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Buffaloes bound for finals
Corn shuts out Cosumnes Oaks; leads hit parade
BASE--Cosumnes Oaks-Manteca pic 5
Mantecas Jacob Corn was 2 for 4 with three RBI against Cosumnes Oaks in a 9-0 win for the Buffaloes in SJS Division IV semifinal playoff action at Zupo Field. He was also the winning pitcher with six innings of work. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

LODI — Do not bet against Manteca with Jake Corn on the mound – or if you do, do not let Corn know about it.

The Oregon-bound Buffaloes senior kept Cosumnes Oaks on its heels Tuesday in the 9-0 win at Zupo Field that was good for a sweep in a semifinal series of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV baseball playoffs. Manteca will play the winner of the Sierra and Vista del Lago-Folsom series on Monday afternoon. 

Corn came into the contest boasting a 6-2 record with a sizzling 0.84 earned-run average.

“Well, Maxpreps had us predicted to lose this game,” Corn said. “So I think it sparked us a little bit.

“From the time I woke up I knew it was going to be a great day. My arm felt fantastic in the bullpen and it carried right out on the field.”

Batting cleanup, Corn’s two-RBI single in the first inning got things going for the Buffaloes (24-3) and his 2-for-4, three-RBI outing was part of a combined 11 of 19 with six extra-base hits and six RBI for the first five Manteca batters.

“They are there for a reason,” Buffaloes coach Neil MacDannald said of the top of his order. “One of our team rallying points is to be your best when it counts the most and they take that stuff to heart.”

Dom Pisano was 2 for 3 with a two-RBI triple in the second inning and a double in the fourth.

Of his triple Pisano said, “There were runners at second and third and I had two strikes on me with two out. He threw the breaking ball inside on my first at-bat so I was looking for it again.

“He hung it up so I tried to get a good swing and get those runners in.”

Rounding out the hit parade for Manteca was leadoff hitter Michael Garibay (2 for 2, two doubles), Buddy Reeder (3 for 4, two doubles), Lucas Vaughn (2 for 4, RBI) and No. 9 batter Alex Jorgenson (2 for 3).

“Our kids brought it today,” MacDannald said. “We played one of the best games of our year. Jake threw extremely well and our approach at the plate was fantastic. We hit the ball loud and the defense behind us was once again phenomenal.”

One of those phenomenal defensive plays came from third baseman Vaughn in the seventh inning when he covered a grounder behind the bag and got around fast enough to get the out at first with a sizzling throw.

“Vaughn is a shortstop playing third base so he has a lot of range and has a very strong arm,” MacDannald said. “The fans will say that play looked great but he will tell you he expects to make a play like that.”

Vaughn was just happy to get the play.

“I was so excited to see the ball come my way,” Vaughn said. “I didn’t get a play the whole game so I just reacted – that’s all you have to do at third base is react – so I just got my glove on it and threw it as hard as I could.”

Corn pitched into the seventh and allowed five hits while striking out 10 with no walks. Alex Jorgenson came on in the seventh to finish out the game and got two of his three outs via strikeout. No runner reached third base for Cosumnes Oaks (21-10).

MacDannald is looking forward to Monday’s championship game.

“Whoever it is that we play is going to be a fantastic challenge,” MacDannald said. “If it’s Sierra they only have a handful of losses and they are one of the teams that beat us, and if it is Vista del Lago they are stacked everywhere so it is going to be yet another challenge and we will have to play our best to attain our goal.”