With playoff positioning resting on each of the remaining Valley Oak League games, Kimball High came in and did exactly what it needed to do in a mercy-rule shortened 12-1 victory over the Manteca Buffaloes Tuesday.
Kimball (8-2, 16-4 overall) pressed its will on the Buffaloes early, scoring four runs in its first trip to the plate, setting the tone for the crucial VOL matchup for both teams. The Jaguars coupled a pair of bloop-singles with a pair of triples and Kimball’s table was set.
“They dropped in a couple of dink hits and I think it kind of took the wind out of the sails,” Manteca head coach Corey Navarro said. “This was definitely not the situation the girls were looking to be in.
“We got down 4-0 and we pretty much fell flat.”
Kimball got to Manteca starter Peyton Rose for 15 hits, getting a handful of balls to fall in for seeing-eye singles, but also crushing a number of pitches, including a pair of triples and a home run. Manteca (5-6, 10-9) collected five hits as a team with Monique Colunga banging out two of those.
Colunga was able to drive in Annissa Gonzalez for the Buffaloes’ only run of the game in the fourth, but that led right into Kimball’s five-run fourth inning which put the game away.
Manteca shortstop Selena Gonzalez put forth a valiant effort for the Buffaloes, playing five innings of solid infield and banging out the Buffaloes final hit in their last at bat.
“I just tried to come through for my team and try and get a hit and get on base,” Selena Gonzalez said. “The game did not come out as planned, we were kind of flat, but you still have to come out and play your game.
“They were pretty effective; they come up with big hits throughout the lineup not just up front.”
The Buffaloes’ chances of nabbing the No. 3 playoff spot awarded to the VOL seemingly fell through their hands with the loss. Kimball, who tied with Sierra for the No. 2 spot behind Oakdale with their 5-4 win over the Timberwolves last week, still have one contest with Oakdale remaining on its league schedule.