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Rachels seals deal with 3-run homer

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Rachels seals deal with 3-run homer

Kyle Rachels played the role of hero Tuesday, smashing a 3-run homer in the final inning to help the Manteca Little League Giants extend their season.


POSTED June 27, 2012 12:35 a.m.

LATHROP – Kyle Rachels slowly galloped down the first baseline looking intently at the Salida Rockies centerfielder. Rachels’ eyes did not deceive him as his first-pitch, three-run homerun and the Salida centerfielder both landed over the fence, helping secure the Giants’ 8-6 win Tuesday in the District 67 Tournament of Champions at Mossdale Landing Community Park.

Rachels’ titanic blast broke up a 4-4 tie and sent the Manteca Little League faithful into a frenzy.  The Giants built a 4-1 lead early, but the Rockies would respond, scoring three runs in the fourth and fifth  to tie things up and ultimately lay the groundwork for Rachels’ heroics.

Andrew Brunn led off the final inning with a clean base hit to set the tone. Shortstop Alex Gouveia would follow with a bloop-single on the right field line and the stage was set. After a botched sacrifice attempt from the previous batter, Rachels crushed the first offering out of the park.

Brunn was phenomenal in relief of starter Gerson Gomez, taking over with bases loaded and getting a strikeout on three pitches. Gomez was as impressive, getting himself out of two bases loaded jams without harm. Second baseman Logan Quan nabbed a liner and doubled off the second base runner for an unassisted double-play to put out the first fire.

Brunn would close the door on Salida in the sixth, getting the third out after the Rockies chipped away with a monstrous homerun from cleanup hitter Taylor King. The Giants added a valuable insurance run after Rachels’ homerun, getting a hustle-run from Nathan Vaught who scored on a mishandled throw for the Giants’ eighth and final run.

The Giants will need to put together one more performance, as the two clubs meet for the District 67 title at 5:30 p.m. today.

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