The Ceres 14-and-under all-star baseball team had good reason to be confident heading into the title game of the George Costa Tournament this past month in Ceres.
The All-Stars outscored their first four opponents, 39-6.
Ceres also continued its run of dominance versus Bel Passi.
Bel Passi exacted revenge by rallying for a 9-4 win over Ceres in the finals on June 28.
The All-Stars won the previous six meetings.
"We underestimated them," head coach Carmelo Ramos said. "It's a little disappointing."
Ceres defeated Bel Passi four times in Riverbank.
The All-Stars topped Bel Passi twice in Ceres and Modesto.
"It's really tough to beat a team three or four times in a row," Ramos said. "You get cocky, it will turn around and bite you."
Bel Passi battled back from a 4-0 deficit during the seventh meeting.
"We were actually ahead in the third inning," Ramos said. "It all went downhill from there. They hit the ball really well and we made some defensive mistakes. We basically ran out of time."
The All-Stars posted a perfect 4-0 record in seeding play at the Costa Tournament.
Ceres beat Bel Passi 8-0 and Livingston 12-2 on June 25.
The All-Stars bested Bel Passi 8-2 and Livingston 11-2 on June 24.
The tournament was staged in 90-plus-degree weather.
"It was really hot," Ramos said. "It's tough to play in those conditions. It drains the kids."
The All-Stars have won 11 of 14 games this summer.
Ceres has placed first once and second twice in tournament play.
"These kids area really good," Ramos said. "They play well together."
Ceres 10s place third
The Ceres 10-and-under all-star baseball team placed third at the George Costa Tournament this past month in Ceres.
"It was very important to have a good showing at home," head coach Tim Willform said. "We hit the ball. We pitched well. The kids were ready to go."
Ceres compiled a 3-1 record.
The All-Stars won all three of their games in seeding play.
"They did a great job," Willform said.
Third-seeded/eventual-champion Hilmar eliminated second-seeded Ceres from the tournament with an 8-6 win on June 28.
"We were confident going into the game," Willform said. "The only thing we could have done differently was pitch from the windup instead of the stretch. The umpire kept calling balks on us."
Ceres defeated Westport 21-4 on June 25, and Atwater 11-9 and Livingston 10-1 on June 24 in seeding play.
Adrian Garcia had a three-run homer against Westport.
"We didn't play too well at Bel Passi the week before," Willform said. "Winning the first three games of our tournament was a confidence booster. The kids play better at home. They're more comfortable."