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Red Stars earn bragging rights
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Rick Robles made the right decision.

Robles and the Ceres Red 14-and-under All-Star baseball team forfeited two games and dropped out of the Bel Passi Summer Classic so they could finish playing in the Waterford Tournament.

"I honestly believe we would have won both tournaments if the games weren't conflicting," he said.

With Tony Casal, Ryan Berndt, Louie Figueroa, Matt Smith, Walter Claudio, Ricky Walters, Miles Valor and David Ereso leading the way, the Red All-Stars placed first with a 4-2 record at the six-team, round-robin tournament in Waterford. The Ceres Grey All-Stars took second and Oakdale Golf finished third.

"Each one of our pitchers pitched one-to-two strong innings," Robles said. "They didn't burn out. Our bats also came alive."

The Red All-Stars finished third at the Costa Tune-up tournament and didn't place at the Empire Tournament.

"It's taken a couple of tournaments for this team to come together and play as one," Robles said "This is our first championship."

The Red All-Stars earned the No. 2 seed after winning two of four games in pool play. They went 2-0 in the championship bracket.

"They boys played very well against very good competition," Robles said.

The Red All-Stars claimed the tournament title with an 8-2 victory over the Ceres Grey All-Stars Sunday afternoon.

"Ceres entered two teams and took the two top spots," Robles said. "You can't get no better than that."

Casal pitched the first two innings of the championship game for the Red All-Stars.

Berndt, Figueroa and Smith pitched in the third, fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

Walters shutdown the Grey All-Stars in the final two innings. He struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh inning.

The Red All-Stars advanced to the championship game after defeating Waterford County 8-1 Sunday morning. The Grey All-Stars earned the right to play for the title after upsetting Oakdale Gold, a team the Red All-Stars lost to the day before.

The Red All-Stars beat Bel Passi White 8-0 on Tuesday, July 11, lost 4-3 to Waterford County Friday night, beat Ceres Grey 11-2 Saturday morning and lost 6-2 to Oakdale Gold Saturday night. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier