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Bulldogs take their revenge in battle of Spreckels rivals

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Tyler Ray Hewitt lays out for a line drive just out of his reach during the Bulldogs' 12-7 win over the Titans Saturday at Paul Weston Park.


POSTED June 21, 2009 2:13 a.m.
WESTON RANCH – Considering the veritable love fest that took place at home following the Spreckels Park Bulldogs’ 12-7 win over the Titans Saturday at Paul Weston Park, it’s hard to call the Junior Division rivalry anything but friendly.

But after being smacked around by the Titans twice during the regular season, this one had to feel especially good for the boys in red.

With the win, the Bulldogs inked their names in the District 67 Tournament of Champions championship round, which starts today at 2 p.m.
There’s no doubt who the Bulldogs hope to see across the diamond when the title is on the line, but in order to get there, the Titans must now beat the Tracy Angels this morning at 9 a.m.

“We just have to come back and get it done,” Titans skipper Chris Van Warmerdam said. “We’ve come up with some big innings during the season, so I’m not worried about that.”

The Titans staked the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the second, primarily on walks.

The big – and only – knock of the frame came off the bat of Devin Manaois, who capped the inning with a two-run single.

“We knew we were going to be up against it,” Van Warmerdam said. “In the early going, they took a big lead on us and we had to claw back.”

The Titans answered with a four-spot in the top of the third when Buddy Reeder hit an RBI double that was followed up by a Jayson Manuta RBI single.

Reeder came around to score on the defensive play of the game, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Alex Jorgensen that Logan Sanders fully laid out to grab in center.

“It just happened so fast,” Sanders said. “I just saw the ball go up and it kept going, so I sold out for it, I knew we needed the out.”

Sanders’ play was just one of several intense efforts by a number of Bulldogs, who played like they simply were not to be denied.

“We’ve been scrapping this whole tournament,” Bulldogs manager Eddie Koeller said. “Before we came in, we talked about what type of team we were going to be.

“The kids have committed to each other, and that’s what you’ve seen, they’re selling out. They’re all brothers out there.”

Frankie Chavez got the start and the win for the Bulldogs, as the hard-throwing lefty lasted four and a third and rung up three.

“I felt good, my arm was good,” Chavez said. “We fought hard today and did a good job as a team.”

Chavez ran out of gas with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth with the Bulldogs clinging to a 6-5 lead.

Enter Sanders.

Facing Marc Wilson and Gerald Parente – two dangerous sticks – Sanders was able to force the pair into back-to-back fly ball outs.

“We talk about how you can’t defend walks,” Koeller said. “When I went out to talk to (Sanders), he said, ‘Coach, my defense is going to make plays. I’m going to throw strikes right now and we’re going to get out of this.’”

The Bulldogs put the game out of reach with a five-spot in the bottom of the sixth highlighted by Sanders’ two-run double.

Manuta led the way for the Titans, finishing 3 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and three stolen bases.

The centerfielder also turned in a highlight-reel moment of his own in the bottom of the fourth, when he hauled in a long fly and gunned down Jacob Vaughan, who had tagged at second.

“Last time, they really beat us down,” said Bulldogs shortstop Tyler Ray Hewitt, who finished the day 2 for 2 with a double, a triple and three runs scored. “If they want to win the championship, they’re going to have to get two on us.

“If we want it, we just have to play like we did today, sell-out and go hard for everything non-stop.”
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