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Manteca all-stars fall in Section 3 finals

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Manteca all-stars fall in Section 3 finals

Manteca Little League’s 9-10-year-old all-stars get their photo taken one last time at Los Cerros School in Danville after losing in the Section 3 Tournament finals on Thursday.

/Photo Contributed

POSTED July 23, 2011 1:11 a.m.

It turns out that Belmont/Redwood Shores Little League of San Mateo has two pitching aces at its disposal.

Manteca’s 9-10 all-stars learned that the hard way at Los Cerros School’s Synergy Field in Danville Thursday. Their valiant postseason run came to an end in the California Section 3 Tournament championship round with a 14-1 mercy-shortened loss.

Nicolas Lopez shined for Belmont and was part of a combined three-hitter. He and reliever Dominic Susa racked up 12 strikeouts against an otherwise potent Manteca offense.

On Monday, it was Sean Lee who baffled Manteca batters in the winner’s-bracket semifinal, as he struck out seven and walked two while giving up no hits in his 4 1/3-inning start. Manteca shrugged off the 11-2 loss and beat tourney host San Ramon Valley 4-1 on Wednesday to set up the rematch with Belmont.

Manteca, which needed to win twice for the section title and a berth to the NorCal Division II Tournament, scored its only run in the fourth inning. Ryan Ward led off with a double and switched spots with Ferrin Manuleleua, who also slugged a two-bag hit.

The spunky group represented Manteca Little League well in its 7-3 postseason campaign that includes a District 67 championship. The team is the first among the three Little League baseball organizations in town to make it to a sectional final since Northgate’s 11-year-old club did it in 2006.

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