If Monday’s contest between the Manteca and East Union baseball teams was a home-run derby, Wednesday’s was an error fest as the two teams combined for eight errors before the visiting Lancers came away with a 17-5 Valley Oak League mercy-rule win.
Four errors by East Union (3-1 VOL, 9-4 overall) in the second inning led to two runs for the Buffaloes (3-2, 11-5) with no hits.
“The circus came to town for us a bit in the second inning,” Lancers coach Dan Bauer said. “We got a quick two outs and then kind of threw the ball around a bit. We definitely have to clean that up. Ashton (Heath) did a great job of staying focused and continuing to execute his pitches to get us out of that inning. That was good to see.
“We are starting to come around with our hitting. We are not where we want to be. We are really trying to teach approach and work into a leverage count to see our pitch to hit. We made some mental mistakes on the bases and we have to clean some things up there as well. It’s good to see us come alive and swing the bat.”
East Union swung the bats well with 11 hits.
A.J. Vasquez led the Lancers hit parade, going 3 for 4 with three RBI, a pair of doubles and two runs.
“They were pitching me outside,” Vasquez said. “They started to shift the outfield to the right so I knew I had to stay ahead of the ball and find the gaps.
“I kept my eye on the ball and saw it out of the hand well.”
Blake Mount was also 3 for 4, knocking in three runs with a double and two runs.
“Lately my approach at the plate has been pretty good,” Mount said. “At the beginning of the game I popped out to the right fielder.
“I fixed that and then I just sat back on the ball and drove it.”
Brandon Garcia capped off the East Union attack with a three-run home run in the fifth inning.
“I have been struggling at the plate lately,” Garcia said. “To hit it was exciting and it felt amazing leaving the bat.
“I feel like that was an achievement for me.”
Carson Sanders reached base three times and scored three times in four trips for the Lancers with a triple. He was hit by a pitch once and walked once.
Manteca’s error-prone inning was the fourth when the Buffaloes committed four errors which led to eight East Union runs behind just three Lancers hits.
“We made too many errors and once again we gave up too many free 90s,” Manteca coach Mark Ruiz said. “That put a lot of pressure on our pitchers and we didn’t do enough as a team to compete in this game.
“But we battled back a little at the end.”
Trailing 17-2 entering the fifth inning, the Buffaloes needed five runs to stave off the mercy rule and they got three. Alex Murrietta singled in Rex Watson (2 for 3, run) and Colton Murillo (2 for 2, two RBI, run) brought in Landon Chamberlain and Murrietta with a single.
Manteca will try to get one win in the series between the two teams when they meet for the third time this week Friday afternoon at 4 at Agostini Field.