Manteca High’s baseball team is one step closer to securing a Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff berth after thumping host Weston Ranch 31-0 on Wednesday, and everybody was in on the action.
The Buffaloes (9-4 Valley Oak League, 15-8 overall) walloped 26 hits in five innings, but none got the dugout buzzing more than reserve Zach Menasco’s grand slam in the third inning.
Manteca can clinch a postseason berth by completing the sweep at home Friday, and should VOL co-leaders East Union and Oakdale both fall there would be a three-way share of the title.
“Even though our starters were out early they still stuck together and cheered for their teammates,” Manteca coach Gene Ballardo said. “I was happy to see that. Everybody was positive and that’s a good thing.
“Now we’ve got to end the season on a high note. We have to win for that playoff spot, so that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Manteca erupted for seven runs in each of the first and third innings and 12 more in the fifth.
Michael Timmins was a perfect 4 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, and Danny Gouveia finished 3 for 4 with four runs and a triple.
Reserves Ryan Culpepper (2B, RBI) and Jesse Encinias (two RBIs) each contributed two hits.
Starting pitcher Kevin Peck struck out five in four innings while giving up one of Weston Ranch’s two hits. Cory Van Warmerdam struck out the side in the fifth.
Ripon Christian 8, Turlock Christian 2
In Turlock, Ripon Christian (4-7, 6-14-2) broke it open with seven combined runs in the fourth and fifth innings and the pitchers handled the rest.
Starter Kalvin Prins went 6 1/3 innings and struck out five while giving up six hits and two unearned runs. Wes Lown closed it out in the seventh.
Aaron Fay sparked the offense with a 3-for-4 effort that included a homer, two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. Lown was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Brent Abraham went 3 for 3 with a double to lead Turlock Christian (5-7, 7-14-1).
Manteca 6, Sierra 3
The Buffaloes (9-9 overall) snapped a four-game losing streak behind a strong all-around effort from Michael Garibay.
Garibay logged 5 2/3 innings from the mound, yielding one earned run while striking out three. From the plate he drove in four RBIs, three of them coming off a bases-loaded double in the fifth inning.
“Garibay was lights out for us today,” Manteca coach Nick Silva said. “He really took it upon himself to get us this win.”
Tommy Reich (RBI), Brandon Landwehr and Alex Garlets (two runs, 3B) each chipped in a hit.