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Buffs fall in semifinal series opener

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Buffs fall in semifinal series opener

Gerson Gomez lays down the bunt for Manteca during the Buffaloes’ Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal-round contest with top-seeded Christian Brothers in Sacramento on Saturday.


POSTED May 23, 2017 12:45 a.m.

SACRAMENTO — The score is far from settled, but top-seeded Christian Brothers exacted a little revenge Saturday with its 8-4 win over Manteca in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal series opener.

The Falcons (27-1) will look to sweep the best-of-three Wednesday back at McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m., and if No. 4 Manteca (19-8) wins it forces a rubber match that would be played immediately after.

The series is a rematch of the 2016 championship game won by Manteca, which claimed its second section banner in three years. 

“We played good baseball for five innings,” Manteca coach Neil MacDannald said of Saturday’s contest. To be successful against a 27-1 team you have to play seven innings strong. We are confident going into Wednesday know it will take our ‘A’ game. In the playoffs, that’s how it should be.”

The Buffaloes led 2-1 after three innings but Christian Brothers surged ahead for good. The Falcons plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth and four more in the fifth.

Gino Campiotti drove in three runs, hit a double and went 2 for 4. Joel Olmos (two runs, RBI), Kyle Rachels (double, run) and Ryan Ward also belted two hits apiece. 

Christian Brothers had five players finish with multiple hits and totaled 12. Rudolph Mendoza had a two-run double and a sacrifice fly. David Hensley was the winning pitcher after striking out four and surrendering two runs on five hits and two walks over four innings. Jacob Tucker threw the final three innings and gave up a pair of runs in the seventh.

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