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GOING THE DISTANCE

Manteca pounds Sunrise to set up rematch with Turlock American

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GOING THE DISTANCE

Jacob Moon of Manteca Little League gets the tag down on Sunrise’s Noah Ryan on a steal attempt for the final out in the top of the third inning.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED July 16, 2012 11:53 p.m.

STOCKTON — Manteca Little League’s 10-11-year-old all-stars are learning that no lead is safe in California Section 6 Tournament.

They held off Stockton-based Sunrise 15-9 in the losers-bracket semifinal Monday after mounting what appeared to be a comfortable 10-1 lead through two innings. Manteca advances to tonight’s champion-round contest against Turlock American at Sundown Little League’s Kelley Field.

On Saturday, Manteca erupted for 11 runs in the fifth inning of its opening-round slugfest with Turlock American, which took advantage of seven unearned runs in the bottom half to pull out a 17-16 victory. Turlock went on to defeat Sunrise 12-4 on Sunday.

Manteca’s Isaac Maldonado (2 for 4) set the tone early in Monday’s affair with a grand slam that capped a five-run first-inning rally. Zach Chamberlain (3 for 3, five RBIs) belted a two-run single in the second when Manteca sent 11 batters to the plate for another five spot. Dylan Gross (2 for 3, three runs, three RBIs) added a two-run homer in the third.

The Gross-Chamberlain-Maldonado trio, which makes up the middle third of the order, accounted for 12 RBIs. Joseph Lomeli plated four runs, going 2 for 2 while walking twice.

Sunrise did most of its damage in the third and fourth innings before the relievers Jacob Moon and Joey Santos combined to retire its final six batters in order.

Jacob Best and Dylan Mahurin each belted a double during Sunrise’s three-run third. Mahurin and Chris Bartolomei (2 for 3, three RBIs) went back-to-back for two-run doubles in the fourth as Sunrise plated five runs to close in 12-9.

Lomeli sparked a key two-out rally for Manteca in the bottom of the fourth. His single to center was followed by walks from Ryan Ward and Gross. Chamberlain capped it off with a full-count, bases-clearing double to deep right.

Chamberlain pitched the first 3 1/3 innings and got the win. His fourth-inning double gave Moon some needed breathing room. Moon made quick work of Sunrise in the fifth while striking out three of the next four batters. He needed just six batters to get two outs in the sixth before Santos took over and forced the game-ending groundout.

Ward takes the mound for Manteca in tonight’s do-or-die title game. If Manteca wins, Wednesday’s rubber match with Turlock American decides who moves on to the Northern California divisional tournament in Fremont. Both games are scheduled to start at 5:30.

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