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MLL Pirates beat Northgate; Spreckels Park next

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Northgate Dodger pitcher Tyler Soulier can't get to the ball in time to tag Manteca's Uriah Bonds at the plate in the fourth inning.


POSTED June 23, 2010 3:23 a.m.
TRACY — Manteca Little League’s minor-division Pirates got by one crosstown rival Tuesday only to clash with another in the District 67 Tournament of Champions winners-bracket semifinal.

Anchored by starting pitcher Kyle Rachels, a solid defense and heads-up base running, the Pirates coasted to an 8-2 win over Northgate on Jefferson School’s Pikas Field.

Manteca’s triumph sets up a showdown with the Spreckels Park Phillies Thursday at 5:30.

Rachels lasted 4 2/3 innings before reaching his 75-pitch maximum. He flat out dominated until running into trouble in the fifth, striking out 10 — including seven straight at one point — while walking two and scattering one hit for no earned runs.

Reliever Andrew Brunn preserved the one-hitter with a strikeout over the final 1 1/3. He was aided by an outstanding defensive play by shortstop Alex Gouveia to end the game. With Northgate Dodger Ryan Zavala (walked) on third, Gouveia robbed Ryan Austin of a line-drive base hit by making a leaping grab to his left.

Gouveia was also the sparkplug from the top of Manteca’s order, going 2 for 2 with two runs, a walk and a double to deep left in the opening frame. Haven Alimboyoguen was also perfect, hitting 1 for 1 with two walks. Darin Gusters was hit by a pitch and walked in his only plate appearances.

Manteca had just four hits, but selective hitting forced the Dodgers to dig into their bullpen. Aggressive base running also did the trick.

The Pirates drew eight walks and three runs were scored on passed balls or wild pitches. Three others were plated off errors.

With Rachels on point for four innings, the Pirates had little work to do defensively but were effective when the opportunities presented themselves. In the fifth, however, a pair of two-out errors led to Northgate’s only runs that were charged to Rachels.

Tom Couch reached when his deep fly to left center was dropped, and he scored on a pickoff attempt when after a Pirates infielder let a routine throw get past him.

One pitch later, Matthew Pilkay drove in Braydon Goodnough, who walked, to cap the final score.

Spreckels Park 15, Mountain House 3

TRACY — It took just three full innings for the Spreckels Park Phillies to stake an insurmountable 15-0 lead, allowing them to have some flexibility with pitching heading into Thursday’s winners-bracket game with the Manteca Pirates.

Ace Jemille Grady was pulled after 2 1/3 innings and just 35 pitches. Daniel Aguilar took over to earn the win in 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Grady, Spreckels Park’s leadoff hitter, earned three bases on balls and scored each time. Christopher Contreras doubled on his only official at-bat, as he walked in his other two plate appearances. He also plated three runs.

Sam Buxa (single, two walks, two runs), Cameron Ceja (single, two walks, run) and Jesse Babauta (two walks, two runs) were other key contributors.

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