The Ceres Blaze 16-and-under travel baseball team capped off its summer schedule with a memorable showing at the Perfect Game West Coast 2022 Wood Bat Series this past weekend in Stockton.
The third-seeded Blaze compiled a 3-1 record en route to a first-place finish.
“It was a good way to end the summer,” head coach Jorge Guerrero Jr. said.
Ceres rallied for an 8-6 victory over The Yard in the finals on Sunday at Lincoln High School.
“Today, they were focused,” Guerrero said.
The Blaze scored five runs in the final inning to stun the top-seeded team. Blake Laird had a bases-loaded triple while contributing off the bench.
“It was a clutch hit,” Guerrero said.
Jorge Guerrero, Ceres’ starting pitcher, logged five innings on the mound.
Ethan Kessler (two innings) picked up the win in relief.
“Our pitchers kept us in the game,” coach Guerrero said. “They kept battling.”
Ceres edged the third-seeded Bboyz 2-1 in the semifinals on Sunday.
The Blaze went 1-1 in pool play.
Ceres topped The Yard 7-3 on Saturday.
The Blaze won their tourney opener, 4-1, over the Bboyz on Saturday.
“This was our last tournament of the summer,” Guerrero Jr. said. “We’re going to take a break before we play fall ball.”
Ceres won one title and placed second once while competing in four tournaments this season.
The Blaze collected nine wins, four losses and two ties.
Laird, Kessler, Jorge Guerrero, Noah Cruz, Angel Valdez, Andre Munoz, Glen Weber, Fernando Rangel, Omare Cross, Wyatt Edwards, Jayson Casias, Diego De La Hoya, Aiden Larson and Aidan Cruz all contributed.
“I knew the potential we had,” coach Guerrero said. “We faced teams loaded with really good players from all over the state. My team is local. We had kids from Ceres, Modesto and Oakdale. They’ve been playing together for four to five years.”