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Blaze 11s claim title at George Costa Tournament
The Ceres Blaze 11-year-old travel baseball team placed first in the 12-and-under bracket of its home tournament last month. The Blaze outscored their six opponents, 63-8. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Ceres Blaze 11-year-old travel baseball team finished in first place while competing in the 12-and-under bracket of the George Costa Tournament this past month in Ceres.

"We don't get to play too many tournaments at home," head coach Jorge Guerrero said. "It was awesome winning."

Ceres posted a perfect 6-0 record at its home tourney.

The Blaze outscored their opponents, 63-8.

"The kids were focused the whole week," Guerrero said.

Top-seeded Ceres edged sixth-seeded Bel Passi 4-3 in extra innings during the finals on June 30.

"Ceres and Bel Passi have a big rivalry," Guerrero said. "It was an intense game from the beginning."

The Blaze won despite squandering a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

"We've been in similar situations before," Guerrero said. "These kids don't give up. They play to the last out."

Ceres dashed Bel Passi's comeback-victory bid in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Christopher Garcia led off the inning with a single.

Courtesy runner Josiah Sandoval moved to second on a balk and advanced to third on Andre Munoz's single.

Angel Solano walked to load the bases.

Isaac Delgado ended the game when he lined a walk-off single into the right-center gap.

Garcia and Wyatt Edwards logged playing time at pitcher.
Edwards started.

Wyatt allowed just one run and one hit in four innings.

Garcia tossed three innings of relief.

Ceres shut out Bel Passi 4-0 in seeding play on June 25.

Bel Passi's bid for revenge fell short.

"I'm sure they were upset," Guerrero said.

The Blaze used six different players at pitcher during the tournament, including Edwards, Garcia, Jorge Guerrero, Christian Perez, Angel Solano and Colin Nilsson.

Nilsson threw a no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Hilmar in seed play.

"We made plays (on defense) behind our pitchers," coach Guerrero said.

Ceres has placed first twice, and second and third once this season.

The Blaze never underestimate any of their opponents.

"They're really humble," coach Guerrero said.