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Pernetti stars at pitcher while leading Ceres High past CV
Ceres High's Haydon Turpin was supposed to pitch against crosstown-rival Central Valley last week.

Unable to throw because of a sore back, Bulldogs varsity baseball head coach John Bussard named Jimbo Pernetti Wednesday's starter.

Pernetti responded with a solid outing as visiting Ceres High capitalized on two Hawk errors en route to pulling away for a 6-1 Western Athletic Conference victory.

"It was hard to focus at school today thinking about what I had to do in the game," Jimbo said. "I was excited all day. We want to beat them every time we play them."

Pernetti pitched a complete game. The right-handed junior allowed just one run and four hits with five strikeouts, three walks and two hit batsmen for the Bulldogs (7-5, 2-0).

"It was going to be a tall order either way," Hawks head coach Greg Magni said. "Jimbo and Haydon are both good."

Alex Lomeli suffered his first loss of the season while pitching for Central Valley (5-5-1, 0-2). Lomeli (3-1) gave up three earned runs, scattered eights hits, struck out three and walked four over seven innings.

"They had a pretty good lineup," Lomeli said. "A couple of their hitters were tough outs. We also made some mistakes. If we touch up on our fundamentals, we'll be able to beat them."

Central Valley faced a 1-0 deficit heading into the top of the fifth inning. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-0. Ceres High scored twice on a defensive miscue. Lomeli fielded a bunt and threw wildly to third base in an attempt to get the force out.

"That's where the tide turned," Magni said. "It was a costly mistake."

Added Lomeli: "We lost our focus."

Central Valley tallied its lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Freshman Jorge Alvarez, who was promoted last week after Hawk cleanup hitter/closer Jeff Reeves was lost for the season with a knee injury, singled and later scored on Jed Cundiff's sacrifice fly to center field.

Pernetti needed just three pitches to retire Raul Godinez, Central Valley's final batter, by strikeout. Tristian Church and Michael Ereso were left stranded on base.

"I know a bunch of their players," Jimbo said. "It gives you a little more motivation to beat them."

Pernetti singled and scored a run on offense.

Bulldog teammate A.J. Fontana collected three hits, plated one run and scored twice in four at-bats.

Turpin had an RBI and a run.

Brett Conway singled and scored once.

Devon Ruger finished 1-for-3.

Ceres High made no errors.

Central Valley junior standout Ruben Casas singled and walked.

Godinez and Fabian Valencia both doubled.

"We were putting the bat on the ball and our defense was solid," Pernetti said. "Everything was clicking today."

"They did everything right and we didn't," Magni added.

Central Valley will play host to Pacheco on Wednesday and at Central Catholic on Friday.

Ceres High will play at Patterson this Friday.

All three games will get underway at 4 p.m.