For the better part of nine innings, Manteca sophomore Jake Corn and East Union standout Jordan Kron dominated the game for their two ball clubs.
But in the 12th inning Saturday after both pitchers were long gone, Manteca strung together a rally for a 2-0 Valley Oak League win.
The Lancers would salvage a split with a 15-11 win in game two to cap off the double header.
Manteca (3-3, 8-6 overall) opened the 12th with a Dominic Pisano leadoff walk, followed by Michael Matthews getting hit by a pitch. An intentional walk to Daniel Miramontes would load the bases. Manteca first baseman Alex Martinez then cashed in.
Martinez pulled a Brock Swift offering into leftfield for a two-RBI single. Both Pisano and Matthews would come around to score and the Lancers would go in order in their half of the 12th for the Buffalo win.
Matthews was robbed by defensive gems in two consecutive at bats, diving plays from shortstop Swift. Third baseman Zac Carrillo was just as pleased with tallying an insurance run of being hit by a pitch.
“I was not frustrated at all,” Matthews said after game one. “I just have to tip my cap to them, they both made great plays, extending way out and to get up and make the throw, that’s just a great play. I kept my head in the game and knew I’d get another chance.
“My next at bat I end up getting hit and scoring a run that helped us win a game.”
Corn was nothing short of brilliant, tossing nine complete, giving up a single hit and striking out a whopping 18. Kron was as impressive, going 10, striking out 11, walking two and not surrendering a hit.
The lone hit Corn gave up was a double to Carrillo that seemingly won the contest, but Buffalo catcher Buddy Reeder did a phenomenal job blocking the plate, and completing a bang-bang play on an errant relay throw. Miramontes made a terrific play even cutting off.
The Lancers (2-4, 7-7) brushed off the extra-inning loss and pulled out a series split. The two clubs were deadlocked at five apiece through the third inning, but a seven-run East Union seventh inning would secure the split.
“The bottom line is we gave ourselves a chance,” East Union head coach Dan Triglia said. “We lose two and we’re in a pretty deep hole we probably have a lot of trouble getting out of. And by splitting and coming back after a tough loss we gave ourselves a chance. We were pretty positive coming out of that second game.
“We would have preferred to take both, but in the situation we’ll take a split and see what we can do the rest of the way.”
Both John Olague and Bryson Stonum went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in the nightcap. Kron was 4 for 5 with two doubles and four RBI. Steven Gigli was 4 for 7 over both games, driving in a run in the second.