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Near-perfect season
The Ceres Red All-Stars enjoyed a memorable run this summer.

The eight-and-under Ceres Youth Baseball team placed first at four tournaments.

"I thought we'd be able to compete," head coach John Patterson said. "I didn't think we'd do this well."

Ceres compiled an impressive 15-2 record.

The Red All-Stars claimed titles at the Costa, Bel Passi, Hilmar and Hughson tournaments. Ceres' two losses were to Atwater Little League, a team it split with.

At the season-ending Hughson tournament, Ceres won four of five games.

The Red All-Stars edged Atwater Little League 5-3 in extra innings for the championship on Sunday, July 18. Ceres avenged a 5-4 loss suffered earlier in the tournament.

The title game was tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation. Outfielder Cody Brockman kept Ceres' championship hopes alive when he turned a double play in the sixth inning.

"It was a spectacular play," Patterson said.

In the top of the seventh inning, Brockman, Orlando Leon and Hunter Souza all singled. Cody scored from third when Noah Miranda reached base on a fielder's choice.

Frankie Rios drove in Leon.

Atwater failed to respond during its final at-bats.

Ceres pitcher Bryce Gouker snared a line drive and threw to first base for the second out.

Atwater's final batter popped out to Souza, Ceres' second baseman, to end the game.

Brockman and Gouker were presented game balls for their outstanding play.

"Bryce has been solid for us all summer," Patterson said. "He just makes great decisions."

The Red All-Stars topped Ceres Blue twice (12-3, 12-2) and the host team once (16-4) at the Hughson tournament.

Ceres will start fall ball play in a couple of weeks.

"We're going to get them ready for kid pitch," Patterson said.