Manteca is in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, they are limping their way in.
Manteca lost to visiting Central Catholic 5-2 in 11 mistake-filled innings Tuesday, finishing fourth in the Valley Oak League and securing the league’s final playoff slot.
The Buffaloes (6-6 VOL, 15-10 overall) had ample opportunities to get more runs on the board, stranding 10 runners behind 11 hits with seven of those runners in scoring position. Manteca ran into two needless outs as well.
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” Buffaloes coach Neil MacDannald said. “We preach doing the little things well and we did not do those today, and as a result we went deep into the game and did not take advantage of the opportunities we were given and they did and that was the end of it. Hats off to them for getting it done. They are a good team and I imagine they’re going to go deep in those D-IV playoffs.
“We definitely need to right the ship in the next week to extend this season.”
With the Raiders (8-4, 14-11) leading 1-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, Manteca knotted the score at 1-1. Dominic Day reached on an error to lead off the frame for the Buffaloes, took second on a single by Dylan Gross and came home on an RBI single by Christian Tonna (3 for 4, RBI, run).
Trailing again by a run going into the seventh, Manteca came through with a run to force extra innings. Tonna singled and took third when Central Catholic misplayed Dylan Guice’s sacrifice bunt, leaving third base uncovered. Alex Gouveia (2 for 5, RBI) singled to score Tonna and send Dom Rea to third with one out, but the inning would end with Gouveia on second and Ray on third.
The Raiders took advantage of two Buffaloes errors in the 11th inning to score three runs and held on in the bottom of the inning for the win.
“Manteca is a great ball club,” Central Catholic coach Danny Ayala said. “When you play in the VOL you have dog fights every single week and for us to get two wins against a quality team like that is pretty exciting.”
The Sac-Joaquin Section playoff pairings are due out by the end of the week with the playoffs beginning next Tuesday.
East Union 11, Weston Ranch 5
The Lancers (2-10, 10-15) put up five first-inning runs at Agostini Field and rode the hot bats of Fernando Segura and Evan Heath to the senior-day victory, closing out the VOL campaign for both teams.
“All in all, it was a good day today,” East Union coach Gene Ballardo said. “The seniors got to go out with a win — all the seniors played today with a great atmosphere. Overall, the boys played well and I was happy we could send them out with a win.”
Segura was 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI and Evan Heath went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI.
The Lancers kept the Cougars (2-10, 10-16) off balance with pitching by committee. Jaydin Alvarez started and went four innings striking out five with three runs. Fernando Segura came on in relief and struck out one in two innings, allowing one run and Andrew Morones closed it out with two strikeouts, one run and one hit in one inning.
Manteca 7, Central Catholic 6
Karson Condit gave the Buffaloes their second one-run win over the Raiders in as many days with and RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, plating Quino Gurrola for the walk-off run.
Condit had the hot bat for Manteca, going 4 for 4 with four RBI and Gurrola scored twice, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Carson Smith was 2 for 2 with two runs.
Dylan DePrater pitched the last three innings to get the win for the Buffaloes, allowing only one hit and no runs.
East Union 8, Weston Ranch 1
Willie Segura homered to lead a 13-hit attack for the Lancers.
Segura was 2 for 4 with three RBI. Anthony Flores was 3 for 3 with two runs, Austin Orr knocked in two runs, going 2 for 4 with a double and Mateo Guevara went 2 for 3.
Bennie Slaughter and Evan Jeffery each had a double to round out the East Union attack.
Flores and Segura shared the pitching duties, with Flores giving up one run on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Segura came on in relief and pitched three no-run, no-hit innings, walking one and striking out five.