Place strategy

Blaze 10s takes first place in the Dog Days Tournament

The Ceres Blaze 10-and-under travel baseball team closed out the 2022 season with a memorable performance earlier this month in Ripon.

The Blaze placed first in a field of nine when competing at the TPR Dog Days of Summer Tournament August 13-14 at Mistlin Sports Park.

“It was our last tournament at 10U,” said coach David Rubio. “We were definitely the favorites and expected to win. We have beaten most teams before.

Ceres compiled a perfect 4-0 record.

Chase Matulis was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“He got it for his overall game,” Rubio said.

First-seeded Blaze defeated second-seeded Extreme Baseball of Concord 12-4 in the championship game on August 14.

Jionni Lawrence was the winning pitcher.

“It was very competitive at the start,” Rubio said. “It’s a well-trained team. They have good players. Our advantage was our hitting. Our bats just took over.

Ceres defeated Head for Success Future Stars of Tracy 10-2 in the semifinals on August 14.

Brayden Toste was the winning pitcher.

Blaze allowed just one point en route to winning both of their pool matches on August 13.

Ceres picked up a 21-0 win over Catch All Baseball.

The Blaze earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory battling Backyard Baseball in the first round.

“It was our closest match there,” Rubio said.

Rubio relied on his eight pitchers on the first day of the tournament.

“That was the strategy,” he said. “I had all my pitchers available on Sunday.”

Ceres amassed a 23-7 record this year.

The Blazes have won nine of their last 10 games.

Ceres qualified for the Pony West Zone tournament, where he lost a pair of games by a combined three points.

The Blaze finished in first place at the Pony Super Regional Tournament July 12-18 at Costa Fields.

Ceres won the Firework Frenzy title on June 25-26 in Ripon.

The Blaze took second place at a tournament in Irvine.

Ceres (11-4) had the TPR’s second-best spring season record.