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Northgate Dodgers open minor TOC with close victories

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POSTED June 22, 2010 2:38 a.m.
TRACY — After edging the Salida Titans 10-9 Saturday, the Northgate Little League minor division Dodgers kept their run through the District 67 Tournament of Champions winners bracket alive Sunday with another close win, this time by an 8-5 count against the Tracy A’s.

The victory set up a quarterfinal matchup with crosstown rival Manteca today at 5:30 p.m. at Jefferson School.

The Dodgers battled through a 4-0 deficit against the A’s by scratching across five to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Winning pitcher Harrison Heath struck out five in two-plus innings of relief and held Tracy to a single run. He also added a two-run single on offense. Starting pitcher Ryan Zavala fanned six batters in three-plus innings of work.

Tim Couch and Jaime Suarez each laced a run-scoring double, while Matthew Pilkay drew a bases-loaded walk for an RBI.

Northgate never trailed against Salida Saturday, but the Dodgers’ leads were never comfortable.

Ahead 10-6 going into the bottom of the sixth, Northgate gave up three runs before reliever Jacob Garcia clutched up by striking out the final two batters. He finished with six strikeouts in the win, while starter Tim Couch recorded seven in three innings.

The Dodgers staked a 9-6 lead in the fourth when Couch drove in Garcia and Tyler Soulier with a triple but was tagged out at the plate by catcher Derek Turn while trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park homer.

Braydon Goodnough spearheaded the hit parade with three RBIs off two hits, one of them a triple. River Fletcher and Soulier each chipped in an RBI single.

Manteca Pirates 8, Patterson 2
TRACY — Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth Sunday, the Pirates took the lead for good with Kyle Rachels’ three-run jack that followed a leadoff single by Alex Gouveia and a walk from Andrew Brunn.

While the offense found its groove, Manteca’s pitching held off Patterson over the last half of the contest. Gouveia went four innings and struck out seven in his start. Uriah Bonds shut down Patterson in order in the fifth in middle relief and Rachels closed it out.

Junior division
Manteca Bisons 11,
Northgate Phillies 0
STOCKTON — The Bisons did all of their damage in the first inning at Paul E. Weston Park Sunday, piecing together a torrid 11-run rally and never looking back. Doug Mahan’s diving catch at third base was the game’s final play in the fifth.

Justin Morrish earned the win from the mound, lasting 3 1/3 innings while scattering just two hits. Michael Garibay threw in relief to seal it.

Buddy Reeder belted three knocks and drove in three runs to lead the way. Kenny Jones contributed two doubles and two RBIs, and Nick Van Warmerdam had a two-run single. Chad Ott chipped in with a nice diving catch in centerfield.

Kyle Howard and Tyler Hetrick accounted for the Phillies only hits with one apiece.

Manteca Bisons 14,
Lathrop Rangers 1
STOCKTON — Manteca continues to stay in the hunt in the District 67 TOC junior-division consolation bracket with Monday’s six-inning win.

Starting pitcher Codee Hayden dominated to the tune of seven strikeouts and one hit over 4 2/3 innings. He helped himself with a two-run homer.

Reeder added a solo home run of his own, and Tommy Reich legged out an RBI triple. Garibay was 3 for 4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Van Warmerdam plated three runs.

The Bisons next face the Northgate Reds today at 5 p.m.

— Jonamar Jacinto

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