Kevin Milam is the pitching ace for Heritage High of Brentwood.
He’s also one of the top hurlers in the Bay Valley Athletic League.
On Thursday, Manteca High discovered that Milam, who, according to his coach Kevin Brannan, is committed to going to play baseball next year at St. Mary’s College, was as good as advertised.
“(Milam) has three pitches that he throws real well – he also throws in the upper 80s,” Buffaloes coach Neil MacDannald said following his team’s 3-0 non-league loss.
Manteca (8-7) managed six hits against Heritage (10-3).
Overshadowed in the loss was a solid pitching effort by Manteca’s Jake Menasco, who pitched efficiently needing 76 pitches to register the complete game.
“That was Jake’s best game of the season,” MacDannald added. “I’m proud of the way he played.
“I’m also proud of the effort by our team.”
The only hiccup for the Buffaloes occurred in the third inning. That’s when the Patriots (10-3) scored all three of their runs on three hits and three errors.
Jake Cruce reached base safely to leadoff the frame. Dominic Espino followed with a single. Cruse scored on a throwing error, with Alex Robinson prolonging the inning by beating out a ground ball to first base side – Manteca had no one covering the bag on the play.
Second baseman Bubba Dentoni delivered an RBI single.
From that point, Manteca retired the next 11 batters in order. Included was an unassisted double play by shortstop Tyler Graves-Kelso and Menasco setting down four consecutive batters on four pitches.
The Buffaloes posed a slight threat in the fourth when Dominick Pisano and Greg Jones opened with back-to-back singles. But Heritage delivered on a 6-4-3 double play initiated by shortstop Tyler Slous.
In the seventh, the Patriots got a runner aboard with two outs. Manteca catcher Sam Rohovit quickly erased the threat by gunning down the runner trying to steal second.
The Buffaloes opened the seventh with second baseman Kyle Rachels leading off with a single. The Patriots, however, extinguished any hopes for a Manteca comeback with a double play.
For Brannan, this game marked his landmark 100th coaching career victory.
Manteca will travel to Liberty Ranch Saturday for a 7 p.m. game.
Ripon 5, Modesto 2
At Modesto, the Indians needed a four-run fifth inning to get past Modesto in the second game of this 46th annual event hosted by Johansen on Thursday.
Ripon (11-4) trailed early on as the Panthers (6-12) scored a run in the first and third innings.
The Indians kept Modesto in check thanks in part to the pitching of C.J. Little, who went five innings to earn the win. He allowed four hits, striking out two.
Offensively, Trent Murphy was 2 for 3 and scored a pair of runs for Ripon. Nick Price, who was the starting pitcher, drove in a pair of runs. Jarrod Andrews, Angelo Baciocco, Luke Robison and Austin Pelham had an RBI each.
Almond Blossom tourney
Ripon Chr. 10, Denair 0
Billy Marr threw a no hitter to lead the Knights past Denair on Thursday.
In the five-inning affair, the Ripon Christian senior hurler struck out nine and walked two. He needed 82 pitches to get the job done.
The Knights (10-2) scored five runs in the first inning. It was more than enough against Denair (0-15).
Willem Hoekstra, who was Marr’s battery mate, was the big contributor on offense. The freshman catcher went 2 for 2 with three RBI.
Jadon Vander Molen, Lukas Vermeulen, Jake Groshong, and Danny Vander Molen drove in one run each.
Ripon Christian will host Woodland Christian (7-6) today at 1 p.m. in the championship game.