SALIDA — After a nip-and-tuck contest for six innings, Manteca put up six runs in the top of the seventh Monday and defeated Spreckels Park 9-4 for the championship of the District 67 All Star Tournament at Salida Elementary School.
“We kept battling,” Manteca coach Jared Murillo said. “I got scared, I think, but the kids kept their heads in the game and played smart. We didn’t make any mental mistakes.
“That kept us in the game and then we got some big hits at the end.”
And there was no bigger hit in that pivotal seventh inning then the one provided by Kyle Rachels (3 for 4, double, four RBI). After a throwing error gave Manteca runners at first and second with no out and the score tied at 3-3, Rachels launched the first pitch he saw to deep center field, plating Pressley Keltner and Mitch Balmut and turning the tide in Manteca’s favor.
“Early in the count I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and drive to the outfield because we needed at least one,” Rachels said. “And it was a good pitch to hit.
“I like those situations because I feel like I play best under pressure.”
Tyler Graves-Kelso, Devin Sullivan (2 for 4, double, RBI) and Tyler Miloslavich (2 for 3, RBI) added RBI singles in the seventh inning for Manteca.
Spreckels Park scored two runs — the first surrendered by Manteca all tournament — early to tie it 2-2 after three innings. Manteca had missed multiple opportunities to that point, leaving six stranded going into the fourth inning. Part of that was due to great defense, including a running over-the-shoulder catch by Miloslavich in left field in the third inning.
David Reyes was 2 for 2 with a double and two RBI for Spreckels Park with Chase Sperbeck going 2 for 3 and Abraham Velasco plating Sperbeck on an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
These two teams met to start the tournament with Spreckels Park getting no-hit and losing 8-0.
“We lost to Manteca in the opening round and then dropped into the loser’s bracket,” Spreckels Park coach Brian Bagley said. “So we had to win three straight games to get back here to play them in the championship game.
“I am really proud of the gentlemen. They did a wonderful job and held them until the seventh inning. But I have to tip my cap to Manteca – they are a really good ball team.”
Spreckels Park 15,
Tracy National 5
Rafael Diaz pitched the first 2 2/3 innings for Spreckels Park and held Tracy National scoreless.
Spreckles Park batted around in the first inning and went ahead 6-0, holding that lead until the fifth inning when Tracy National scored five runs on walks and errors.
Spreckels Park responded in the bottom of the fifth with nine runs to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.
Spreckels Park 13,
Weston Ranch 6
Tied going into the fifth inning, Spreckels Park got nine runs in the bottom of the fifth for the consolation win at Monticello School in Tracy.
Zach Fonseca was 3 for 3 with a triple and had two RBI in the seventh for Spreckels Park. Teammates Caden Salas and Brycen Diego were each 2 for 4.
Kareem Williams was 2 for 4 with a double for Weston Ranch.
Weston Ranch 0 (4)
Tyler Paul Wentworth pitched a no-hitter and was 2 for 2 with a double and a triple for Manteca.
Alex Murietta was 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and Garrison Reis had a pair of RBI. Blake Mejorado saved the no-hitter with a diving catch in the outfield.