceres Gray topped Oakdale 9-6 on July 20 and Gustine 14-4 on July 18.

The All-Stars totaled 15 wins, 10 losses and one tie this summer. Ceres Gray took second at three tournaments.

Dre Brown, who split time in the outfield and at first base, hit .866 with 10 homers and 45 runs.

"He was batting over .900 until the 22nd game of the year," Brekke said. "I've never seen anything like that before. It was scary."

Jason Waddell (.729), Ty Borchardt (.694), Eric Davis (.688), Angel Mendez (.648), Justin Mejia (.644) and Michael Aveytia (.593) were major contributors.

Waddell, Davis and Aveytia belted seven, five and two homers each.

Ceres Gray's roster featured nine seven-year-olds and six eight-year olds.

"We played 26 games in less than 40 days," Brekke said. "That's a lot of baseball."