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Three local squads to compete in section AS tourneys

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Three local squads to compete in section AS tourneys

Tracy National’s Alfred Robinson has nowhere to go and slides into the tag of Manteca’s Nico Ilardi in a 4-3 win for Manteca for the District 67 All-Star Championship at Lincoln Park.

DAVE CAMPBELL/Bulletin file photo

POSTED July 13, 2013 2:04 a.m.

For one local Little League All-Star squad, the California Section 6 Tournament is all-too familiar territory.

For the other two teams, making it to this level is all brand new.

The Manteca Little League 11-12 year olds repeated as District 67 champions for a third time on Sunday after 10-running ruling Northgate for the title at Paul Weston Park.

Coach Rob Gross’ squad will be returning to the section tournament for a third straight summer today starting at 10 a.m. at Stockton’s Western Little League field against the Linden All-Stars.

“We won (District 67) at 9-10s and 10-11s, and now we’re going to try and do it at 11-12s,” Gross said. “We expect to give it a run. After coming close last year, actually the last two years we (were runner-ups), hopefully we’ll finish it off.”

Manteca’s 11-12 year old squad went 2-2 at the section tourney in 2012. Turlock American dealt Manteca both of its losses to end its All-Star run.

Jacob Moon, Dylan Gross, Chase Costa, Zach Chamberlain and today’s starter Isaiah Perez are six of Manteca’s standouts who’ve played major roles in the team advancing this far.

“I think we have enough pitching to win this tournament,” coach Gross said. “With only four teams, it’s a pretty fast tournament, so we’re going to need that pitching depth.

“After we got beat by Northgate (last Saturday), it kind of woke the kids up to work a little harder. Hopefully we’ll come out hitting. All the boys want to go to the state tournament in Roseville on July 20.”

Head coach Rob Tonna’s 10-11 all-stars from Manteca Little League will be opening their tourney tonight in Turlock against Delta of Stockton at 7 p.m.

This will be the group’s first trip to the section tournament, and it’s deservedly so.

Manteca accomplished the improbable after being knocked into the consolation bracket after the opening round of the District 67 Tournament. Manteca had no other choice but to win five straight ball games, including two wins against undefeated Tracy American.

“They’re hot,” coach Tonna said. “We’re not the biggest team out there, but they operate well. We’ve got 12 kids and eight of them pitch, and that’s been a key because we’ve had to monitor their pitch counts to be able to keep them available.

“This is our first time (at sections), but they’re real confident and taking it game by game.”

Manteca won its District 67 championship in dramatic fashion with a walk off in the bottom of the sixth and final inning. Nico Ilardi and Jacob DeJesus have been two key players helping get Manteca this far.

The Spreckels Park Seniopr Leaguers (16-and-under) are also making their first appearance at sections. In fact, this was Spreckels Park’s first-ever District 67 championship at any level.

Spreckels open its tournament today at 10 a.m. at the Linden High junior varsity diamond in Linden against Turlock.

“It’s a pretty good accomplishment for these guys,” Spreckels Park senior division All-Star coach Frankie Arredondo said. “The kids are confident. We have a solid team.”

Spreckels Park will be missing two of its key players, but still should be competitive.

Tanner Peterson and Nick Oseguera won’t be playing due to injuries, but the team’s lead-off hitter Josh Stevens will be active.

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