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Burrows, Miramontes homer in opener
Matt Burrows, left, is welcomed by Manteca High teammates Daniel Miramontes (12) and Michael Timmins after slugging a three-run homer in the first inning of the Buffaloes’ 14-1 season-opening rout of visiting Bear Creek Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
The 2011 Home Run Derby between Manteca High baseball standouts Matt Burrows and Daniel Miramontes is officially underway.

Both hit a home run in the Buffaloes’ 14-1 five-inning rout of visiting Bear Creek of Stockton Tuesday in the season opener for both clubs.

Burrows, the Valley Oak League’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2010, lofted a three-run bomb over the left-field fence in the first inning, and it came off the first pitch thrown to him. He finished 3 for 3 with two runs.

“It feels great to start where I left off last year,” the burly cleanup hitter said. “You just want to come out here and get a jump on things from Day 1.

“I just came out, found one I wanted to hit and it was my luck that it went out.”

One of the players he drove in was Miramontes, who crushed two home runs to Burrows’ one a season ago.

As they returned to the dugout, Burrows playfully said, “Hey, I have one more than you do.”

So in the third inning, Miramontes hacked at the first offering of the at-bat and slammed a line-drive ball out of the park to left. The two-run shot sparked an eight-run rally.

“I thought it was a line drive off the fence,” he said. “I was running for two (bases), but then I saw the umpire call it a home run.”

Burrows greeted him at the plate, and Miramontes returned with a message of his own.

“I told him that one was for him,” he said.

It’s that type of friendly competition from within that Burrows, Miramontes and Co, hope translates into victories after reaching the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff semifinals in 2010.

The Buffaloes batted around the order before recording an out — a run-scoring 6-3 double play — in the third inning. Gabe Rellamas, Mikey Matthews (two RBIs), Danny Gouveia and Zach Gase added run-scoring singles in succession.

Kevin Peck (1 for 1, two walks) led off the fourth with a double and traded spots with reserve Matt Mueller.

Manteca played error-free ball behind pitchers Corey Van Warmerdam and Peck, who threw a perfect fifth inning and struck out two in relief. Van Warmerdam struck out four, walked four, hit one and gave up two hits in his four innings of work.

Christian Faith plated the Bruins’ lone run in the fourth after walking and advancing on a passed ball and two wild pitches.

Second-year head coach Gene Ballardo was pleased to see the team show little rust after both of its scrimmages and several practices rained out. Tuesday’s opener was originally scheduled for last Friday.

“We came in and did what we were supposed to do. Nothing fancy, we just played ball,” Ballardo said. “They were anxious to play because of the rainouts, but we basically played defense and got good pitching and that’s what I wanted to see.”

Manteca will be better tested later this week in the three-day Johansen Tournament in Modesto, which begins Thursday with Atwater at 12:15 p.m.