Dalton Durossette was the lead instructor at the Ceres Youth Baseball Blaze program’s fundraiser camp this past week at the George Costa Ball Field Complex.
“The first thing I told them was I used to play on these fields,” said Durossette, a former multi-sport athlete at Ceres High School and 2020 Central Catholic grad. “I started playing baseball here when I was four. I had a lot of fun every day.”
More than 20 players, aged 6-14, received instruction from Durossette, his father Bret, and Blaze coaches Ralph Valencia, Ryan Moring and David Rubio during the July 26-27 clinic.
“Ralph and David asked me a couple months ago if I wanted to do this,” Dalton Durossette said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to at first because of everything I went through and continue to go through. I took two years off from baseball due to an arm injury. I got my arm back up to 100 percent.”
Abel Valencia (6), Jax Moring (7), Maxwell Villa (7) and Charlie Boyatt (9) were among the campers who dedicated a combined four hours to hitting and fielding at the 1st Annual Camp.
“I thought it was a success,” said Dalton Durossette. “Most of the kids were young. It was pretty enjoyable seeing the smiles on their faces. We had them doing specific drills that got them out of their comfort zones. We worked on basic stuff. We challenged them.”
The first day of the clinic consisted of two sessions.
Campers, aged 6-10, received instruction from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Participants, aged 11-14, honed their skills from 1-3 p.m.
The second day of the camp was held in the morning (9-11 a.m.) to avoid the afternoon heat.
Players were split into two groups.
“The instructions and drills we did with them were simple,” Dalton Durossette said.
“Bunting is a huge part of baseball,” he added. “That’s one of the things we focused on. The funnest part was the day we did pitching. We broke down their mechanics step by step. They did a great job.”
Durossette compiled a 1-0 record on the mound with a 3.28 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks during his final season with Central Catholic’s baseball program. The Raiders’ 2020 season was shortened to just six games due to public safety concerns related to COVID-19.
Durossette batted .357 from the plate with one homer, one triple, nine RBIs and four runs in four games. He had on-base, slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages of .471, .714 and 1.185, respectively.
Durossette had a productive junior season on the baseball diamond with the Raiders.
He posted a 3-1 record with a 2.10 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 40 innings.
He hit .311 with one triple, one double, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and 10 stolen bases as the Raiders went 18-13, reached the finals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs and finished second in the VOL standings (8-4).
Durossette attended Ceres High prior to transferring to Central Catholic in February 2018.
A standout pitcher and infielder in varsity baseball with the Bulldogs as a freshman, Durossette was named to the Western Athletic Conference First Team.
He batted .410 with one homer, three doubles, 22 RBIs, 34 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Durossette amassed a 7-4 record with a 2.53 ERA, one no-hitter, one shutout, three complete games and 56 strikeouts on the mound.
“Absolutely,” said Dalton said when asked if he planned to share his baseball knowledge at the 2nd annual Ceres Blaze Baseball Camp. “Ralph wants to do this every summer. I’d like to do one twice a year. It’s all about getting kids better.”