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Buffs do it again; oust El Dorado for 3rd time

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POSTED May 15, 2014 12:32 a.m.

LODI – Manteca is in the midst of a historical season after capturing the baseball program’s first Valley Oak League championship since 1985.

On Wednesday, the Buffaloes began their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason run by eliminating El Dorado in the first round for a third consecutive year, 6-0.

Manteca’s Oregon-bound senior Jake Corn threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout, which included 12 strikeouts. However, it was the Buffaloes’ offensive production that was most impressive, as four of their nine hits carried to the warning track at Tony Zupo field.

“As a coaching staff, we were just super happy how we grinded offensively every inning,” Manteca head coach Neil MacDannald said. “We made a couple little mistakes defensively early, but we came back and finished the game real strong and played catch like we have all year.”

Manteca’s lead off hitter Michael Garibay went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, a run and three singles against El Dorado (21-7). The Buffaloes’ Buddy Reeder went 3 for 3 with a run, an RBI triple and a single to start the scoring in the first inning.

Reeder singled up the middle and Lucas Vaughn chased him home from second with a single to make it 1-0.

In the second inning, Garibay drove in Alex Jorgensen, who reached on a double to the warning track. Garibay would later score on a Dom Pisano sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Staked to an early lead, Corn went to work on El Dorado’s lineup. He recorded five of his strikeouts in the first two innings. His first hit of the game was a stand-up double by Zach Culp, who was left stranded at second after Corn retired the next three batters via strikeout.

“Jake didn’t have his best stuff tonight, and that happens,” MacDannald said. “But with a competitor, you just kind of grind with what you have working. He was able to hit locations with his fast ball.

“With that sort of formula – with guys competing on the mound, with that approach at the plate and playing catch on defense – I like our chances.”

The Buffaloes (22-3) went up 5-0 in the fourth when Garibay hit an RBI single that scored pinch-runner Brandon Manchester. Reeder connected on his third straight hit to the deepest part of the field to score Pisano.

In the sixth, Pisano roped an RBI single, driving home Jorgensen (two runs) to make up the final.

“This was the third year in a row we’ve faced El Dorado in the first round,” said Corn, noting Manteca has advanced to at least the best-of-three semifinal series the last four years. “This has been by far the best (first round) game for us offensively. We grinded today.”

Manteca will face Cosumnes Oaks on Saturday in the first of a best-of-three game semifinal series that will determine the Division IV finalists at Zupo Field at noon.

Cosumnes Oaks knocked off Central Catholic 2-1 in eight innings Wednesday.

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