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Success at home
The members of the Ceres Blaze 13-year-old travel baseball team were running on empty by the time they reached the Pony championship game of the George Costa Tournament.

"We played eight games in seven days," said head coach Randy Brekke, whose team also competed at Regionals in Santa Clara. "That's a lot of baseball. They seemed a little tired."

The Blaze had to settle for second place on Tuesday, June 29 in Ceres after losing 3-1 to Bel Passi Red.

"That game shouldn't have been close," Brekke said. "We left 11 runners on base. We just didn't finish."

Ceres compiled a 4-1 record at its home tournament.

The Blaze beat the Ceres All-Stars 9-3 in the semifinals on Tuesday, June 29.

They also collected wins over Hilmar (13-1) and Bel Passi Blue (9-2) on Thursday, June 24. and Hart Ransom (5-4) on Wednesday, June 23.

The Ceres All-Stars won two of four games en route to a third-place finish at the Costa tourney.

"I have a good group of kids," head coach Junior Schaefer said. "They just need to learn how to work together."

Ceres fell one victory shy of a finals berth.

The All-Stars squandered a 3-0 lead during their loss to the Blaze.

The two teams split at a Memorial Weekend tournament.

"It's a pretty good rivalry," Schaefer said.


The 11-to-12-year-old finale of the George Costa Baseball Tournament will be completed this week.

The Ceres Blaze 12s and Atwater Little League will face off in the Gold Bracket title game on Thursday at Rainbow Fields.

The contest was moved due to a conflicting schedule.

"The team we were supposed to play was at another tournament," Ceres head coach Carlton Stroud said. "We didn't want to win by forfeit. We want to play on the field."

The Blaze edged Atwater Youth Baseball 3-1 in the semifinals on June 27.

Ceres bested Hilmar (13-1) on June 23 and Atwater Youth Baseball (9-1) on June 24 in seed play.

The Ceres All-Stars edged Atwater Youth Baseball 4-3 in the third-place game on June 28.

Ceres had a 3-2 record.

"Our batting, pitching and defense was good," head coach Jose Reyes said.

The Ceres Blaze 11s lost 16-5 to Bel Passi Blue in the Silver Bracket championship game on June 28.

The Blaze defeated their first three opponents, including Bel Passi White twice and Riverbank once.

"We played really well," head coach Bruce McCoy said. "We just came out flat the last game. A month ago, we weren't a very good team. They've gotten better."