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Raptors third in Oklahoma
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Members of the Central Valley Raptors 10-and-under baseball team brought home trophies and plaques from the Super Series Baseball of America Summer National Championships. The Raptors placed third at the 30-team event, held at the Indian Springs Complex in Broken Arrow, Okla., July 10-16.

"I'm not disappointed," said Central Valley coach Jim Pernetti. "My kids played well and competed with the best. Truth be known, a couple of coaching mistakes cost us a couple of games."

Eight of Central Valley's players are Ceres Youth Baseball products, including Jimbo Pernetti, Devon Gradford, Austin Hampton, Garrett Anderson, Vincent Gutierrez, Dominic Oliver, Michael Rubio and Josh Glendenning.

Gradford, Hampton, Anderson, Gutierrez and Jimbo Pernetti made the all-tournament team.

Jimbo batted .620 (16-for-26) with three doubles, 15 runs and 12 RBI from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He played first base, third base and shortstop.

"He was also the winning pitcher for four of the games," said Jim Pernetti Sr.

Gradford batted .430 (10-for-23) with two homers, three doubles, 12 runs and 18 RBI. He played shortstop and pitched.

Hampton, a center fielder, batted .380 (10-for-26) with one double, 12 runs and five RBI.

Anderson, a catcher, collected one double, five runs and seven RBI.

Gutierrez, a right fielder, scored four times and drove in one run.

The Raptors compiled a 6-3 record in the American Division.

Central Valley went 3-2 in championship play, held July 13-16.

The Raptors beat Texas Hold'Em 13-1 on July 13, and Oklahoma Heat 14-12 and Round Rock Bulldogs 14-6 on July 14.

Central Valley lost its final two games.

The Raptors lost 9-8 to the Texas Sliders on July 15. On July 16, they lost 7-5 to the Plano Wranglers. The Sliders beat Plano 10-6 in the championship game.

"We ran short of pitching," Pernetti said.

Central Valley won two of three games in pool play. The Raptors edged the Texas Sliders 8-5 and Wichita Shox 9-8 on July 10. They lost 7-6 to the SW Bombers on July 11.

The Raptors will start competing in the 11-and-under division in August. Their roster will feature a host of new players. "We'll probably keep half of the kids," Pernetti said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier